Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slimming the Budget Deficit & Improving Basic Science Research

Problem: There is a large federal budget deficit and too little spending on basic science research.

Solution: Ironically, one small way to help the federal budget deficit while helping science research is to substantially increase NASA's budget.

Estimates of the Annual Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) over NASA's history range from 30% to 80% (In general, a US company that pulls a 15% return on capital is considered significantly above-average). NASA research directly led to the laser and compact disc, kidney dialysis, CT and MRI scans, types of physical therapy machines, some types of quick-service food preparation equipment, athletic shoes, freeze-dried food, mylar insulation materials, water purification, coatings for protecting metal, cordless power tools and appliances, hazmat/racecar suits, gas sensors, and many other pivotal everyday products.

NASA patents belong to the department of the treasury, so royalty income goes to the US Federal Budget. The US underspends on basic research and has a budget deficit... increasing NASA's budget is one of the better investments the US can make in its own economy.

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