Thursday, January 28, 2010

Destroying Our Future. One Dream at a Time.

I think it's quite possible that pigs may have learned to fly. (And, I'm not referring to aircraft-assisted flight, or to the soaring level of pork under the current Democrat Congress/Administration.) I am referring to the fact that I have finally found an area in which I do not want to see spending cuts: Our space program.

According to Fox News, Obama's spending plan for the coming year freezes NASA's budget at it's current level. While I applaud the new-found spending restraint, this essentially puts the brakes on NASA's Constellation program, which oversees the agency's manned space flight efforts. And while holding the budget at current levels isn't a cut, it amounts to a beheading, as
"The program needs about $3 billion in additional funding annually for the next five years to keep the International Space Station supplied and to create a new generation of spacecraft, according to a commission the president appointed last year."
By failing to give the agency what it needs to continue the program, he's basically cutting the program in its entirety. (Unless, of course, NASA is able to cut enough costs elsewhere to continue the program.)

But is this really the right program to cut? Obama just gave a lacklustre State of the Union address in which he hailed our need to create jobs. But, how many jobs does the program provide? Moreover, these are high-paying jobs that require a high degree of education and specialization. That seems a bit of a hypocrisy, given the daily deluge of Public Service Announcements featuring Obama yapping about how we should "stay in school" to help keep America competitive. Some competition: By cutting this program, NASA will be forced to "outsource space flight to other governments -- such as the Russians." That sounds more like surrender than competition to me.

One may think the decision to cut the program to be simply a practical one: we have to cut somewhere, right? Well, not so fast. In cutting the program,
"...the White House will direct NASA to concentrate on earth science projects -- principally, researching and monitoring climate change..." (emphasis mine)
So now we see the real reason for the decision: Manned space flight doesn't help him advance his political agenda, but climate change does. So, we're trading the hopes and dreams of a nation that was once inspired to put a men on the moon in exchange for the futility of chasing a scientific hoax.