Senate John Kerry (D-Mass.) warned Tuesday that spending cuts could wipe out future government achievements, like the invention of the Internet, which Kerry credited to Washington.
“A lot of people don’t think about that. But the fact is the government invented the Internet,” Kerry said in a 30-minute floor speech.
Kerry said the Internet was first conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a communications system in case of nuclear war.
The credit government deserves for developing the Internet has long been a subject of partisan wrangling.
Former Vice President Al Gore weathered unrelenting criticism during the 2000 campaign for claiming he “took the initiative in creating the Internet.”
Kerry was the 2004 Democratic nominee for president.
Kerry was one of several Democratic senators who took to the floor Tuesday to speak out against a House-passed measure that would chop another $57 billion from 2010 spending levels. Congress passed a $4 billion cut last week.
Kerry said government-funded innovation has helped create millions of jobs by spawning new products.
He noted the space program led to the creation of Gore-Tex, microwave technology and Teflon.
Kerry said a House-passed proposal that would cut another $57 billion from the federal budget for 2011 would “do great harm to our country because it strops away our ability to be able to create the future, research and development in technology [and] research and development in science.”