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Government Statistics Under Trump

Scientists and statisticians are worried that the 115th Congress and Trump Administration will harm the collection of statistical data by the government, according to several articles cited in the January 31, 2017 Ocassional Note of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS).

  • Trump shouldn’t close the doors on government data, By Catherine Rampell. Washington Post (January 9, 2017).

    “Almost [every economist interviewed at the recent meeting of the American Economic Association] mentioned concerns about the continued integrity and availability of government data. The prospect of yet more funding cuts for the statistical agencies, layered with Donald Trump’s repeated efforts to discredit government numbers, bode ill for academics, businesses, households and policymakers alike.”

  • Scientists fear pending attack on federal statistics collection, by Jeffrey Mervis. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, (Jan. 3, 2017).

    The article quotes Representative Mick Mulvaney (R–SC), who Trump has chosen to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as saying about the American Community Survey, “The government shouldn’t be trying to bully people.”

  • Notes on President-Elect Trump’s Pick for Budget Director, by Matt Hourihan. the American Association for the Advancement of Science (22 December 2016).

    In a detailed analysis of OMB appointee Mulvaney, Hourihan notes that Mulvaney has, among other things, questioned the relationship between Zika and birth defects, asked whether “we really need government-funded research at all,” fought for deep cuts to discretionary spending, which contains virtually all science and technology spending, voted to zero out funding for the American Community Survey, and voted to prevent funding for political science research at the National Science Foundation.

See the complete issue of An Occasional Note from the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, January 31, 2017 [pdf] on the COPAFS website.

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