Balancing the Budget, One NSF Grant at a Time

Now THIS is the kind of idea we pay our Republican house representatives to come up with. A website where we can go through NSF grants and identify the ones we think should not be funded, balancing the budget, one NSF grant at a time.But clearly this is barking up the wrong tree! The NSF budget is only $7 billion-ish (and there is no WAY that this budget pays for itself by barely maintaining the most innovative economy in the world. Psah you say!) So…
Anyone want to help me build a website where we go around and identify senior citizens that are collecting social security but have not contributed enough in their life to merit this money? Grandpa can appear on youtube where he’ll describe what exact it is that he did in his life that merits his current social security check. Too young to fight in world war two, that no good lazy bum, cut his check! BAM, social security solved!
Next we can expand into hospitals where we will be able to identify tons of cost cutting measures. Does little Suzy really need that surgery? See little Suzy via a snazzy web interface. Ask her questions. Find out she is a very unproductive member of society, what with her 3rd grade reading skills and 4th grade math skills. No surgery for you little Suzy! BAM, Medicare problem solved!
Moving down the budget we get to the military. My first suggestion was that we take all members of the armed forces, count the number of people they have killed, sort the list, and start chopping from the bottom up. BAM, military spending cut! Okay that doesn’t use the web and well qualified internet surfers to help us solve this problem. We could have the surfers do the sorting (internet sort is a less well studied sorting algorithm taking 2N time to sort a list of length N, and usually results in the death of far too many neurons.) So instead we could put up videos of every member of the military and vote on whether they are dangerous enough looking to merit their pay. BAM, military spending cut! For a second time! And we’d win wars just by glancing menacingly at our enemies!
And what about income tax rates? Well I suggest we make a great tool where people can vote on what they’d like marginal tax rates to be. And then we can exactly INVERT the results. BAM, income distribution problem fixed!
Okay, enough with reason number 1231 why I am not a Republican.
P.S. If you go to the website for this spirited effort,, the web form doesn’t appear to verify that you’ve submitted a valid email address or a grant, and well, you know that those don’t have to be real anyway. Just saying. 😉

4 Replies to “Balancing the Budget, One NSF Grant at a Time”

  1. My suggestion was to cut the grant titled MATH-IS-HARD. I thought it would sad for only one overworked Republican staffer to get to read it, so I thought I’d post it here:

    We should cut math, since currently we have too much of it. I can’t say exactly how much excessive math we have, but certainly qualitatively I am sure that we have too much.
    Once you’ve done this, balancing the budget should be a piece of cake. Conversely, well, let’s not get into the converse.

  2. This isn’t a good idea, it’s a total waste of time and you’re getting tricked if you think it’s anything but politics. NSF grants represent NOTHING compared to the budget deficit. You could eliminate the entire NSF and not even begin to scratch the deficit.
    Here’s how you eliminate the deficit and balance the budget. Pick 2 of the following:
    1. Cut the military
    2. Cut social security
    3. Raise taxes
    It is literally mathematically impossible to balance the budget without doing 2 of those.

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