Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In Trump budget briefing, ‘climate change musical’ is cited as tax waste. Wait, what?

Tuesday morning, during a White House conference on President Trump's proposed 2018 federal budget, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney invoked a musical that, seven years ago, won a government grant worth nearly $700,000. When asked if the administration considered climate change programs to be taxpayer waste, Mulvaney replied, “The National Science Foundation last year used your taxpayer money to fund a climate change musical. Do you think that’s a waste of your money?” Mulvaney said that the previous administration funded “crazy stuff” and spent too much money in its climate change efforts. “Does it mean that we are anti-science? Absolutely not,” he said. “We are simply trying to get things back in order.” When asked during an NSF budget briefing Tuesday afternoon, Director France A. Córdova declined to say whether she felt that Mulvaney's “musical” comment characterized the current White House approach to climate research. “Just as a point of fact, that was actually awarded and proposed in 2010,” Córdova said, rather than last year, as Mulvaney suggested.

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