Former NTIA Chief Criticizes Government Investment

By Josh Smith
October 10, 2012 | 5:00 p.m.

While there is broad support for government research funding, the Obama administration's willingness to step in as a commercial partner with certain businesses has caused "real harm" to emerging technology programs, according to a former administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

"The problem is when government views itself as a partner and is driving economic decisions for favored political entities," John Kneuer said Wednesday in an interview for C-Span's "The Communicators."

Kneuer served as a top telecommunications official under George W. Bush and describes himself as an "enthusiastic supporter" of President Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

He said much-needed federal funding is often little more than "development in drag." That, he said, is a role the government should not be playing.

"It's when the government views itself as an equal partner steering the ultimate outcome I think you run into danger," Kneuer said.

But Ed Paisley, vice president for editorial at the Center for American Progress's Action Fund and a self-identified Obama supporter, said a second Obama term would make fewer mistakes like those that led to the controversy surrounding the now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra.

"I think they've learned a number of lessons," he said during a taped appearance on the same show. But such problems don't lessen the need for government help to get cutting-edge innovations into the market, Paisley said.

"There's a huge gap between what the government will do and what the private sector will do," he said. "It's got to be done collaboratively."

From National Journal http://www.nationaljournal.com/blogs/techdailydose/2012/10/former-ntia-chief-criticizes-government-investment-10

 

Latest News

JKC Consulting llc.

2300 M Street NW
Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20037

Phone: (202) 320-1400
Fax: (202) 293-3083