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July 8, 2011—A۰P۰L۰U and nearly 50 high tech businesses, universities and professional societies have sent a letter to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, and Congress calling the nation's fiscal path "unsustainable" and urging the "government adopt policies to reduce the budget deficit and stabilize our national debt."
Led by the Task Force on American Innovation, the group wrote: "As you prepare legislation raising the debt limit, we urge you to ensure that the focus remains on allowing our nation’s economy to grow and our citizens to prosper. Ultimately, the point of fiscal responsibility is to provide a better life for all Americans, especially future generations. Reducing spending and deficits is necessary for achieving long-term prosperity, but reductions in federal spending must be made wisely. They should not come at the expense of science and engineering research, which has provided our nation with extraordinary prosperity for at least six decades."
More than half of all U.S. economic growth since World War II can be traced to technological innovation and much of the innovation and advancement is attributed to scientific research supported by the federal government. Among the groudbreaking work cited by the letter authors were: vaccines and antitoxins, lasers, MRI machines, modern communications devices, GPS and the Internet.
"Few technologies in modern life do not have a direct or indirect connection to federally supported scientific research," the letter concludes. "We urge you to take into consideration the short- and long-term economic benefits provided by predictable and sustained support for scientific research."
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