US Geological Survey's budget was cut by some $20 million this year. #justsayingAnd as Hurricane Irene approaches, CAP's ThinkProgress.org reports on budget cuts hurting weather monitoring & emergency response. You may also remember Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) mocking funding for life-saving volcano monitoring and Republican efforts to cut tsunami monitoring at the same time the Japanese earthquake & tsunami struck.
"[P]ointing out that they cut funding on this stuff doesn’t constitute 'politicizing' any ongoing natural disasters," writes Matt Yglesias, "Astute readers will note, however, that the meaning of across the board spending cuts is that you’re cutting spending on all programs."
"Across the board" spending cuts sound equitable, hence are more politically palatable. But as Matt points out, that means cutting funding for feeding hungry children, taking care of sick people, and fighting forest fires - things that cutting might get you voted out of office. Any politician who'd rather cut funding for earthquake monitoring and feeding hungry children than raise taxes on the wealthy should have to explain that choice to voters.