Monday, February 14, 2011
As President Obama releases his
proposed 2012 budget this week, and House Republicans sharpen their knives in
the expectation of slashing it, the politically potent biomedical research
community already has geared up for a high profile campaign to fight cuts to
the NIH budget. But behind the scenes a more fundamental debate is being waged
over how life sciences research budgets, regardless of their size, should be
divvied up between basic, translational and applied science.
The White House budget
proposals simply begin a new argument over spending priorities; indeed, the
U.S. government has operated for almost five months without a final budget for
fiscal 2011. Nevertheless, the science community already has concluded the
tough fiscal realities mean that virtually any attempt to fund new priorities
will take money away from existing programs.