(The article below is by Kevin Fathi, a contributor to this blog.)
I read this article on the Technology Review web site. The story touts that ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy) has actually had its funding increased. By how much? A tenth of the amount that the President had requested. Talk about defining success downward! This is an example of how much damage austerity can do. In order to stave off an imaginary "debt crisis", both political parties are actually increasing the odds that the U.S. will suffer a real energy crisis.
There are many other examples of sacrificing the future to placate those who have the austerity delusion.
States are cutting education spending at every level (see here for an example). How can the country have a productive future if the students of the present are neglected. The problems of these states could be alleviated with bold ideas like federal revenue sharing. Sadly the politicians and mainstream media have smoked the austerity crack rock and insist that we cannot afford such ideas.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has determined that the status of U.S. infrastructure has an overall categorical grade of D. Take a look for yourself at the grades for individual categories here. It appears that the 2007 bridge collapse in Minnesota was a taste of things to come. It will be interesting to how the politicians who insisted on "living within our means" will feel when more people die from infrastructure neglect.
Why can't politicians see austerity for what it truly is: destroying the future.