Robert Ehrenreich (rehrenre@NAS.EDU)
Sat, 24 Sep 1994 23:32:21 EST

Just a couple of quick points about the elimination of USGS. First, what
should be far more worrisome is that the Republicans are also calling for
the elimination of NEH, which would directly affect many archaeology,
anthropology, university, and museum programs. Rumors here in DC have it
that NEH will be lucky if their budget is only cut by 50%. Since most of
NEH's budget is in grants, that would be largely what is cut. Second, the
reduction of budgets does not necessarily lead to the elmination of
"deadwood". The government has this thing called RIFs (Reductions in
Force). If done, the people with more seniority are given the opportunity
to take a lower position, bumping that person out of a job. The RIFs that
I have witnessed usually result in an incompetent, yet senior, individual
bumping out a younger, more motivated individual. Thus, the people
actually lost can be the real workers. Third, the Republicans have always
seen academics and the social sciences as a sideshow that should be funded
by private donations. By "throwing the bums out" of congress, a lot of
people may have slit their own throats. Happy Holidays.

Robert M. Ehrenreich
National Research Council
National Academy of Sciences
Washington, DC