I finally had a reason to crack up about Charles Krauthammer’s latest republished editorial (Spokesman-Review 13 February 2010). What his main beef was this time; President Obama is shutting down the fragile low Earth orbiting shuttle program and giving the Russians the ultimate monopoly on the space program.
While I would definitely like to feel for the man who throughout his editorial complains about Obama engaging in the old bait and switch, NASA can now concentrate in taking this nation to Mars… It is the other argument that he comes up with; private enterprise can take over low Earth orbit that truly has me ROTFLMAO. For private enterprise to actually have to take on the expense of creating their own fleet of shuttles perhaps even better than the federal government through NASA could do itself. Could even overcome the obstacles of space flight better than the federal government through NASA can do. Why it can’t be done! Really?
How about at this point visiting his website Charles Krauthammer.com and discussing with him exactly why he thinks that private enterprise is incapable of accepting a major jobs building challenge of a life time?
Too expensive. Wow. But I guess that lobbyists, massive campaign contributions to specific politicians on the hustings to eventually influence major legislation at the federal or state level is however affordable. Over time, billions of dollars from private enterprise has flowed to these politicians one way or another. And the Roberts’ led SCOTUS decision on unlimited campaign spending could actually pad the amounts of money that favored politicians receive in even less time. Given the fact that now corporations (as persons) can engage in unlimited contributions. Apparently, no politician is “too expensive” but handing off the space program to the private sector very much is.
The reason why I ultimately can not much agree with Krauthammer’s new left philosophy is very simple; what exactly did he say about the shuttle program anyway? That it was destined to last for a few years. And in that time, there have been private enterprise attempts at creating low Earth orbiting space planes. Where private enterprise can discover forward thinking inventors who can fashion the cutting edge technology to privately take the human race into space; why should the federal government continue to offer competition in a time of recession and crippling deficits? Uhhhh, well, instead of Krauthammer welcoming that private sector challenge coming from the federal government by way of President Obama, he whines instead that Obama has shut the doors to the final frontier.
Now for a few points to be made here: GW during his time in office provided tax breaks that most specifically benefited the wealthy, wealthy investors and mega corporations. Exactly what did these individuals do with the money? The very idea that this same 1% of the population could find themselves paying more in taxes has produced the sympathetic “TEA Party” movement. Well, if they don’t want to find a tax hike to help pay this country out of a recession; how about instead investing in the space race now that NASA will be shelving the shuttle program? No?
Business interests have turned to the federal government to help them export jobs to much cheaper foreign labor. But the off the shelf price for the product is only the same as if it was made in the U. S. Once you factor in all hidden costs from across the pond factory to the final delivery of the product to your local retail big box store. Businesses have “saved money” so they say, doing business this way. Well now, do those foreign factories have the raw products to create a better space shuttle than NASA was able to produce itself? Or would it be possible to invest in and restart those factories here in the U. S. and employ blue collar workers? With the raw materials and technology already in existence; why would it be impossible for private enterprise to take over from the federal government?
Next, how did private enterprise come up with the car, the airplane, and other stunning technological developments that put this nation ahead of many other countries? And that it took decades before countries such as Japan, China, India and etc. could begin to catch up with us? If the argument was in the late 19th century forward that the development of the automobile was simply “too expensive” how would this nation have become and even retain its technological leadership for a great many decades? The same thing being true for the development of the plane, the train, computers, refrigerators, stoves, light bulbs… Excuse me if at this time can I really believe that Krauthammer could write this sort of editorial?
How about we put it bluntly, NASA did not in fact develop the shuttle; it requisitioned money for private enterprise to create the shuttle. That is, NASA asked us taxpayers to invest in the shuttle program. If the taxpayers could invest in the shuttle program then surely private investors could finance its private enterprise replacement. No? Krauthammer: Too expensive, impossible! Unless the federal government leads the way. Which by now should explain to any of his readership that Krauthammer does indeed approve of dependency on the government that is financed by taxpayers. As long as it is that specific special interest whom he most approves of. It is simply “too expensive” to look out for people who are not among the 1% uber wealthy. And geeze, to actually ask of the uber wealthy to take over from government what government already knows what it is capable of while continuing the space program that takes this nation further out into space… Suddenly business interest front man Krauthammer develops a remarkably weak spine. Remember, private enterprise already proved that it is capable of producing low Earth orbit space planes. Indeed, private enterprise could work with various federal and state level bureaucracies to launch satellites routinely used by individuals for quite personal reasons like cell phones and satellite TV. To aid peoples living on the coastlines where hurricanes represent a problem. What is wrong with private enterprise contracting with government at any level to finally take over much of the current space program since the private sector had already developed that technology for the government to begin with? No?
Then let us remind my readership about what the Republican party once hated about the welfare state: all the benefits without actually working to earn any of it. Now Krauthammer makes it plainly obvious that he wants to continue the welfare state for the private sector. All the benefits without actually having to do the work. Must be exactly why this nation has fallen on hard times.
So, a word to the wise, if this American society wants to continue the many aspects of the space race in this 21st century post the federal government handing it off to us as a private sector challenge then we need to have more faith in our can do spirit. We can do it never mind the expense. Never mind that shivering liberal Krauthammer whining and cowering in the corner.