By Brady J Deaton; Bernadette Gray-Little
St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Whatever you call them fiscal cliff, austerity bomb, Debtpocalypse the impending automatic federal spending cuts are likely to endanger the nations short-term economic recovery. But they also pose a real threat to the long-term prosperity of the United States.
Why? For starters, federal financial aid, without which many students couldnt attend college, stands to be cut. At our universities, tens of thousands of students receive some sort of federal financial aid. Without it, many of these students will take longer to graduate, will have to take out more loans, and will simply drop out.
For these students, their future prosperity will be dimmed, and with it, the hopes of a nation that is facing serious workforce shortages in a range of fields. When the recovery does kick in, businesses simply wont be able to find the workers they need to grow.
Also set to be cut: research that not only creates jobs directly and through the commercialization of discoveries, but that also saves lives.
At the University of Kansas, we just earned National Cancer Institute designation, which will provide cancer patients throughout the region with access to new treatments and clinical trials. This is on top of our federally supported research into Alzheimers, autism, and a range of other conditions, not to mention scholarship in a wide range of fields outside of health and wellness.
The University of Missouri is home to the nations most powerful university nuclear research reactor, the focal point for many federally sponsored projects, from work on nuclear medicine and pharmaceuticals to structural engineering. …