This budget continues a tradition of support for science and technology on the basis of an American tenet: knowledge is the key to our future.

(1) Within a tight S&T budget, we have made room for a 3.5 percent increase in basic research. Fundamental research is a crucial investment for our future economic well being and for providing the quality of life that Americans rightfully expect, providing the highest rate of return of any federal investment. This growth has not been easy to achieve. One third of the nation's basic research budget is in mission agencies -- DOE, DOD, NASA -- that are under especially heavy fiscal pressure.

(2) This budget is focused on harnessing S&T to solve real problems and create real opportunities for all Americans. As exciting or as important as it may be, it's not enough to say we're close to finding missing matter in the universe, or that we're gaining a better understanding of the nature of carbon sinks in the tropical rain forests. To the majority of Americans, these aren't the central issues. That is why the President's budget also is focused on providing what the public expects in addition to new knowledge from their investments in science and technology, things such as:

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