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Yes, the Constitution gives the government permission to do a certain thing - "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts".

But it doesn't say "by any means Congress feels like." It specifies a means - "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." In other words, patents and copyrights.

Are you claiming all Federal government spending on basic research is unconstitutional?

I am only saying that science was seen as important in 1788. That's it. Do you disagree with this simple statement?
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