First look at Biden’s budget

This morning the White House released a letter to Congress outlining President Biden’s budget request for FY 2022. While this is not the full budget documentation, it is similar to what previous incoming Administrations have done to weigh-in on the Congressional appropriate process. The full budget documentation will be released later this spring. As this budget request does not include enough detail (especially what would normally be found in the Analytics section), it is not possible for me to provide a description of federal investments in intangible assets. Once the forthcoming full budget is available, I will provide a detailed analysis.

However, here are some of the highlights contained in this request:

  • Funding to create a new Directorate in NSF to “help translate research into practical applications” with a focus on emerging technologies.
  • Funding to launch the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)
  • Establishment of two more Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (under the Manufacturing USA program)
  • Nearly doubling the budget for the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP)
  • Increased funding for federal R&D in general with additional funding for various clean energy programs
  • Increased funding for education and worker training programs
  • Funding for the Justice Department to protect government funded R&D from foreign government interference and exploitation
  • Increased funding for Growth Accelerators, Regional Innovation Clusters, and the Federal and the State Technology Partnership Program.
  • Increased funding for SBA’s capacity to expand the SBIR and STTR programs.

Needless to say, the budget request contains a lot more even if it is not as detailed as the full budget. As such it gives an outline of the direction the President’s policy is going. The request is consistent with everything we have been hearing about what is being called “Bidenomics.” As commentator David Brooks noted, “Bidenomics is a massive bid to promote economic dynamism.” And the mechanism I would summarize as investment, investment, investment.  

More to come when the full budget is released.

Tangible and intangible employment up in March

Good news in this morning’s employment data from BLS: employment increased by 916,000 in March (much higher than expected) and the unemployment rate dropped to 6%. As the BLS notes, the improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the pandemic – especially in industries with direct public contact. Employment in Accommodation & Food Services was up by 215,900 (1.8%) and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation employment was up 64,400 (3.7%). Importantly, in the tangible producing industries, Construction and Mining was up 130,000 (1.6%), Manufacturing was up 53,000 (0.4%), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities was up 94,000 (0.3%). For the intangible producing industries, employment in Professional & Business Services was up 60,500 (0.3%), Education & Health Services was up 102,100 (0.5%), and Government was up 136,400 (0.7%).  

As a result, the employment split between tangible-producing and intangible-producing industries remained the same.

For more on the categories, see my explanation of the methodology in an earlier posting

Past analysis of intangible investments in federal budgets

When I converted this blog from Athena Alliance (when we shut down the think tank), many of the links to earlier posting and papers were broken. Given the recent interest in federal government budgeting and investments, below are the correct links to the two papers:

Federal investments in intangibles – President’s proposed FY 2014 budget

Federal investments in intangibles – President’s proposed FY 2016 budget

You can also find all of the links to the old papers and presentations here.