Fall arrives at the Krasnow Institute

In the last 36 hours, the weather has changed here in the Washington D.C. area. Here at the Institute,  you definitely need a jacket to head outside and the tulip poplar trees outside the great room are now turning bright yellow. It makes for a nice natural amalgam of Mason’s university colors.

As if to echo the pathetic fallacy of the seasonal change, the presidential campaign has also undergone a phase shift following the first debate…the outcome of the election seems much more uncertain than it did last week, with potentially important consequences for the fiscal cliff, generally, and science funding specifically.

If Romney were in fact elected President a month from now, I would view a lame duck Obama administration as much more likely to agree to substantive compromise on the Bush tax cuts. Were that to be true, then perhaps the draconian cuts to science funding might be avoided.

On the other hand, it might be that a lame duck President Obama might view allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as a legacy contribution towards fixing the fiscal problems of the country…