Fiscal cliff notes

Last year, when Congress and the White House failed to make any meaningful budget cuts to get the national debt and deficit under control, it set up “automatic” cuts to take place in 2013.

Nothing is likely to happen until well after the election, and now the media is warning that these long-overdue spending cuts represent a “fiscal cliff” that will send the economy back into recession. They also warn these cuts could jeopardize national security, due to decreases to be made to the defense budget. Notwithstanding the fact that there is more waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the government, including the defense department, than could possibly be eliminated just by such relatively modest cuts.

Now the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has gotten into the act by claiming that the “fiscal cliff” will jeopardize our personal health as well as the health of the economy.

A new press release picked up uncritically by the media says that the NIH budget could be cut by about $2 billion out of total spending of $31 billion. (Of course, no one mentioned that the NIH budget was fully doubled over several years recently—and yet, where are the cures?) And the press release boldly and cynically singles out two particular diseases that they say will suffer if there are budget cuts—lung cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

These claims are particularly ironic, since the NIH abandoned any new meaningful research on learning more about lung cancer 25 years ago in favor of pouring their lung-cancer research funds into the government’s politically correct campaign on smoking cessation and prevention. So our information about the basic biology of lung cancer—and what other factors can prevent it or cause it—is frozen in time. It is government politics long ago that gave up on lung cancer, not any new budget cuts.

Alzheimer’s disease is another irony. Work on this disease was abandoned almost before it got started. And critical research from Europe and on natural approaches has largely been ignored. Whether the proven effects of Gingko biloba for improving dementia in older people with memory impairment, or the many common constituents of certain healthy foods that can prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

So, don’t let the NIH get by with their cynical claims, or the media’s gullible reporting, of the supposed impacts of these long-overdue and critically needed government budget cuts on lung cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The government gave up on those long ago in favor of political agendas…even while the NIH budget grew by ten times over the past three decades and doubled just within the last decade. When it comes to the government’s failure on these two critical diseases, you can answer, “It’s not the economy, stupid!”