ITIF Slams Trump Budget

Tech group says cuts will undermine innovation and competitiveness
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The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation did not find a lot to like in President Donald Trump's new budget.

Following the final budget's release May 23, ITIF vice president for global innovation policy Stephen Ezell said that it would "slash" investments needed for research and workforce education and skills. He said Congress should declare the budget DOA.

ITIF said the country already has underinvested in science, R&D and commercializing tech innovation.

"Further reducing federal investment in these kinds of foundational goods will set back the country even further," Ezell added. 

Noting the proposed 10% cut in non-defense R&D -- while the budget boosts defense spending -- Ezell said there is a big difference between wasteful spending and critical investments. 

ITIF points to, among other things, zeroing out the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an 11% cut for National Science Foundation grants, and a 70% cut in Manufacturing USA, as well as the elimination of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

"Lawmakers should exercise their constitutional power to approve a budget that better meets the nation’s economic need," he concludes.

While the President proposes and Congress disposes the budget, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney conceded that the President's budget would not pass as proposed, but signaled the exercise is important in telegraphing the President's priorities.

He said the budget was drawn up with hard-working taxpayers in mind and what programs the government should ask those taxpayers to fund. He said compassion was not defined by the number of programs or dollars but what bang taxpayers were getting for their bucks, plus the need to address a $20 trillion deficit and the need to boost investment in defense and security.

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