Your “Congressional (Innovation) Scorecard” featured in the November issue is not a measure of innovation. It is a measure of corporate welfare.
The problem with equating federal spending with levels of innovation is that it assumes no innovation will take place unless it is funded by government. This is not the case.
Much funding for important research fails to materialize simply because taxes (and regulation) drain the productive sector of the economy of capital that would otherwise be spent on projects deemed important by market forces.
The Rand Paul “goldfish” example certainly was simplistic, but the research he refers to should have been privately funded by the entity who needed it, not taxpayers. He probably felt such drama was necessary to get through to people brainwashed into thinking nothing can be done without government.
It is interesting to note, our involvement in the Spanish American War and the wasteful war on drugs were both partially instigated by William Randolph Hearst as a way to profit from government largess.
It looks like little has changed at Hearst. If a profit can’t be made through legitimate needs, lobby for it.
I was so enthusiastic about the fun time I was having reading Popular Mechanics, and even recommending it to friends. Then this socialist glop ruined it for me.
The article can be read here: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/infrastructure/the-innovation-15-our-most-science-and-tech-friendly-members-of-congress#slide-1