250 General Science, Space & Technology:Return Advanced Scientific Computing Research to FY 2008 Levels

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


Savings are expressed as budget authority and were calculated by comparing current spending levels to estimated levels, had FY 2008 spending increased only for inflation. The FY 2014 funding level of $478.6 million can be found on page 116 of House of Representatives, 113th Congress, 2nd Session, “Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2015.”  The 2008 spending level of $351.2 million can be found on page 6 of Yukiko Sekine, “NERSC Users Group Meeting Department of Energy Update,” U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, October 3, 2008. Estimated spending, if held constant at the 2008 spending level, was calculated by increasing the 2008 amount according to inflation in the CPI, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2008 to 2013. Had spending increased only with inflation, spending in 2014 would have been $395 million, as compared to the enacted level of $479 million. The $84 million difference between the two spending levels was increased at the same rate as discretionary spending in the CBO’s most recent August 2014 baseline spending projections.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

Reduce Advanced Scientific Computing Research spending to FY 2008 levels. This proposal saves $85 million in 2016, and $907 million over 10 years.


Good idea: fund Advanced Scientific Computing Research at 2008 levels & save $907 million

This program under the Office of Sciences conducts computer modeling, simulations, and testing to advance the Department of Energy’s mission through applied mathematics, computer science, and integrated network environments. These models can lay the foundation for scientific breakthroughs and are arguably some of the most important aspects of basic DOE research, but this program has also been the beneficiary of a consistently expanding budget, and in order to live within today’s fiscal constraints, funding should be returned to the FY 2008 levels.

Good idea: fund Advanced Scientific Computing Research at 2008 levels & save $907 million

Contributing Expert

Nicolas (Nick) Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Nicolas Loris

Nicolas (Nick) LorisHerbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow

Heritage Experts

Jack Spencer oversees Heritage Foundation research on a wide range of domestic economic issues as director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Those topics include federal spending, taxes, energy and environment, regulation and retirement savings.

See publications by Jack Spencer

Jack SpencerVice President for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity

Katie Tubb is a Research Associate and Coordinator in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

See publications by Katie Tubb

Katie TubbResearch Associate and Coordinator

Additional Reading