Alexander Says Out-Of-Control Entitlement Spending Threatens Federal Research

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In a hearing on Tuesday of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Lamar Alexander said reforming “out-of-control, mandatory entitlement spending” and instituting new standards across the rest of the federal budget could help steer resources toward programs that encourage innovation and help create jobs.

 

The senator noted to heads of several federal agencies that mandatory entitlement spending, which made up nearly two-thirds of the federal budget last year, is taking away money from the rest of the budget, called discretionary spending. Senator Alexander said discretionary spending – which only made up about one-third of the federal budget last year – is what funds programs related to national defense, national parks and national labs, and he cited basic scientific research as a major priority. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 10 years discretionary spending will only make up about 23 percent of the federal budget.

 

“You’re going to have to help us deal with this problem, and we on this committee are going to have to do it,” Senator Alexander said of reforming mandatory entitlement spending. “We have to find a way to agree on that, or we’re going to render our engineering and science and research activities obsolete.”

  

The hearing included testimony by officials with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Senator Alexander said the federal government could free up money if it enacted entitlement reform, such as the Fiscal Sustainability Act he has introduced with Senator Bob Corker, which would reduce the growth in entitlement spending by nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

 

Senator Alexander also said government agencies should be using proven systems of accountability that set benchmarks for funding, similar to those used by DARPA, as well as ARPA-E, a small agency that funds energy research that is too early for private-sector investment. Senator Alexander said, “The other thing we need to do is we need to make sure that of the money we spend, we spend it well.”

 

The senator asked federal officials overseeing DARPA and ARPA-E to discuss accountability in federal spending, noting that “you have a different method of accountability that has been enormously successful” and has enabled DARPA’s success in projects that led to the development of the Internet, global positioning systems and other technological innovations.


Kevin Harrington To Be Keynote Speaker At Entrepreneur Power Luncheon May 26

The keynote speaker for Urban League of Greater Chattanooga’s third annual Entrepreneur Power Luncheon will be Kevin Harrington, i nventor of the infomercial, original shark on Shark Tank and as seen on TV Pioneer. Officials said, "Kevin is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time."    The luncheon will be on  Tuesday, May 26, from 11:30 a.m.–1 ... (click for more)

Krystal Teams Up With Lookouts Offering Contests And VIP Experiences

The Krystal Company is headed to the ballpark with the Chattanooga Lookouts to offer in-game activities.   Throughout this baseball season, fans may take part in a frozen T-shirt contest, where whoever can break open a frozen shirt the fastest will be able to keep the shirt and win additional Krystal prizes, including branded merchandise and meal certificates.  “We ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Announces Plan To Provide High-Speed Internet At A Discount Price To Those With Low Incomes

Mayor Andy Berke, in his annual State of the City Address, on Monday announced the creation of the Netbridge Student Discount program. In the partnership with EPB, he said any family of a child eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch in schools can receive 100 megabits per second Internet at a cost of $26.99 per month." Mayor Berke said, "Think about it. Our low income families will ... (click for more)

DA Tells Dalton Jury Cell Phone Of Skyy Mims Was Found At Murder Scene

District Attorney Bert Poston told a jury in Dalton on Monday that the cell phone of Skyy Mims was found at the scene of the murder of convenience store clerk DK Chaudhari. He said Ms. Mims carried out the robbery in order to get Lotto tickets that she hoped would bring her money to finance her budding musical career. He said she took 80 "$500 A Week For Life" tickets. The ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Is This Barbarian?

The Tennessee Supreme Court upheld a curious decision on what defines a “whistleblower” last month, saying you can’t blow the whistle on your employer if he’s the only one who hears the whistle. No, you’ve got to go to someone other than the perpetrator which not only makes sense, but appears to heighten one’s chance of success. What is much more curious is why somebody didn’t ... (click for more)