Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

The OTA No-Brainer

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyApril 3, 2009 12:06 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Nick Anthis basically cinches the case for why we should bring back the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment--namely, it costs virtually nothing:

...before being defunded, the annual budget of the OTA was $21.9 million. To put this number into context, this was only about one seven-hundredth of one percent of the US federal budget at the time. In fact, this is such a minuscule amount of money on the scale of a federal budget (think $700 billion bailouts here), that it's hard to even find a reasonable analogy. For example, the OTA's budget would be similar in size to that of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. You really have to get that small and specific (and obscure) before you even begin to approach a magnitude where you can draw comparisons.

Um, what is Congress waiting for? It's a chance to actually use the public's money for a good public purpose, rather than another bailout. In fact, let's run with this theme for a minute: Can somebody make an OTA vs bailout T-shirt? How many useful OTAs could we have for the price of one worthless AIG? You can just see the possibilities...

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In