Government Spending is Bad Except When It’s AWESOME

Charles Krauthammer would like us to show China and Russia whose dick is the biggest, like we used to back when we were led by real men and not Socialist chicks:

Nor for the private sector to get us back into orbit, as Obama assumes it will. True, hauling MREs up and trash back down could be done by private vehicles. But manned flight is infinitely more complex and risky, requiring massive redundancy and inevitably larger expenditures. Can private entities really handle that? And within the next lost decade or two?

Neil Armstrong, James Lovell and Gene Cernan are deeply skeptical. “Commercial transport to orbit,” they wrote in a 2010 open letter, “is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive than we would hope.” They called Obama’s cancellation of Constellation a “devastating” decision that “destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature.”

“Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides,” they warned, “the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity.” This, from “the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century.”

Which is why museum visits to the embalmed Discovery will be sad indeed. America rarely retreats from a new frontier. Yet today we can’t even do what John Glenn did in 1962, let alone fly a circa-1980 shuttle.

First of all, Chuckles, are you seriously admitting that private enterprise isn’t the answer to everything? Did you miss your dose of the Stupid Pills? Did they accidentally slip you a placebo? What the CHRIST is going on up there?

For what it’s worth I’m a total space nerd and think we should launch all sorts of shit up there not to show off but to find the aliens so I can finally live my dream of inhabiting Babylon 5, but you can’t do that while simultaneously lamenting government spending on everything everywhere all the time, opining that every time the national mint prints another penny God kills a kitten, and other wingnut truisms.

A.

6 thoughts on “Government Spending is Bad Except When It’s AWESOME

  1. frazer says:

    Absolutely right. Government spending is terrible, especially when Obama does it, but because everything Obama does is bad, when Obama doesn’t spend that’s terrible too.

  2. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Big words, Herr Hammer von Kraut, but will you back it up? By increasing taxes by 0.5% or so to boost NASA’s budget by a big factor? Don’t think so.
    If what one wants is to explore space for scientific purposes, probes are great. Cheap, fast, expendable. Just stop squeezing NASA for loose change, and you’ll get all of that.
    But if you want to get humanity OFF this one rock, $10T is just the down payment. With luck, space civilization takes off, and that down payment looks like peanuts. Might as well complain about how much Lewis & Clark cost the USA.
    Conservitards love the space rhetoric (remember Dubya’s Mars ‘plans’?) but tax cuts are always more important.
    So, if you really *want* us to move out into space, the first step is to launch the GOP into the Sun. Since they yammer about how the sun is causing global warming, that’s a win-win. We can even name sunspots after them…
    “hey, that one looks like an enormous ASSHOLE. Let’s call it ‘Krauthammer'”

  3. Republicans have a real hard-on for China, which I find amusing. They’re godless Commies! Since when do Republicans like THAT?
    TN’s congresscritters took a trip there last year and the Republicans just waxed enthusiastic about all of the awesomeness there in terms of economic growth. I mean, I don’t know if it’s the melamine in the milk or the harvesting organs from political prisoners stuff they love so much or what. One guy was going on and on about how awesome China’s economic growth is and how America needs to be like that and I’m like, “You DO know that the Chinese authorities will just come in and appropriate whole neighborhoods to build a factory, right? You think the Tea Party is going to like it when Uncle Sam steals their houses to build a factory?”
    The stupidity.

  4. driftglass says:

    I would gladly pack up the crew and join you on Babylon 5, but only > Season One.

  5. MapleStreet says:

    In all seriousness, just heard a stat the other day (but can’t remember the exact number) on the TED talks. But the bottom line is that for each dollar spent on space exploration / man on the moon, many dollars were generated. In short, spending on space more than recoups your investment.
    Of course, one of the big problems is that we are around 13th in math and science (Commie govt Finland is #1) Of course the numbers bounce around a bit depending on how you do the measuring. It is consistent that the USA has fallen way behind in math and science.

  6. Interrobang says:

    But the bottom line is that for each dollar spent on space exploration / man on the moon, many dollars were generated.
    Yeah, but who likes Tang? /snark
    Personally, I think the Republicans like China so much because of a small detail onlyThe Economist and I have ever bothered to mention in public, and the rest of the world seems hell-bent on explaining away: While the rest of us weren’t looking, China quietly slipped around the curve at the end of the political spectrum and now would be best described as fascist, in the classical Mussolini sense, where fascism is synonymous with corporatism (control of the state apparatus by the people who run big business).
    And Republicanslove fascists. Always have, always will.

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