High Tech's Fickle Helping Hand

The White House wavers on funding for microchips and HDTV

The change of strategy was so sudden and striking that even veteran policymakers were taken aback. After stressing for months how important it was for the U.S. to stay competitive in high technology, the Bush Administration was getting ready to pull the plug on its two most widely publicized high-tech initiatives. According to reports circulating in Washington, the Administration was determined to cut not only the $10 million it had pledged for research into high-definition television, but all federal support -- including $100 million in 1991 -- for Sematech, the Reagan-era industrial consortium designed to catapult the U.S. into the lead...

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