Americans are watching as hordes of anti-American and anti-Israel activists have seized public spaces, occupied university buildings, denied access to reporters, and clashed with police and counterprotesters (all while demanding free food).

The latest wave of often anti-Western and antisemitic protests is more intense than the initial wave of activity during the fall in part because warm spring weather attracts bored students looking for excitement.

However, the root cause is the culture of leftist radicalism that grips educational institutions across the country.

It’s vital for taxpayers to know that the federal government feeds that radicalism with billions of dollars in direct and indirect subsidies every year, much of which is wrongly labeled as promoting “science.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Led by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-LA., House Republicans are shining a spotlight on wayward universities, including with hearings and investigations by several committees.

House Science Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., noted that the National Science Foundation provides significant financial support for research activity. Federal rules require that schools receiving research grants must protect students from harassment and intimidation, such as what is being done today by masked ideological mobs.

The scale of federal grants for scientific research is enormous—tens of billions of dollars per year. In addition, schools receive massive and excessive add-ons for “indirect” (overhead) costs.

Coupled with federally supported student loans that inflate tuition prices, colleges and universities have a taxpayer-funded financial cushion.

This enables schools to hire legions of diversity bureaucrats and host academically dubious race- and gender-studies departments whose central purpose is indoctrinating students in support of radical ideologies.

Federal funding provides more than mere passive support to leftism.

Agencies such as the National Science Foundation readily approve grants that openly seek to inject critical theory and similar far-left concepts into a variety of subjects. The goal is to bend academic disciplines to the whims of grievance-based identity politics. Examples include:

  • A $343,000 grant to Colorado State University for “multiculturally inclusive” chemistry based on a fact-free claim that racial minorities are “excluded” from chemistry.
  • A $1.5 million grant to the University of South Florida to combat “anti-black racism” in engineering, based on the assumption that teaching must adhere to extreme “anti-racist” ideology to avoid being racist.
  • A $299,000 grant to the American Geophysical Union to train scientists to be “justice-centered.” This training calls for scientists to water down their work by embracing “other ways of knowing.”
  • A $250,000 grant to Occidental College for teaching children that difficulty they have learning science and math subjects is due to “structural racism.”

Encouraging teachers and students to view the world primarily through the lens of identity politics and racial grievance is a recipe for exactly the sort of discord that is playing out at prominent universities.

Many members of Congress have issued statements condemning disorder and antisemitic incidents on campuses. Unfortunately, few legislators have shown an interest in addressing the roots of the problem by stopping the flow of tax dollars in support of radical leftists.

Every year, Congress funds federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation. Through the “power of the purse,” legislation can directly reduce or eliminate support to specific agencies and programs. In addition, Congress can block funding for certain types of activities.

Over the next several months, Congress will debate how to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2025. At a time when Americans struggle with elevated inflation due to excessive deficit spending, there is an urgent need to find savings.

Legislators can lower inflation and defang campus radicals at the same time by cutting off federal grants and subsidies for academic institutions captured by the Left.

The alternative—maintaining or increasing funding levels—guarantees more academic insanity for years to come.