December 03, 2005
Positive Vision, or Empty Rhetoric?

Democrats: Science, Tech Innovation Is Key

The federal government must make innovation in science and technology its top priority for economic growth, Rep. George Miller of California said Saturday in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address. Drawing on President Kennedy's leadership in the race to send men to the moon, Miller said demonstrated leadership is vital to promote innovation that advances health care, education and technology breakthroughs, as well as maintaining the country's competitive advantage.
I'm not sure the title of the article is accurate -- one Democrat is saying this. There may be others in his party who also say such things, how many of them will actually support innovation-promoting policies and bills when it comes time for action rather than words?

A case in point:

It includes doubling basic research and development funding, graduating 100,000 scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the next four years and achieving energy independence within 10 years. [emphasis added]
That's great rhetoric (albeit a bit threadbare after nearly forty years of use). But when it actually comes time to, say, support the streamlining of the process for licensing new nuclear power plants, or to fund the waste repository at Yucca Mountain -- technology policy actions which will be required if that energy independence goal is to be met at all, let alone in ten years -- need anyone wonder how the other members of Mr. Miller's party will vote?
"Democrats believe that only by making a renewed and sustained commitment to innovation will our nation be able to maintain its global economic leadership, protect our national security and enjoy prosperity at home with good American jobs," Miller said.
Really? I confess I'm at a loss as to how to reconcile that grand statement with the Democrats I see opposing America's global economic leadership under the heading "anti-globalization", undermining our national security by demanding our surrender to terrorism, and regarding the only American jobs worth protecting as those already "protected" by the unions which funnel money to their campaigns.
"Good old American ingenuity can never die_ we all know that," he said. "But it must be unleashed again."
This implies that it has been leashed by someone. Wonder who that might be?

Posted by T.L. James on December 3, 2005 12:49 PM

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