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One standard evaluation appealed to by challengers in politics is to ask “Are you better off now than you were 2, 4, 8 years ago?” and insert the incumbent’s term. Since Los Alamos County’s health is so inextricably linked to Los Alamos National Laboratory I propose to switch the question to this: Is Los Alamos National Laboratory better off now than it was before George Bush took office? Will it be better off if his policies are continued by John McCain? Is there any evidence that they would not be continued by McCain?
Let’s look at history. In 2000 John Browne was Lab Director having taken over in 1997. The Laboratory was still managed by UC. The gross receipts tax was not assessed on its expenditures because it was a non profit organization.
The Bush administration took office with a goal of privatizing the management of the National Laboratories. To do this they had to end the historic relationship of the University of California with Los Alamos and Livermore. Unfortunately Los Alamos and UC made it easy to do this and make it look like a rational response to erratic management behavior.
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