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How Much Science Could $135.4 Billion Buy?

President Bush’s latest request for war funding totals $178 billion dollars, approximately $135.4 billion of which will go to fund operations in Iraq. The remainder is for operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the global war on terrorist networks. Because the supplemental bill providing this money is “must pass legislation,” members of Congress are weighing the possibility of boosting domestic spending with amendments to the bill, and there has been talk of money for scientific agencies to make up for funds unallocated in the FY2008 budget.

The Center for American Progress has proposed doubling the research and development funding for key federal agencies to bolster work that improves our country’s health, grows our economy, fuels the development of renewable energy technologies, and supports basic research. This doubling would take place over a 10 year period, with 10 percent annual increases. The FY2008 budget passed by Congress and signed by the President fell short of those 10 percent increases. So how does the money for the Iraq war compare with spending on R&D at these key offices, and how much of that war funding would we need to reallocate to set those offices on a doubling path?

$28,700,000,000: National Institutes of Health R&D budget for 2008, a 0.9 percent increase over 2007.
$2,586,000,000: Supplemental amount needed to boost FY2008 NIH R&D budget to 10 percent increase.
4.7: The numbers of years the NIH R&D could be funded at its current 2008 levels with latest Iraq war request.

$4,500,000,000: National Science Foundation R&D budget for 2008, a 1.1 percent increase over 2007.
$399,000,000: Supplemental amount needed to boost FY2008 NSF R&D budget to 10 percent increase.
30: The number of years the NSF R&D could be funded at 2008 levels with latest Iraq war request.

$4,000,000,000: Department of Energy Office of Science budget for 2008, 4.6 percent increase over 2007.
$166,000,000: Supplemental amount needed to boost FY2008 DOE Office of Science R&D budget to 10 percent increase.
33.9: The number of years the DOE Office of Science could be funded at 2008 levels with latest Iraq war request.

$514,000,000: National Institute of Standards and Technology R&D 2008 budget, 4.7 percent increase over 2007.
$23,400,000: Supplemental amount needed to boost FY2008 NIST R&D budget to 10 percent increase.
263.5: The numbers of years the NIST R&D could be funded at 2008 levels with latest Iraq war request.

$6,476,400,000: Department of Defense R&D 2008 budget, 0.9 percent increase over 2007.
$72,380,000: Supplemental amount needed to boost FY2008 DOD R&D budget to 10 percent increase.
21.9: The number of years the DOD R&D could be funded at 2008 levels with latest Iraq war request.

$3,246,780,000: Total supplemental amount needed to boost FY2008 funding for these five key agencies to 10 percent increases.
2.4: Percentage of the $135,421,191,000 supplemental request this boost would require.

Funding Medical Research

Funding for the NIH has been flat for four years; accounting for inflation, the Institutes have lost 6 percent of their purchasing power during that time.

37,275: Total number of NIH research grants in 2007.

$403,528: Average size of each NIH research grant in 2007.

335,593: Number of additional average-sized NIH grants that Iraq war funding in the supplemental could finance.

Energy

The Center for American Progress has more information how the $600 billion spent since the start of the Iraq war could fund critical energy research.

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