science & tech

research & development funding


The feds support science & technology research both by giving out funds to government agencies and by offering tax breaks for private companies that invest in their own R&D. Here we just take a snapshot of the feds' direct funding, with data from AAAS.

direct research & development

total - military & non-military

over the years - $ billions (in 2006 constant dollars)

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business bills 2007

Bills in Brief

The new Democratic Congress continues to work on business issues that dogged last year's Congress - at the same time as giving a Democratic twist to new and old issues.

internet neutrality

Issue in Brief

Everyone seems to be talking about internet neutrality. From the ‘father of the internet,' Vint Cerf (who testified before congress on the subject) to Senator Clinton, to a whole chorus of think tanks, newspapers and blogs, ‘net neutrality' has become quite the buzzword lately. Many want to write it into law, others want think Congress should keeps hands off, but few seem to know exactly what it is.

Really important background info: there's some stuff you've just got to know first.

  • Telecommunications companies (think Qwest, AT&T, or Verizon) and internet service providers (ISPs, like Comcast, Time-Warner Cable, and others) own most of the backbone of the internet. All ‘net traffic goes through their cables.

  • When we buy internet access, we either buy it from these companies, or from another company that does. When a ‘web content provider (like Amazon, Yahoo, or even citizenJoe) buys internet access, it works in exactly the same way—they just pay more for a connection that can carry more data.

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With a sizable chunk of the federal budget going to NASA spending - but not enough to please every astronomer on Cape Canaveral - debates loom in and around DC on what's the best use of our space money.

Note from editors: This page needs considerable fleshing out, particularly with facts around the Hubble, Moon and Mars missions, which could also be individual "issue briefs." See our note to the right on helping out as a Joe Editor.

What NASA's spending its money on

(out of a total budget of $16 billion in 2005) (NASA - pdf)

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