An article by Michael McRobbie, the president of Indiana University, in the Chronicle of Higher Ed focuses on the short and mid-term effects. If sequestration takes place without any rational allocation of the cuts, $12.5 billion will be immediately cut from Federal research support. The ten year reduction in Federal support could be over $300 billion, depending on how you calculate the impact.
Lest this sound like another “special interest” protecting it’s piece of the pie, a research center not affiliated with higher education (and Republican leaning, if that matters) estimates that this would reduce by half the basic level research conducted in the United States and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Then consider a recent article by Eduardo Porter in the NY Times notes that, even under Obama’s more generous spending proposal, total discretionary spending as a percentage of the Federal budget will fall to 1.7% of economic output, down from 3.1% last year. Our basic research enterprise will surely suffer as a result.
The future for American innovation and enterprise are not good.