Ron Johnson’s solution to the budget deficit: cut stem cell research!

Says Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson:

Funding for research on embryonic stem cells, he added, “would be top on the list for cuts.”

Let’s not forget that this is the same Ron Johnson who supports extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans, which according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would add $690 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next ten years.

I’m betting Ron Johnson’s support for cutting funding for stem cell research has less to do with cutting the federal budget deficit and more to do with throwing a little red meat to his base, given two facts:

  1. A vast majority of Republicans are opposed to embryonic stem cell research.
  2. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) make $126 million per year in grants to fund stem cell research, a number that amounts to 0.000084% of the federal budget deficit.

Wisconsin has long been a leader nationally when it comes to embryonic stem cell research, and it’s a shame that Ron Johnson wants to put an end to research that has already – and likely will continue to – yield tremendous scientific benefits.


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8 thoughts on “Ron Johnson’s solution to the budget deficit: cut stem cell research!

  1. I never understood the people who want to cut from funding the stem cell research on the principle it destroys human embryos. Even most insects are more complex than these batches of cells that are at most five days past conception. Fertility clinics destroy more of them than stem cell research and same with natural miscarriages as well. (although I heard some controversy about those places too from the extremely far right. )

    If I remember properly, Nancy Reagan herself praised Obama overturning the Bush policy on stem cell research too. (Old link, I realize you may have read this already.)

    Just another reason not to vote for Ron Johnson, I know what he’s against but I know nothing of what he is for except himself.

  2. I was worried that stem cell research was creating too many jobs here in Madison, and getting to close to curing debilitating diseases. Thank Goodness ROJO will work to stop that!

  3. I have always wondered why those politicians who oppose embryonic stem cell research don’t get real serious and attempt to ban IVF. NEver heard Mary Lazich, Ron Johnson, Leah Vukmir or even Tom Reynolds introduce a bill or propose such a solution. Afterall aren’t most of the embryonic stem cells harvested from the remains of IVF. If they are truly sincere about eliminating the “horrors” of embryonic stem cells, shouldn’t they attack the root cause? Or is it much easier to demogogue the issue without sincerely addressing the problem?

    Next time Ron Johnson talks about the evils of embryonic stem cells, ask him if he also favors banning IVF?

  4. I get the criticism of Johnson on the issue of cutting embryonic stem cell research – certainly a valid issue to pick on & disagree with.

    But you have to realize how dishonest the title of your post is Zach. It’s not remotely his “solution” to the deficit. He’s called for spending cuts, and this is one of them ones he’s identified. And certainly fair enough to take issue with his position on not identifying individual programs for the cutting block previously – I mean that was just bungled. But again, to say he believes this one program is the answer to the problem is blatantly unfair and untrue.

    1. You miss the point. Johnson says this would be “top on the list”, implying that it would be some kind of a huge cost savings, which it clearly isn’t. Where Johnson should be citing cuts in the tens to hundreds of Billions of dollars, he instead says the first thing that comes to his mind, something that is so small fiscally that it might as well be homeopathic.

    2. Zach, misleading in a headline? No way!

      By the way, I don’t want my government funding embryonic stem cell research. If it’s so lucrative for curing diseases, why isn’t a private company doing it (not that I want them doing it either). Plenty of more progress has been made with other stem cells that aren’t embryonic, a fact you choose to ignore to score some cheap political points. But this isn’t 2006, and it’s not going to work.

      1. As was said earlier, Ron Johnson himself put these cuts “top on the list for cuts,” above measures that could likely save far more than $126 million per year.

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