Congress, NASA

Senate appropriators take up NASA spending bill today

The Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its FY11 appropriations bill, which includes NASA, in a session at 10 am today. The question is whether the subcommittee will follow the lead of Senate authorizers, or offer funding closer to the House authorization bill that offers far less for commercial crew programs and does not include an additional shuttle mission. For now, it appears, the subcommittee will stick with the Senate version, the Orlando Sentinel reports, “with some minor funding alternations”.

136 comments to Senate appropriators take up NASA spending bill today

  • amightywind

    I hope the Senate keeps in mind today’s Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary as they mark up the bill. Never were more foolish words uttered than Obama’s “We’ve already been there!” comment at KSC this spring. President Bush had the country on a solid path back to the moon. The Senate needs to reaffirm that goal and make it NASA’s highest priority.

  • President Bush had the country on a solid path back to the moon.

    That’s why he defunded your vaunted CxP by 1.5 billion smackers the last 4 years he was “The Decider”, eh Windy?

    No matter what you deny, you’re an ideologue.

  • Why would the Senate Appropriators try to vote based on a House Authorization Bill that hasn’t even yet been let out of Committee? I don’t even know if the Appropriators could do that, much less want to do so.

    The Senate Appropriators may put the loan guarantee idea in now. But better to just wait til Conference.

    I think the bottom line is that the New Space folks better start finding some New Money from New Investors while getting ready to learn how to live within the terms of their soon-to-be New Loan Guarantees.

    I have no doubt Boeing, Locheed-Martin, and Orbital Sciences will be fine–they are used to meeting schedules. Others? Not so sure about them.

    Whoever thought of the loan guarantee idea for the House Bill deserves a Nobel Prize. Beautiful move politically and economically.

  • Bob

    I think amightywind is in danger of losing the title of most unintentionally funny guy on this blog to Hillhouse. “Boeing, Locheed-Martin, and Orbital Sciences will be fine–they are used to meeting schedules”? Hilarious!

  • I think the bottom line is that the New Space folks better start finding some New Money from New Investors while getting ready to learn how to live within the terms of their soon-to-be New Loan Guarantees.

    Let’s say Musk, Greason, Branson, Bigelow and Beeson have to do it this way to get a little extra government “investment”, resulting in slowing down commercial NewSpace somewhat.

    I’d still bet 70-30 they’d get manned capsules and habitats into LEO, and maybe lunar EML orbits before NASA gets an Orion-lite to the ISS via Ares 1 (or a facsimile) by 2015.

    NewSpace could play that game if they had to, especially Musk and Bigelow.

  • MrEarl

    The loan guarantees have some definite up-sides for commercial crew. It could allow them more funding than can be allocated in the budget. This could allow for a more aggressive development program.
    What would be important if this comes to pass is to require NASA to establish standards for human rating LV’s, set requirements for commercial crew vehicles and award contracts within 6 months of the passage of the final bill.

  • I just have to laugh at the people who think NASA will have anything viable on the launch pad by 2016. All one has to do is look at the sorry track record with Constellation, backed up by the GAO audits criticizing how badly run was the project, to know the commercial section is the future.

    Apparently that message is lost upon the Congresscritters interested only in steering pork to their districts. They don’t care if anything is ever actually produced. They just want to buy votes.

    Dale Ketcham of the University of Central Florida’s Spaceport Research and Technology Institute got it right in today’s Florida Today. “I think the people who will be most happy here are the Russians, because clearly we’ll be relying on them to get to the space station for a long, long time.”

  • Major Tom

    “NewSpace could play that game if they had to, especially Musk and Bigelow.”

    Tesla has a federal loan guarantee through the Department of Energy, so Musk has actually played that game before.

    However, IIRC, approval from other committees in Congress (Finance or Ways and Means) is required before a loan guarantee program can be put in place. The likelihood of that happening, on top of just getting a NASA authorization bill passed and the House and Senate appropriators agreeing, is vanishingly small.

    Moreover, the text of the final Senate authorization bill is now available. The last amendments cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Shuttle/Constellation-derived system and redirected it to commercial and technology. So the momentum is actually in the other direction, and Boxer and others were promising further movement in this direction in the Senate appropriations bill.

    FWIW…

  • Major Tom

    “I just have to laugh at the people who think NASA will have anything viable on the launch pad by 2016. All one has to do is look at the sorry track record with Constellation, backed up by the GAO audits criticizing how badly run was the project”

    Honestly, NASA program management intelligence and ability to execute isn’t even the foremost issue anymore. Both the House and Senate authorization bills underfund the Shuttle/Constellation-derived system by billions of dollars compared to the FY 2010 Constellation runout, move up the schedule by years, and impose new and heavier requirements, while providing NASA with little or no flexibility on content, contracts, or teaming so that NASA can make intelligent decisions to meet the smaller budget, shorter schedule, and more burdensome requirements.

    NASA managers could be all-knowing engineering development gurus and perfect in their program execution, and they still couldn’t do what the authorization bills are directing them to do.

    “Apparently that message is lost upon the Congresscritters interested only in steering pork to their districts. They don’t care if anything is ever actually produced. They just want to buy votes.”

    It’s worse than that. Forget ever producing an operational human space exploration system. The authorizers apparently don’t care how long the U.S. civil human space flight program is going to be dependent on Russian and other foreign systems for access and support, and what the implications of that are for the $100 billion U.S. taxpayer investment in the ISS. Instead of adequately funding one option or the other, the authorizers are proposing significant and potentially crippling cuts to both the COTS/commercial crew and the government-owned Shuttle/Constellation derivative.

    Here’s hoping the appropriators have the spine to be real decision makers (instead of cutting the pie into ever smaller and unexecutable pieces) and that the White House is paying attention…

    FWIW…

  • Robert G. Oler

    Jim Hillhouse wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I have no doubt Boeing, Locheed-Martin, and Orbital Sciences will be fine–they are used to meeting schedules….

    hmmm

    Boeing Dream liner on schedule?

    Lockmart F-35 on schedule?

    …….

    should I go on?

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    Minor Tom wrote:

    “It’s worse than that. Forget ever producing an operational human space exploration system.”

    Yeah, Tom. Forget about that Apollo thing, the Space Shuttle, and the ISS. They were aberrations. (What a twit!)

  • Ferris Valyn

    Yeah, Tom. Forget about that Apollo thing, the Space Shuttle, and the ISS. They were aberrations. (What a twit!)

    They had more money. NASA’s not being provided enough money.

    Technical experience has nothing to do with it

  • John Malkin

    How many successful human space exploration systems have NASA developed in the last 20 years? How many dead-ends in that same time frame for many reasons including funding?

  • amightywind

    “How many successful human space exploration systems have NASA developed in the last 20 years?”

    How many times have their efforts been hampered by a leftist congress? Just as many.

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 11:39 am

    “How many times have their efforts been hampered by a leftist congress?”

    Don’t forget that “rightist” congress that underfunded Constellation. Suffice it to say that “Congress”, when it comes to pork, tends to stand together.

  • Major Tom

    “Yeah, Tom. Forget about that Apollo thing, the Space Shuttle, and the ISS. They were aberrations.”

    Reread my post. I never doubted that NASA could produce a human space system. I doubted that NASA could produce the human space systems that the authorization bills ask for — which are much more capable than Ares I/Orion — within the budget and schedule box demanded by the authorization bills — which have had billions of dollars and years of development schedule removed — while limited to the large, complex, and expensive Shuttle/Constellation components, contracts, and workforce required by the authorization bills.

    It’s not that I doubt that NASA can do it. I doubt that any organization or set of managers could do it.

    Read, comprehend, and think before you post. Don’t waste other posters’ time with stupid statements made out of ignorance.

    “How many times have their efforts been hampered by a leftist congress? Just as many.”

    Name them. Regardless of which party controlled Congress. What projects, what years, and what legislation?

    “(What a twit!)”

    Why are you resorting to juvenile insults in only your second post? No one has called you names in this thread.

    Grow up or go away.

    Ugh…

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 11:39 am

    How many times have their efforts been hampered by a leftist congress? …

    none NASA HSF floundered all on its own Robert G .Oler

  • Ferris Valyn

    Grow up or go away.

    Ooh Ooh – Can I second?

  • red

    Jim Hillhouse: “I think the bottom line is that the New Space folks better start finding some New Money from New Investors while getting ready to learn how to live within the terms of their soon-to-be New Loan Guarantees.”

    I think you’re missing the point of the whole controversy. Commercial crew and COTS companies should be fine (individual companies may come and go) whether they get fixed-price milestone-based “skin in the game” NASA commercial crew contracts or not. United Launch Alliance, Boeing, Orbital, Paragon, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and Blue Origin already have other business and sources of funding beyond commercial crew.

    It’s not the private side of the nation’s space capability (whether NewSpace, private space, commercial space, or whatever) that is being bailed out here. It’s NASA. Your comment makes it sound like you think it’s the companies that need a bailout, not NASA. NASA is in serious trouble. It’s been devestated by Constellation’s huge slow motion failure. Constellation was NASA’s “last big attempt” to build a government rocket and spacecraft, and it failed, dragging down much of the rest of NASA in the process.

    NASA needs commercial crew for its HSF side to survive. Politically it can’t afford to rely on Russia forever. Financially, it can’t afford to develop and operate a government system for HSF access to assets like ISS and do anything else with HSF at the same time.

    The threats the House committee (and to a lesser extent the Senate committee) is giving to potential commercial crew contenders are simply threats to NASA. The commercial crew companies don’t need that money. They will simply go slower, or do something else more interesting than bailing out NASA.

  • common sense

    @Ferris Valyn wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 11:51 am
    “Grow up or go away.

    Ooh Ooh – Can I second?”

    Go away will do fine. I don’t care for the growing up thing.

  • Bennett

    I don’t care for the growing up thing.

    Yeah, my 4 year old is taking a heck of a long time getting through the phase where he doesn’t really understand the reality of what things cost vs what money he has available.

    Sorta like Congress.

  • Florida Today reports the appropriations subcommittee approved a bill this morning … we just don’t know yet what’s in it:

    http://space.flatoday.net/2010/07/senate-subcommittee-approves-funding.html

    Supposedly it’s close to the authorization committee’s numbers.

  • DCSCA

    Jim Hillhouse: “I think the bottom line is that the New Space folks better start finding some New Money from New Investors while getting ready to learn how to live within the terms of their soon-to-be New Loan Guarantees.”

    Precisely. Go to the capital markets and pitch the product, not the government for subsidies. Commercial space is a luxury, not a necessity.

  • Doug Lassiter

    The marked up Senate authorization bill included 2016 as a goal for development of the entire SLS, including HLV. The pre-markup version only put the 2016 goal on the MPCV.

    With that edit, the Appropriations committee can now throw real money at an HLV, and Senator Shelby has just announced that, I gather. Somewhat strangely, his ratonale on this seems to have been delivering stuff to ISS, which is hardly something that requires an HLV.

  • House version is a bad investment of America’s space dollar!

    Solid Rocket Boosters are not throttle-able and therefore should not be a part of the future of America’s Space program. ATK wants to be relevant they need to evolve, there is an undertone of surprise coming from their management everytime they get additional funding.

    Senate version plus another $1B a year for commercial is what needs to come out of this process.

    NASA = $20B for 3 years

  • GaryChurch

    Sidemount is on the way. Someone figured out that SpaceX does not know what they don’t know. Escape system, parachutes, life support, navigation; Orion is way ahead and the shuttle hardware is man-rated. New Space will be old failed companies before they can catch up.

  • GaryChurch

    “Solid Rocket Boosters are not throttle-able and therefore should not be a part of the future of America’s Space program.”

    SRB’s, even the anemic segmented railed in from Utah flavor, put out tremendous power with no moving parts. They are the best first stage propellant system available. They have worked a couple hundred times and they will continue to work. If you want to blow money reinventing the F-1 Saturn V engine in a cheaper smaller less powerful package, you will be wasting alot of tax dollars when we have what works right now. Not perfect, but it is not a perfect world.

  • GaryChurch

    “his ratonale on this seems to have been delivering stuff to ISS, which is hardly something that requires an HLV.”

    Unless there is some secret plan to mount an unobtanium powered VASIMIR on the keel and fly it around the moon.

  • MrEarl

    @DCSCA wrote: “Commercial space is a luxury, not a necessity.”
    That is the one place where you and I disagree. Commercial space IS a necessity for us to explore space. Access to the ISS and LEO should be turned over to commercial as soon as possible and government should help bring that along with loan guarantees and contracts for services. But right now there is no commercial capability so a program to develop a new craft that can also be used for LEO access only as a hedge for commercial is prudent.
    NASA’s place is exploration with the noon being the next logical step. There is so much to lean there about exploring the solar system. Once a base is established commercial should be right there to provide crew and cargo services just like they will do to the ISS.

  • Major Tom

    “Precisely. Go to the capital markets and pitch the product, not the government for subsidies.”

    No one is asking for government subsidies, beside the House authorizers in the form of loan guarantees.

    Industry is asking the government to pay costs associated with developing a capability the government needs and plans to use. No different from a comsat builder asking a comsat operator to pay the costs of developing a new comsat bus. Even Griffin indicated that he understood this in various speeches.

    Don’t make stuff up.

    “Commercial space is a luxury, not a necessity.”

    Human space flight, period, is a luxury. It’s just a question of whether the civil program is done efficiently and effectively (or not).

    FWIW…

  • Robert G. Oler

    Major Tom wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Human space flight, period, is a luxury.

    this is of course the problem. Since Apollo 11 nothing that has been done in human spaceflight has generated a reason for human spaceflight to exist.

    Robert G. Oler

  • GaryChurch

    Oler and Tom are both “making stuff up.” The reason for human spaceflight is obvious to anyone who interested in preserving the human race- the general welfare. That we spent over a trillion dollars this year on weapons when even one percent of that would have funded NASA to the level it requires- is telling. The hypocrites will wail and gnash there teeth against wasteful spending as long as it benefits their business plan.

  • John Malkin

    Major Tom wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Human space flight, period, is a luxury.

    I agree but I think because it hasn’t been given the right opportunities to shine. I feel robotic mission are successful because they are fully funded for the most part. Shuttle and ISS have been successful since they have been funded at near required levels since the 90s. I predict that if we fully fund a smart HSF program, it will benefit America in the long run. Another reason the robotic missions are so successful is because they are focus on bit size goals. The robotic missions have been flexible even changing while in flight. HSF given the same opportunities would be as successful, if not more. I would bet on it.

  • Doug Lassiter

    “The reason for human spaceflight is obvious to anyone who interested in preserving the human race- the general welfare. ”

    Judging from the international commitment to human space flight, one could say there isn’t that much interest in doing such preservation. But, of course, of the many ways to ensure preservation of the human race, human space flight may not be considered the most important one right now.

  • MrEarl

    It’s foolish to judge worth by the amount of money a person or an entity will assign it.

  • Dennis Berube

    I have always said, even back in the days of Apollo, let NASA go after the Suns evergy. This would give it a direction which could allow us a limitless source of future power. A giant array at L5 or one of these points, could supply the world with enough energy to fill our growing needs.

  • That we spent over a trillion dollars this year on weapons

    We didn’t spend anything close to a trillion dollars this year on weapons. We didn’t spend a tenth of that. Apparently you’re as profoundly ignorant of the federal budget as you are about everything else.

    Between Church, DCSCA, abreakingwind, and others, the level of stupid/ignorant in these comments sections has been overwhelming for the past few months. Reading them actually lowers the IQ.

  • richardb

    Its is apparent that Congress determined early on that Ospace was a disaster. Backers for Ospace never understood that.

    It’s time to ask the backers of Ospace how they could have embraced such a flawed policy. It had little rigor in its arguments.
    It was developed by people, in secret, unassociated with stake holders in industry, Congress and the states involved in the current programs.
    It was politically stupid to suggest to Congress that thousands should be laid off starting in an election year when Democrats already faced tough economic problems. It also flushed away many billions in programs overwhelming approved by prior bi-partisan votes. That alone was a killer as it insulted Senators and members of Congress who approved of the spending in prior years. Just lousy politics by Obama, Bolden, Garvin and the entire team and now Congress is humiliating the Administration day by day with its rejections.

    Now President Obama is washing his hands of Ospace just as quickly as he can leaving the zealots of Ospace to pick up his hand towel.

  • Alex

    “Between Church, DCSCA, abreakingwind, and others, the level of stupid/ignorant in these comments sections has been overwhelming for the past few months. Reading them actually lowers the IQ.”

    Yeah, is there anyway Major Tom, Rand, Cowing and that Jim guy from NasaSpaceFlight can all do a space blog together?

    That would be grand.

  • byeman

    Ignore the actual words in the URL, but this site may be of use and some humor too.

    http://gaetanomarano.blogspot.com/2010/07/start-of-roster.html

    It is not the work gaetano marano

  • amightywind

    “Human space flight, period, is a luxury. It’s just a question of whether the civil program is done efficiently and effectively (or not).”

    Major Tom’s Homo Habilis ancestor once grunted, “Fire is a luxury”, and encouraged his friends to shiver instead.

  • Major Tom

    “The reason for human spaceflight is obvious to anyone who interested in preserving the human race- the general welfare.”

    If by “preserving the human race” you mean settlement/colonization of space, that won’t help preserve our specific species (homo sapiens). For actual settlement — individuals living out their lifetimes and reproducing beyond Earth’s biosphere — we’ll have to make changes to our genomes and bodies that will actually or effectively create new species. We may diversify homo sapiens through space settlement (e.g., homo stellaris, homo marsis, etc.) but we won’t preserve the species. (A species of jungle apes isn’t preserved by moving them to the arctic. A species of jungle apes is preserved by preserving their jungle environment. Same goes for homo sapiens and the Earth’s biosphere.)

    If by “preserving the human race”, you mean using space activities as a means of international cooperation or non-violent competition (war by other means), then human space flight has arguably played a minor role — witness ISS and Apollo. But whether the foreign policy benefits were worth the ~$100 billion cost for each of those two projects is arguable. There were/are more efficient or effective means of achieving the same goals.

    It may someday, but human space flight/exploration has yet to play a role in the preservation of our species, and it’s very unclear that it ever will. Don’t confuse notions of manifest destiny with survival of the species. They’re two separate things.

    FWIW…

  • Spaceboy

      Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 11:02 am

    “hmmm
    Boeing Dream liner on schedule?

    Lockmart F-35 on schedule?
    …….
    should I go on?
    Robert G. Oler”

    hmmm

    Falcon 9 on schedule?

    Taurus on schedule?

    Bigelow’s 800 different plans over the past 6 years for various orbiting labs in space by now on schedule?

    Just sayin…. should I go on?
    Can’t keep attacking one side when the other side is guilty of the same “sins”.

    And btw, why is F-35 so far behind schedule? Because the customer kept changing the requirements.

  • byeman

    ““The reason for human spaceflight is obvious to anyone who interested in preserving the human race- the general welfare.””

    That is not a task for NASA. NASA’s job is to support the USA. Let other NGO’s worry about saving the human race. NASA’s tasking is limited to keeping the USA a viable nation. Colonization and settlements in space do nothing for the USA, just like most, they will require constant support from the home nation and once they become self sufficient, they will want to become self determinate.

  • GaryChurch

    “We didn’t spend anything close to a trillion dollars this year on weapons. We didn’t spend a tenth of that. Apparently you’re as profoundly ignorant of the federal budget as you are about everything else.”

    Well, I call defense spending- weapons. I would rather have people building spaceships than stealth fighters.

    From Wiki:

    For the 2010 fiscal year, the president’s base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on “overseas contingency operations” brings the sum to $663.8 billion.[1][2]

    When the budget was signed into law on October 28, 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense’s budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested.[3][4] An additional $33 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate.[5][6] Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $216 billion and $361 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $880 billion and $1.03 trillion in fiscal year 2010.[7]

  • GaryChurch

    “That is not a task for NASA. NASA’s job is to support the USA. Let other NGO’s worry about saving the human race. NASA’s tasking is limited to keeping the USA a viable nation.”

    It is your space agency, it is not your SpaceX- so you have your right to an opinion on this. But your space agency is worried about saving the human race or they would not be researching planetary defense. The USA is part of the human race by the way- even if you do not want to be.

  • Major Tom

    “I agree but I think because it hasn’t been given the right opportunities to shine.”

    I agree that civil human space flight could be successful, if focused on a good, useful, and achievable set of goals and given the flexibility and mandate to pursue those goals in an efficient and effective way. Apollo did this.

    “I feel robotic mission are successful because they are fully funded for the most part.”

    Adequate resources is only part of what’s needed. See above.

    “Shuttle and ISS have been successful since they have been funded at near required levels since the 90s.”

    Shuttle has not been successful, not by a long shot, based either on the goals laid out when the program started or on any external set of criteria associated with affordability and utility. The program has completed many successful flights and missions, but those flights have fallen orders of magnitude short of their goals for cost and frequency, and it’s hard to point to any product or set of products from the missions that has been worth the tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars expended on the program.

    It’s too early to judge ISS success or failure — it’s been successfully assembled (or almost so) and the real research phase is still in its infancy. But the space station program has again been an order of magnitude more expensive and decades late from the goals set when the program began. And again, it’s hard to see what product that’s going to come out of the program that could be worth its $100 billion pricetag, especially when it’s so underutilized.

    “I predict that if we fully fund a smart HSF program, it will benefit America in the long run.”

    Agreed. Part of the problem with the Space Shuttle and space station programs is that they were poorly formulated. The resources and timeline did not match the requirements and available technology (and vice-versa).

    But part of the problem was poor management choices, either imposed on NASA and taken by NASA managers, in an attempt to preserve an enormous Apollo infrastructure and workforce instead of making the hard decisions that were intelligent, efficient, competitive, and utilitarian for the goals of those programs.

    “HSF given the same opportunities would be as successful, if not more. I would bet on it.”

    I agree, but NASA also has to manage smartly.

    FWIW…

  • GaryChurch

    “But, of course, of the many ways to ensure preservation of the human race, human space flight may not be considered the most important one right now.”

    Some do consider it important- some do not. Some people just hate the government and want to make a buck and see “new space” as self-gratification. Do not confuse that with self-preservation.

  • Major Tom

    “Falcon 9 on schedule?

    Taurus on schedule?

    Bigelow’s 800 different plans over the past 6 years for various orbiting labs in space by now on schedule?

    Just sayin…. should I go on?
    Can’t keep attacking one side when the other side is guilty of the same ‘sins’.”

    They’re not guilty of the same sins. Falcon 9, for example, may have come in a couple years late based on the original SpaceX schedule, but Ares I is still at least five, most likely seven, years behind schedule. No one was relying on Falcon 9 to fill the gap; everyone was relying on Ares I. Taxpayers will spend $278 million (with an “m”) on the Space X COTS contract when it’s done and they’ve already gotten an orbital flight, while Ares I has already soaked up nearly 10 billion (with a “b”) taxpayer dollars with no orbital flight in sight.

    It’s like comparing running ten minutes late for a date because you were stealing a piece of candy, versus not showing up at your wedding a week late because you were committing grand theft auto.

    It’s not the same sin at all.

    As for Taurus, do you have any evidence of them running behind schedule?

    And Bigelow has never been under federal contract. What claim do you have as a taxpayer on that company’s schedule?

    Don’t make things up.

  • Major Tom

    “Major Tom’s Homo Habilis ancestor once grunted, “Fire is a luxury”, and encouraged his friends to shiver instead.”

    Heat is not a luxury for the human body. We’re warm-blooded mammals. Duh…

    Name one thing that any civil human space flight program around the world has developed that’s now critical to human survival in the way that heat (or food, shelter, etc.) is.

    Don’t make stupid statements out of ignorance.

  • Major Tom

    “Yeah, is there anyway Major Tom, Rand, Cowing and that Jim guy from NasaSpaceFlight can all do a space blog together?”

    It’s been proposed and discussed between some of us before, but speaking for myself, I’m more comfortable commenting when I can rather than having a daily or weekly blog commitment, given my day job responsibilities. It’s easier to participate in a discussion part-time than write an useful article or comment out of whole cloth on a regular schedule.

    “That would be grand.”

    Or it could be a grand disaster.

    FWIW…

  • Major Tom

    Sigh…

    “Trends From Futron Corporation’s Third Annual Space Competitiveness Index: U.S. Edge Erodes, Non-Traditional Players Ascend, and Competition Intensifies”

    “The U.S. remains the clear global leader, but the county’s position has eroded in each of the past three years. The formulation of a new national space policy is a step in the right direction, but as Futron CEO Joe Fuller notes, ‘To retain its leadership position, the U.S. must leverage its secret space weapon—American industry—and align it with strategy, policy, and budget.’”

    futron.com/1254.xml?id=1022

    FWIW…

  • Spaceboy

      Major Tom wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    “Taxpayers will spend $278 million (with an “m”) on the Space X COTS contract when it’s done and they’ve already gotten an orbital flight, while Ares I has already soaked up nearly 10 billion (with a “b”) taxpayer dollars with no orbital flight in sight.”

    Sorry, Ares I has not spent 10 billion dollars with a B. Constellation has spent 10 billion dollars with a B. That includes Ares I, Orion, Ground Operations Project, Mission Operations Project, EVA Project, CTN and the money that has been spent (although not as much) on Altair, Ares V and Lunar Surface Systems and not to forget the much maligned Ares I-X. I’ll give you Constellation has spent 10B and is years from an orbital vehicle, but you said Ares I, and that is ignoring how vast the program is and where the money is going.

    “As for Taurus, do you have any evidence of them running behind schedule?”

    Pretty easy, the terms of the COTS contract were that all Demo flights would be complete by sept. 30 2010. Orbital has nothing scheduled for this year. demo 1 is showing June 30, 2011. I would say that meets the criteria for being behind schedule. They have at least one more demo after that too. COTS demonstrations were funded through 2010.

    “And Bigelow has never been under federal contract. What claim do you have as a taxpayer on that company’s schedule?
    Don’t make things up.”

    What does being a taxpayer have anything to do with whether or not they are on schedule. Oler brought up schedules, the Boeing Dream Liner certainly has nothing to do with tax payers either. as for what schedules. Google Bigelow and read any one of hundreds of articles over the past 6 years and read the claims about what Bigelow has said he would have in space and when it would be there. Today’s article of choice said by 2016 he would have two orbiting space stations that would house 36 astronauts simultaneously. Yes, I am still rolling on the floor for both the 2016 claim and the 36 crew member claim.

  • Today’s article of choice said by 2016 he would have two orbiting space stations that would house 36 astronauts simultaneously. Yes, I am still rolling on the floor for both the 2016 claim and the 36 crew member claim.

    Why?

    The main thing holding Bigelow back has been lack of a means to get people up there. Once Dragon’s flying, in three or four years at most, that problem goes away.

  • Spaceboy

      Rand Simberg wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Yeah, that and the complete lack of hardware. They were supposed to launch a half scale Sundancer 3 years ago. They never did. They were supposed to launch a whole bunch of things, but they never did. A launcher is not their problem. From what I hear, they are not building anything.

    But let’s say your theory was true. Then SpaceX would have to launch 6 Falcon 9s to crew these two stations, in addition to the rapidly filling manifest they already have on their plate, while also trying launch crews to ISS and, oh yeah, who is delivering all the consumables for 36 humans?

  • Coastal Ron

    Spaceboy wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Google Bigelow and read any one of hundreds of articles over the past 6 years and read the claims about what Bigelow has said he would have in space and when it would be there.

    Until he starts taking money, who cares if he adjusts his schedule to reflect market realities. Remember that he depends on both cargo and crew transportation by other companies for his service to work, so without both, why should he hurry?

    Part of his public pronouncements are to get market demand feedback, and that’s no worse than Microsoft or any other product or service company. It’s one of those “forward looking statements”. I’m sure you don’t believe 100% of what any company says, so you should put on your thinking cap and understand why he can’t start his habitat service yet – no commercial crew.

    I’m not sure if Bigelow will decide to start up the business without two crew transportation options (he has said no previously), but that could change depending on how well SpaceX does with the crew version of Dragon, and the disfunction of the rest of the crew transportation companies.

    For instance, if Boeing decides to not risk any company money on their CST-100, it may never get built. However, if they decide to be serious about the crew market, and self-fund it, then that could inspire Bigelow to finally set a more firm date for service startup. Bigelow needs actual customers first I think, and no one is rushing to leave a deposit until the crew part is more clear.

  • Then SpaceX would have to launch 6 Falcon 9s to crew these two stations

    Over a couple years, three flights per year.

    …in addition to the rapidly filling manifest they already have on their plate, while also trying launch crews to ISS

    Why do you imagine that SpaceX has not sized their manufacturing and launch facilities for a high flight rate?

    and, oh yeah, who is delivering all the consumables for 36 humans?

    If you don’t recycle (which would be stupid), that’s probably half a million pounds a year. ULA would be happy to launch six flights a year.

  • Major Tom

    “Sorry, Ares I has not spent 10 billion dollars with a B.”

    Practically speaking — within the coming months — she will. If you include the relevant ground systems and program integration costs (not just the cost of developing the flight article itself), Ares I blows the $10 billion mark sometime next calendar year:

    FY 2006 $ 384.2M
    FY 2007 $ 916.1M
    FY 2008 $1,835.2M
    FY 2009 $1,712.9M
    FY 2010 $2,507.9M (includes stimulus bill spending)
    FY 2011 $3,567.2M

    Total $10,923.5M

    It’s noteworthy to point out that Falcon 9 and Dragon’s cargo variant will cost the U.S. taxpayer $100+ million less than what NASA spent on Ares I in its first year alone.

    “Pretty easy, the terms of the COTS contract were that all Demo flights would be complete by sept. 30 2010. Orbital has nothing scheduled for this year. demo 1 is showing June 30, 2011.”

    And you think being less than a year behind schedule on a project costing U.S. taxpayers something less than $200 million is a sin on par with 5-7 years of schedule slippage on a project that will cost taxpayers something in $35-50 billion range?

    “What does being a taxpayer have anything to do with whether or not they are on schedule.”

    Nothing. The issue is not whether you are a U.S. taxpayer. The issue is whether Bigelow is under federal contract receiving taxpayer dollars. It’s not. If some bazillionaire wants to waste his fortune, until his company starts receiving your tax dollars, that’s his business, not yours. Once that company is on the federal clock, then that bazillionaire has an obligation to stop wasting your money and time. But not until.

    FWIW…

  • Jim Hillhouse

    SpaceX was 2 years behind schedule on it’s Air Force contract for Falcon 1. So far behind in fact that Orbital launched the follow-on sat to the one that SpaceX was to have launched…before SpaceX was ready.

    Roll forward and here we are again, with SpaceX…again, 2 years behind for Falcon 9 validation launches to fulfill the terms of it’s COTS contract with NASA.

    At least Boeing and LockMart don’t habitually over-promise and under-deliver on their launch contracts. And SpaceX’s habitual tardiness is just the sort of behavior that will get those loan guarantees revoked, as should be the case.

    But after reading Shelby’s comments today, I think that if the so-called commercial launchers get anything, the loan guarantees are the best they can hope for. But then, we are talking about commercial launchers, so is that so bad?

  • common sense

    @ Jim Hillhouse wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    “At least Boeing and LockMart don’t habitually over-promise and under-deliver on their launch contracts. ”

    Ah!!! Very funny! And you know that because?…

  • Ferris Valyn

    At least Boeing and LockMart don’t habitually over-promise and under-deliver on their launch contracts.

    As opposed to some NASA centers, that never met a cost overrun or schedule extention they didn’t like

  • Bennett

    I’m trying to figure out why anyone who wants to see advances in HSF would be so down on SpaceX?

    And what is Shelby’s gripe? Is it as simple as “My constituents don’t need any competition!”

    Jeez, get a sack.

  • NASA Fan

    When the Senate comprise bill reaches the president’s desk (after all the interim political shenanigans take place), and folks realize there is yet again not enough money for NASA to carry out the comprise plan, it will be time for Obama to call for an Augustine Committee on Steroids.

  • Ferris Valyn

    NASA fan – it’ll never reach the White House. There will be a CR/Omnibus, of some kind.

    But anyone who thinks there is going to be an Authorization act – your smoking something

  • Major Tom

    “2 years behind for Falcon 9 validation launches to fulfill the terms of it’s COTS contract with NASA.”

    Any idiot would take a two-year delay over the five- to seven-year delay on Ares I/Orion.

    Duh…

    “But after reading Shelby’s comments today, I think that if the so-called commercial launchers get anything, the loan guarantees are the best they can hope for.”

    You think wrong. The Senate appropriators passed a bill today with $562 million in direct funding for commercial crew and cargo. No loan guarantees.

    Don’t make stupid statements out of ignorance.

  • DCSCA

    Alex wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 4:20 pm <- Don't be so hard on yourself, Alex.

  • DCSCA

    The Senate appropriators passed a bill today with $562 million in direct funding for commercial crew and cargo. <- You mean China.

  • Major Tom

    “You mean China.”

    No, I don’t.

  • Rhyolite

    Jim Hillhouse wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    “At least Boeing and LockMart don’t habitually over-promise and under-deliver on their launch contracts.”

    In 1998, when the initial EELV contracts were awarded, the heavy lift version was supposed to be fully operational in 2005. The first operational Delta IV Heavy flew in 2007, two years late, due to a partial failure on the first test flight and a mishap that damaged the launch pad. That’s just as late as Falcon 1 and the payload was a lot more important from a national security stand point.

    The Delta IV medium also became operation a year late.

    I suggest you refrain from commenting on things you don’t know about or at least do some research.

  • I suggest you refrain from commenting on things you don’t know about or at least do some research.

    You ask too much from him and other pork-seeking trolls.

  • Spaceboy

    Rhyolite wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    “The Delta IV medium also became operation a year late.

    I suggest you refrain from commenting on things you don’t know about or at least do some research.”

    And we wont even go into the Delta III. The only point I have ever tried to make about people being late or schedules slipping is that it proves that this job aint easy. Its not only NASA and Boeing and Lockheed that have schedule delays, it is everybody who has ever tried to launch a rocket.

    Major Tom – the so-called 5 to 7 year delay on Orion-Ares is not real at this point and it seems to grow every day I read about it. It is a hypothetical delay or slip at this point, whereas the SpaceX delay is a real delay at this point. You cannot say that Orion/Ares has a 5 to 7 year schedule slippage until 2019-2021. To suggest otherwise implies you have a time machine or are a psychic. Right now you can speculate all you want. Of course it wont matter anyway because Ares I wont survive. Right now I would say Orion will be ready for its inaugural launch in 2014 (ISS block/ at least uncrewed 1st mission), provided the funding is there. The only question is whether or not there will be something to launch it on. Technically that would be a 1 year delay from when LM originally sigI think Ares first stage would make 2015. Upper Stage is a whole different ball game. However, I really dont see Ares I surviving so it’s a moot point. The question becomes what can be ready to launch an Orion by 2014/2015?

    P.S. Major Tom – I actually agree with most of what you said above about Bigelow, just didnt get around to responding. What you said makes sense, in terms of the financial standpoint, needing to find investors and customers and not needing to build the modules long before you have a need for them. The things that worry me about Bigelow are 1) that they were supposed to launch a few more test modules before they went to their actual station and 2) i know a bunch of people who used to work for him and everything I hear is that there is really nothing going on their right now.

  • Shelby is arguing against his constituents. The reduced CCDev money means that Atlas/Delta may never fly crew. Ever. The new rocket is likely to be JUPITER class so it will not be using MSFC engine R&D, certainly not RP-1. Shelby is a disgrace of a senator, his state was going to benefit the most out of this. Hopefully after this election cycle, if the Administration fares well, they can fix the major screw up that the current appropriations committees have created.

  • The Watcher

    ““Sorry, Ares I has not spent 10 billion dollars with a B.”

    Practically speaking — within the coming months — she will.”

    Major Tom, you do know Ares was the Greek God is war,not the Goddess of War? Or were you referring to the program as “she”?

    Sometimes I wonder about your posts. They remind me how perceptive Mark Twain was.

  • Bennett

    …how perceptive Mark Twain was.

    Letters From Earth

  • Spaceboy

    P.S. – I realllly want to point out for people, because they seem to take any criticism of SpaceX as an attack on SpaceX or New Space or Commercial, or a personal attack.

    So I will say again, I have tons of respect for SpaceX. I think what they have accomplished over the past several years has been amazing. I watched every Falcon I launch video feed live because what they were doing was so exciting to me and when those first three launch attempts went, most people looked at me like I was crazy. They were like Falcon? SpaceX? What are you talking about? Most people didnt notice Falcon until the 5th launch. Yes they are delayed a little, but that is the nature of the beast in a complex engineering project. I never doubted they woould succeed and I do not doubt they will succeed with crew. (I just think it will take longer than people think). I dont think it is a huge deal that they are delayed, I just like to point out they are delayed when other people keep pointing out Orion or Ares is late, which at this point isnt true, since we are several years from planned IOC.

    Same goes for Orbital and Masten and Scaled Composites, SpaceDev and several of the other companies, I have tremendous respect for them too and what they have accomplished or are trying to accomplish. (please do not be offended if I left out your favorite company, not trying to create a comprehensive list) I think they have enormous potential. I also think a lot of the companies will fail. Once again, it is the nature of the beast. Not necessarily because of anything wrong with their design, but because of costs and competition, and a thousand other things. Rocketplane (Kistler) filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago, if I am not mistaken that statement should be followed with an “again”. Beall Aerospace had a lot of money in the 90s and failed along the way. The road is littered with casualties and there will be more.

    But while I have a ton of respect for these companies, I also do not understand the complete derision, scorn and condescension towards NASA, Boeing, Lockheed and any other big companies. As if NASA and the Aerospace giants have done nothing for us in terms of space and avaiation? Bloated budgets or not, they have accomplished so many remarkable things. If you are not aware of those things than really you should not be reading a blog called “Space Politics” because it means you know nothing about space or aviation. I am not going to list them for you. People act like NASA and the Aero Giants have never accomplished anything ever or even lately and to that I say rubbish.

    I am all for commercial getting more involved and I want commercial to succeed, the sooner the better, to take over LEO, because I want NASA to concentrate on and foot the bill for exploration BEO.

    Finally, to me the political argument is moot, I dont know why it rages on endlessly. (By the political argument I dont mean the Republicans and Democrats in congress fighting over aspects of the bills, I mean the political mudslinging on here) I couldnt care if it is Obama or Bush, Republican or Democrat. To me it is all about exploration and human space flight. I think the best way to accomplish that is through a combination of NASA and commercial.

    Bottom line, if this forum is any indication, I understand why we cant get anybody to support human spaceflight and exploration.

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Hi Spaceboy.

    Yes NASA has done wonderful things and continues to do so but not in the HSF arena unfortunately. They along with their contractors have squandered (for whatever reasons and there are many) the opportunities afforded them by the billions of dollars they have had available since the end of Apollo. They are now simply a jobs program and will remain so since it appears that there is little political will to change this. All companies in private commerce either change over time or they die. This is unfortunately not true of NASA HSF which has perpetuated myths such as space is expensive, astronauts are heros, we are the experts, etc, etc.

    Constellation and it’s assorted programs effectively swallowed all available funds in the HSF area and will continue to do so until someone closes it down. There won’t be any money to do any BEO projects or R&D until someone does.

    Given their track record, I would have to say that I think it’s highly unlikely that NASA is capable of undertaking and delivering on an HSF program of any sort let alone a BEO program.

    It seems the Russians have similar views having scoffed at the latest proposals regarding HLV, asteroid missions, and so on.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Spaceboy wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 12:21 am

    But while I have a ton of respect for these companies, I also do not understand the complete derision, scorn and condescension towards NASA, Boeing, Lockheed and any other big companies. ..

    mine is toward NASA…and the reason is this. Whatever money it has taken so far to get to a commercial launch provider, even if you total up all the failures in the last 20 years…it doesnt hold a candle to the dollars spent on all the failures NASA has had trying to replace the shuttle …much less the billions that have gone to the programs that actually fly.

    Robert G. Oler

  • DCSCA

    Major Tom wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 9:12 pm Re China: “No, I don’t.”

    It’s discretionary spending, Tommy. You’re being disingenuous or just selfish.

    “The nation’s total federal debt next year is expected to exceed $14 trillion — about $47,000 for every U.S. resident. This debt is like a cancer,” [Erskine] Bowles said in a sober presentation nonetheless lightened by humorous asides between him and Simpson. “It is truly going to destroy the country from within.”

    [Alan] Simpson said the entirety of the nation’s current discretionary spending is consumed by the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs.

    “The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans, the whole rest of the discretionary budget, is being financed by China and other countries,” said Simpson. China alone currently holds $920 billion in U.S. IOUs.”

    FYI, Tommy, “discretionary spending” in the form of government subsidies for private sector “commerical space” ventures falls under ‘you name it.’ Maybe you think Luxembourg instead of China will pay for it. There is no reason why advocates for ‘commercial space’ cannot access capital markets in the private sector for financing and avoid becoming an added burden to the national debt today. It’s the patriotic, Yankee Doodle Dandy thing to do, Tommy.

    source, http://www.prosperityagenda.us/node/4445

  • Coastal Ron

    Spaceboy wrote @ July 21st, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    i know a bunch of people who used to work for him [Bigelow] and everything I hear is that there is really nothing going on their right now.

    FWIW, they are expanding their factory in Las Vegas (see pics on their website), so they appear to be getting ready for doing something. Other than the factory, they could be running at a low burn rate, especially if they have already done enough development for now. If commercial crew is not available for at least 3 years, they may not need to rush on the development.

    Also, Bigelow has already spent $180M out of $500M he says he can commit to the company, and he still needs to finish and outfit his factory, build human-rated habitats (who certifies?), pay for a at least one launcher, and survive for at least 3-5 years without customer payments. Unless he gets outside investment, or a couple of sizable customer deposits, he better watch his cash – $320M in the space business can be eaten up pretty fast.

  • Robert G. Oler

    DCSCA wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:13 am

    [Alan] Simpson said the entirety of the nation’s current discretionary spending is consumed by the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs…

    Senator Simpson did not say that because it is not accurate and he (Simpson) knows far more about the budget then you od.

    The programs mentioned above consume all the tax dollars in a single year…

    And that is a purely arbitrary assignment…ie since the government is deficit spending and taxes are not allocated by taxpayers (or the Congress) to programs specifically and then the rest of the programs are marked for deficit borrowing…then one could take any number of programs one wished that added up to tax revenues and say that the rest is deficit spending.

    The term “discretionary” spending is used by all people who speak washington lingo to describe non entitlement spending; ie spending which is not done by “title” and is more or less on automatic pilot. Hence NASA spending is a “discretionary” amount because what is allocated to it; is purely at the whim of the Administration ratified by Congress (or by Congress alone if it choses)…

    Social Security has nothing discretionary about it. The number is not fixed, it is dependent on who is “drawing”

    learn some terms.

    Robert G. Oler

  • DCSCA

    Beancounter from Downunder wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:05 am <- G'day, fella. See the 1:13 AM post. We're broke. So will Aussies pay to fund America's commerical space program and NASA too? Just askin'. ;-)

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:21 am Yes, he did. But you go on believing he didn’t Go to the source quoted, Waldo.

  • DCSCA

    learn some terms. <- learn to source.

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:21 am <- inaccurate as usual.
    Go to the source referenced:

    http://www.prosperityagenda.us/node/4445

    The quotes posted are from that piece there, astroturfer.

  • DCSCA

    @RobertGOler: <– For the benefit of the astroturfer:

    http://www.prosperityagenda.us/node/4445

    Deficit Commission Starts the Drum Beat for Budget Cuts
    Jul 16, 2010 — KZeese
    Debt commission leaders paint gloomy picture

    By GLEN JOHNSON
    Associated Press

    BOSTON – The heads of President Barack Obama's national debt commission painted a gloomy picture Sunday as the United States struggles to get its spending under control.

    Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles told a meeting of the National Governors Association that everything needs to be considered — including curtailing popular tax breaks, such as the home mortgage deduction, and instituting a financial trigger mechanism for gaining Medicare coverage.

    The nation's total federal debt next year is expected to exceed $14 trillion — about $47,000 for every U.S. resident.

    "This debt is like a cancer," Bowles said in a sober presentation nonetheless lightened by humorous asides between him and Simpson. "It is truly going to destroy the country from within."

    Simpson said the entirety of the nation's current discretionary spending is consumed by the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs.

    "The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans, the whole rest of the discretionary budget, is being financed by China and other countries," said Simpson. China alone currently holds $920 billion in U.S. IOUs.

    Bowles said if the U.S. makes no changes it will be spending $2 trillion by 2020 just for interest on the national debt.

    "Just think about that: All that money, going somewhere else, to create jobs and opportunity somewhere else," he said.

    Simpson, the former Republican senator from Wyoming, and Bowles, the former White House chief of staff under Democratic President Bill Clinton, head an 18-member commission. It's charged with coming up with a plan by Dec. 1 to reduce the government's annual deficits to 3 percent of the national economy by 2015.

    Bowles led successful 1997 talks with Republicans on a balanced budget bill that produced government surpluses the last three years Clinton was in office and the first year of Republican George W. Bush's presidency. Simpson, as the Senate's GOP whip in 1990, helped round up votes for a budget bill in which President George H.W. Bush broke his "read my lips" pledge not to raise taxes.

    Despite their backgrounds, both Simpson and Bowles said they were not 100 percent confident of success this time around.

    Simpson labeled the commission members "good people of deep, deep difference, knowing the possibility of the odds of success are rather harrowing to say the least."

    Bowles also said Congress had to be ready to accept the commission's findings.

    "What we do is not so hard to figure out; it's the political consequences of doing it that makes it really tough," he said.

    Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe was one of those leaders who sat in rapt attention during the presentation, one of the first in public by the commission leaders.

    "I don't know that I ever heard a gloomier picture painted that created more hope for me," said Beebe, commending its frankness.

    Source: AP"

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Sorry, most Aussies aren’t interested in HSF – too busy worrying about the next federal election and their own pockets – sound familiar?
    Only a few following NASA’s exploits. I thought our political processes sucked but they don’t come close to your’s. It’s going to take some concentrated study to understand how it all works and even then I doubt I’ll get it. I suspect not many US citizens understand it all either.

    Cheers.

  • I don’t know why my fellow countrymen feel the need to announce their citizenship. Yes, you’re from Australia, me too, congratulations.

  • Dennis Berube

    You know the way our government handles money, even if the debt were wiped clean, how long do you think it would be before we had another right on the tail of the first. They owe Social Security, China, who knows who or what else. To many hands in the cookie jar. with a clean slate, at once some would say, well we need extra money for this or that, even giving themselves more big raises. Poooooooh Poooooooh. As long as lying politicians are at the helm, this will go on and never end..

  • Dennis Berube

    I though Bigelow had those million dollar people lining up at the doors?

  • The latest from Florida Today:

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100722/NEWS02/7220320/Differing-views-for-NASA-advance

    Check out the quotes from Senator Shelby. What a loon. Sounds like he’s been reading the posts from the lunatics on this site.

  • amightywind

    The deficit commission is Obama’s cynical fig leaf for raising taxes. It is his bid to lock in the explosive growth of government that have marked his first 2 years in office. Much will be said of the commissions call for budget cuts, but the real goal is higher taxes. It won’t work. The commission is composed of a majority of democrats with a smattering of RINO’s (Alan Simpson) and few real conservatives (Paul Ryan is one). The GOP is about to take over both houses of congress, so the decisions of the commission will not reflect the new majority. Therefore its results will be ignored. The Tea Party is about to turn Obama into a fiscal conservative. It might actually turn out well for him in 2012, as it did for Klinton in 1996, were it not for his socialist political agenda. One thing is certain. The fiscal nightmare of the last 2 years will be coming to an end in 100 days.

    What will it mean to NASA? Hopefully a return to its traditional role in manned space flight and severe cuts to non-core earth science and life sciences research, and pruning of science missions.

  • Robert G. Oler

    DCSCA wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:26 am

    you are becoming the Briet Brietbart or whatever that fools name is of this forum

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 9:36 am

    The deficit commission is Obama’s cynical fig leaf for raising taxes…

    we are as a superpower with world wide “obligations” paying far to little taxes…they are quite low and to fix this we need to either roll down our “obligations” or raise taxes.

    Bush should have raised taxes to pay for his war. or wars.

    but he lied, they were going to pay for themselves.

    Robert G. Oler

  • John Malkin

    Did I miss something because I didn’t notice any partisan voting on the Senate markup. How is this partisan, really? Does the House authorization bill have a split vote? Weren’t both Republicans and Democrats happy with the Augustine committee selection?

    I’m not saying there is no partisan politics in spaceflight, I’m just saying that in the end both sides agree unlike health care.

  • someguy

    amightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Yup, those socialist Mars rovers should never have been launched. Or the communist Kepler telescope, or the communist Cassini Saturn probe, …

    But the good capitalist shuttle is OK.

  • Coastal Ron

    Dennis Berube wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I though Bigelow had those million dollar people lining up at the doors?

    I don’t know where you heard that, but so far he’s been in marketing mode. This is typical for a company that still has a ways to go, and he also knows that there is no crew transportation option yet, so I doubt anyone would actually lay down money.

    Remember also that he thought the sovereign nation market (governments leasing his stations) was his prime market, and not “tourists”. His announcements so far are probably aimed at the other space agencies around the world, since they are the ones that would actually be using his services.

  • richardb

    OSpace was for zealots, developed without regard to other stake holders interests. Its now dead, as it should be, and time to move on as quickly as possible.

    There is a lesson here, its amazing that this lesson always needs to be learned by the executive branch every few years.

    What we have been witnessing over the last few months is what happens to an Administration program that is developed in secret and then sprung upon an unsuspecting Congress. When the program gores popular programs near and dear to a Congress, the Administration will inevitably be embarrassed. OSpace’s rejection was the method Congress used to re-teach this lesson.

    What does Nasa do with its chance to abandon Ares I for some other launcher closely aligned with the shuttle stack or heritage Ares I hardware? As an aside, consider the unjust vilification Mike Griffin has endured by many in the space blogsphere. At least he had the political sense to know what Congress would support when he decided shuttle derived was the way forward. His judgment has withstood Presidential cancellation. Contrast his political abilities with Charles Bolden’s. Bolden’s reputation is lying tattered across committee floors and it’s barely 6 months into his time in office.

  • amightywind

    Robert Oler wrote:
    “Bush should have raised taxes to pay for his war. or wars.
    but he lied, they were going to pay for themselves.”

    I agree in this sense. Bush should have levied a 10% tribute on all sales of oil for 25 years to pay for the liberation of Iraq.

    “Yup, those socialist Mars rovers should never have been launched. Or the communist Kepler telescope, or the communist Cassini Saturn probe, …”

    The Mars rovers are fantastic. It is all the more puzzling that they are being followed up by an absurd ‘Battlestar Galactica’, the Mars Science Laboratory. You would have thought that with the spectacular success of Spirit and Opportunity we would have followed them up with an armada of upgraded but similar rovers. Oh, no. The propeller heads were given free reign to build their Plutonium powered monster. We are celebrating the 5 year anniversary of the rovers with no replacement in sight. Heads should roll over MSL.

    Cassini is great, and Kepler, HST, Chandra, New Horizons, Dawn, MRO… but for every Cassini there are several pointless legacy missions like Stardust. NASA operates about 65 science missions, way too much. They should be cut down judiciously. Life sciences and environmental research have no place in NASA. They should be funded by NSF.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Robert Oler wrote:
    “Bush should have raised taxes to pay for his war. or wars.
    but he lied, they were going to pay for themselves.”

    I agree in this sense. Bush should have levied a 10% tribute on all sales of oil for 25 years to pay for the liberation of Iraq.

    “Yup, those socialist Mars rovers should never have been launched. Or the communist Kepler telescope, or the communist Cassini Saturn probe, …”….

    for the record I did not call the Mars Rovers “socialist”.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    richardb wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 11:47 am
    As an aside, consider the unjust vilification Mike Griffin has endured by many in the space blogsphere. ..

    well you can have your viewpoints but they are not well founded.

    Bolden is transforming the agency from a clunky program oriented non performing group into an agency that actually does things which contribute to the economy.

    Ares is dead, and so is shuttle derived. Griffin picked the wrong theories and structure and then managed it badly.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/21boeing/

    On Orbit has a nice video…the future is coming and it wont look like the last 50 years

    Robert G. Oler

  • someguy

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 11:53 am

    for the record I did not call the Mars Rovers “socialist”.

    Robert, I was talking to windy.

  • Rhyolite, Delta IV Medium has been flying since 2003. The Delta IV was held-up a bit because of technical issues after its initial launch in 2004 failed to achieve the proper orbit. But the delay until 2007 for the Delta IV Heavy was also in large part due to a suspension of Boeing by the Air Force over stolen LockMart documents, numbering around 25,000 pages, that Boeing had in its possession. I don’t have the EELV contract in front of me, but I’d be very surprised if it called for a Delta IV Heavy launch much before 2004. If you have a copy of the bullet points, do post, please.

  • Bolden’s reputation is lying tattered across committee floors and it’s barely 6 months into his time in office.

    Bolden has been in office for a year. Idiot.

  • amightywind

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    Ares is dead, and so is shuttle derived.

    Even when House and Senate committees emphatically say the opposite? I would say shuttle-derived sidemount fans currently have the most to be excited about, which is surprising given how much noise Direct proponents were making. Orion or a Boeing equivalent

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1007/21boeing/

    will be built.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    Ares is dead, and so is shuttle derived.

    Even when House and Senate committees emphatically say the opposite..

    because of two reasons…1) they dont say so specifically, the Senate uses weasal words…and 2) the realities of how things are shutting down.

    If they really wanted the vehicle to be shuttle derived, they would have done what was done with the B-1.

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    Robert G. Oler

    May I remind you that you predicted Obamaspace would be implemented with few changes, while I predicted many months ago (for obvious political reasons) that it wouldn’t make it through congress.

    Here is another story about my favorite spacecraft.

    http://www.denverpost.com/business/frontpage/ci_15572415

    This Cadillac is gonna have to get to space some how. All roads come back to Ares I.

    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.rss.spacewire.html?id=1413

  • sc220

    What will it mean to NASA? Hopefully a return to its traditional role in manned space flight and severe cuts to non-core earth science and life sciences research, and pruning of science missions.

    Nope. The fiscal conservatives are going to make an attempt at cutting all items in the federal discretionary budget, of which NASA is a big part. And don’t recite the tired argument about NASA being only a fraction of a percent of the federal budget. When you take out all the entitlement and defense programs, NASA, NSF, etc. are pretty substantial chunks of dough.

    From a Fiscal Patriot standpoint, first prune the low-hanging fruit. This includes NASA, NSF, DOE, Education and many more. That moves you about 10% in the right direction. The irony is that as many Republicans as Democrat will resist this because of the impact to jobs in their districts. The fanatical zeal of the new congress will be necessary to ramrod these measures through, no matter how painful they need to be.

    The sad point is that much more will be necessary. High tech defense programs have to be slashed, in addition to huge cuts in social security and social welfare entitlements. When all is said and done, hundreds of thousands will have to shown the door from their government jobs, in addition to the many tens of thousands who will probably die from loss of government benefits and care.

    We face a draconian future, I’m afraid. But this will be necessary if we are to save our nation. But the most important thing, from the standpoint of this thread, is that NASA will and should be the first to go once the Fiscal Patriots take charge in January.

    Abreakingwind…be careful for what you wish for…the new masters may not be what you were expecting!

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Robert G. Oler

    May I remind you that you predicted Obamaspace would be implemented with few changes, while I predicted many months ago (for obvious political reasons) that it wouldn’t make it through congress…

    and I stand by that prediction…I’ve seen nothing to change it.

    In the end Ares 1 is dead, the Constellation program is toast, and the shuttle will die.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    sc220 wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Nope. The fiscal conservatives are going to make an attempt at cutting all items in the federal discretionary budget, of which NASA is a big part. ..

    That is at least their rhetoric. And it will be entertaining to see if they try, should the Congress swing.

    My prediction at this point is that they are going to have to do some work to get there (IE take control of Congress) as the political winds are not clearly behind the GOP.

    BUT no matter what, what I see happening at some point soon, this years budget probably…is that as it winds through Congress the move is going to be exactly as you describe.

    The trigger for this is going to be 1) the debt commission and 2) the renewal expirationof the so called Bush tax cuts.

    At the end of it, if there is a deficit cutting effort I think you have nailed how it will go

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    From a Fiscal Patriot standpoint, first prune the low-hanging fruit. This includes NASA, NSF, DOE, Education and many more.

    It remains to be seen how the new congress will chop. Clearly the structural problems are Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, Federal pay and pensions. Drop federal payrolls by 15% and everyone is effected.

    the new masters may not be what you were expecting!

    Always a risk, considering the the Tea Party movement is leaderless. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan are on top if anyone is. The risk is that the movement is co-opted TPINOs. But NASA HSF is like the military and apple pie. I don’t think large cuts will be tolerated.

  • MrEarl

    It’s looking like this could turn into a “scorched earth” scenario, nothing gets enough money to stay alive.
    The pure arrogance and/or stupidity of this administration will take this country out of the HFS business, commercial or government, for at least a decade.

  • amightywind

    the political winds are not clearly behind the GOP.

    All polls show that the libs are in big trouble.

    The trigger for this is going to be 1) the debt commission

    The trigger is really the inevitable interest rate spike when the bond market decides to do congress’s work for it. Because the recovery is tepid inflation is low and investors buy the Treasury’s garbage. They have nowhere else to go. That could change in a hurry if the recovery accelerates outside of the US.

    the renewal expiration of the so called Bush tax cuts.

    Even the Bolsheviks in congress understand it is suicide to raise taxes in a weak, jobless recovery. There are already democrat defectors on the issue. You need to separate what you want from what will happen.

  • Robert G. Oler

    mightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    the political winds are not clearly behind the GOP.

    All polls show that the libs are in big trouble….

    they also show no political support for the GOP. Obama is sinking but the lowest approval ratings for an organized political group…go to the GOP. And the GOP has failed in its “special election” doctrine (ie they have lost the seats).

    It doesnt seem as if by the polls that the GOP has captured the American trend on issues…worse for them in my view is that they are being perturbed to the nutty right by the tea party folks.

    They will probably role out some “contract with America” in Sept and that will be entertaining.

    As for taxes. There is no harm on raising taxes to people who have excess descretionary income to spend anyway. It wont change (for instance) Limbaugh’s spending habits one bit if the government takes another bunch of percentage of his income in taxes. He is always talking about what a good American he is.

    Where tax “increases” hurt is on people who have “less margin” for disposable income, and that is not people who have over 250,000 dollars in income.

    The right wing groups are just stupid on this.

    Robert G. Oler

  • common sense

    @MrEarl wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    “The pure arrogance and/or stupidity of this administration will take this country out of the HFS business, commercial or government, for at least a decade.”

    This is unfortunately wrong. The previous WH was in charge of the PoR and their arrogance and stupidity ran the whole HSF show down. You ask for people to not be partisan but this remark is all it is. The facts are and remain that Constellation was out of control in terms of budget and schedule. You can blame this WH all you want it does not change the facts. So if youwant to have a conversation based on reality and get a consensus on some topics I suggest you stay with reality and not wander into partisan fantasy land. Sorry.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    It’s looking like this could turn into a “scorched earth” scenario, nothing gets enough money to stay alive.
    The pure arrogance and/or stupidity of this administration will take this country out of the HFS business, commercial or government, for at least a decade…

    it wont do that.

    Commercial space will in fact thrive. In the end “government space” is going to be unaffordable….and commercial space not so much.

    Robert G. Oler

  • richardb

    Ahh Simberg is back I see. He always lowers the IQ of this board whenever he posts. Idiot, stupid are the words of people like you who have lost too many arguments. What have you been right about on Obama’s space plan? Not a thing. You misread the entire exercise while touting yourself as a space writer. All we’ve really learned from you is you’re ignorant and a sore loser, but loser all the same.

  • they also show no political support for the GOP.

    They show that there is a generic preference for GOP over Democrats, because they’re the only alternative. It’s going to be a wipeout, even if the GOP doesn’t deserve it. Certainly the Democrats did nothing to deserve to win in 2006 and 2008 (though the GOP did plenty to deserve to lose), but with a two-party system, if you want to throw out the incumbents, your only option is to elect the other guy.

    It wont change (for instance) Limbaugh’s spending habits one bit if the government takes another bunch of percentage of his income in taxes.

    No, it will change his investing habits, and the money taken will go to government rat holes instead of productive activity.

    The right wing groups are just stupid on this.

    No, that would be the people who mindless babble about “right wing groups.”

  • He always lowers the IQ of this board whenever he posts.

    Would that I had such power, but it’s not possible in your case.

  • MrEarl

    That comment was not meant to be partisan at all. This has nothing to do with whether the Obama plan is the way to go or not. It has everything to do about the ineptness in which this process was carried out.
    The administration rolls out new direction for NASA, without consulting with congress at all. Even though two previous congresses have supported the Por in the past, and there isn’t a hole lot of turnover so it could be assumed that the PoR would have some support, there is no explanation or clarification of goals. The Republicans go bombastic as expected but the Democrats are caught off guard and ask for clarifications and consultations with the WH. The president and NASA admin and deputy admin come up with some platitudes about trips to asteroids and such that have no substance to them and can’t understand why there is such push back.
    So the House and Senate come up with their own plans for NASA HSF that are quite different from each other. Can both chambers come up with a compromise in time that can be included in a continuing resolution before the congress adjourns for elections? It’s not looking good now. So we most likely have a CU that funds Constellation at “10 levels but have a program that has been half dismantled. R&D gets cut drastically and Commercial HSF gets no funding at all.
    This has left ALL American HSF in limbo.
    I know that makes Oler happy, but for the most part the debate has been who is better to carry out the US post Shuttle human space flight, commercial or government. I can’t see how anyone who is interested in human space flight can say this has not been a HUGE disaster for both sides.

  • amightywind

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    As for taxes. There is no harm on raising taxes to people who have excess descretionary income to spend anyway.

    Rich businessmen with discretionary income support jobs through purchases of caviar, yachts, etc. But more importantly their excess discretionary income supports job creation through investment. Rush Limbaugh’s dollars can either capitalize businesses, or be redistributed by a rapacious government (they take a big cut for those pensions!) and given to an underclass bereft of honor and dignity. We live in a country where 40% of the population pays no taxes at all, so they don’t have a stake in the economy’s success, or access profound joys of the American Dream. I feel bad for such people. The leftists try to make more of them every day.

  • MrEarl

    Wrong again Oler just like you have been throughout this whole debacle.

    Even commercial space needs government spending before they go any further with development. Both SpaceX and Boeing have made that very clear.

  • amightywind

    Rand Simberg wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    No, it will change his investing habits, and the money taken will go to government rat holes instead of productive activity.

    There is hope for you! You can think more than 1 step ahead.

  • common sense

    @ MrEarl wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    “This has nothing to do with whether the Obama plan is the way to go or not. It has everything to do about the ineptness in which this process was carried out.”

    This is possible but not hat you initially said. Yet, the PoR is what is bringing the house down. It is the root of this abominable failure. This WH may have been wrong in their approach to providing a solution but the solution they provided is the only one, barring any crazy ingestion of cash into NASA that will not happen any way.

    You are mixing up stuff. The way they went about it which I personally think was just fine and what they proposed.

    This has become a ludicrous “partisan” warfare that is just a distraction from the actual issues of HSF, e.g. Hillhouse comments on Boeing/LMT never being late! Ask them and I am sure they’ll tell you it’s ludicrous. But what should we expect? Look I am no fan of what some of Rand’s ideas are, I don’t think I agree 100% with Robert. BUT: We get to agree on the fact this plan is the right plan. We agree because we (not sure about Robert but it seems he was somewhat in this too) worked HSF. We’ve seen the waste and the ideology driven solutions. Not engineering solutions. Solutions provided by Committee such as this new “compromise” bill trying to enforce an HLV design with no requirements! Come on! Have you worked in aerospace? The lack of requirements will kill this program as surely as Ares died. It is only about throwing cash and hoping that they make it work.

    “The administration rolls out new direction for NASA, without consulting with congress at all.”

    This is not true and you know it. See at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/hsf/related_documents/index.html the following:

    Congressional Statements
    - Representative Olson Statement to Committee (6-17-09) (pdf, 72k)
    - Senator Vitter Statement to Committee (6-17-09) (pdf, 16k)
    - Representative Gordon Statement to Committee (6-17-09) (pdf, 424k)
    - Representative Hall Statement to Committee (6-17-09) (pdf, 16k)
    - Senator Hutchison Statement to Committee (6-17-09) (pdf, 14k)
    - Representative Meek Statement to the Committee (7-30-09) (pdf, 31k)
    - Representative Posey Statement to the Committee (7-30-09) (pdf, 18k)
    - Representative Kosmas Statement to the Committee (7-30-09) (pdf, 28k)
    - Senator Martinez Statement to the Committee (7-30-09) (pdf, 48k)
    - Senator Shelby Statement to the Committee (7-30-09) (pdf, 2MB)
    - Representative Kucinich Statement to the Committee (08-04-09) (pdf, 140k)
    - Senator Hatch Letter to the Committee (08-26-09) (pdf, 68k)
    - Statement of the Honorable Ralph Hall (R-TX) (pdf, 16k)
    - Statement of the Honorable Pete Olson (R-TX) (pdf, 69k)

    U.S. House of Representatives
    Committee on Science and Technology
    Hearing: Options and Issues for NASA’s Human Space Flight Program:
    Report of the “Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans” Committee
    - Norman R. Augustine Testimony (09-15-09) (pdf, 36k)
    - Michael D. Griffin Testimony (09-15-09) (pdf, 304k)
    - VADM Joseph W. Dyer, USN (Retired) Testimony (09-15-09) (pdf, 20k)
    - Augustine Invitation (pdf, 60k)
    - Dyer Invitation (pdf, 62k)
    - Bart Gordon Statement (09-08-09) (pdf, 31k)
    - Gabrielle Giffords Statement (09-09-09) (pdf, 33k)
    - Pete Olson Statement (09-10-09) (pdf, 22k)
    - Unofficial Hearing Transcript (rtf, 163k)

    U.S. Senate
    Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
    Science and Space Subcommittee
    Hearing: Options from the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee
    - Norman R. Augustine Testimony (09-16-09) (pdf, 37k)
    - John D Rockefeller Statement (09-16-09) (rtf, 2k)
    - Bailey Hutchison Statement (09-16-09) (rtf, 3k)
    - Unofficial Hearing Transcript (pdf, 184k)

  • Even commercial space needs government spending before they go any further with development. Both SpaceX and Boeing have made that very clear.

    Boeing, maybe, but not SpaceX. SpaceX always planned to carry passengers to orbit. If they don’t get government funding, it may slow them down, but they will continue development (just as they started development of both Falcon 9 and Dragon without government funding). Bigelow’s customers still need rides.

  • someguy

    MrEarl wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Both SpaceX and Boeing have made that very clear.

    SpaceX has said no such thing. In fact, they have said the opposite. They said they will continue developing Falcon 9/Dragon regardless of NASA funding. Government money only speeds their timeline. No more and no less.

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 11:03 am <- Don't be so hard on yourself. Facts are stubborn things, Waldo.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Wrong again Oler just like you have been throughout this whole debacle.

    Even commercial space needs government spending before they go any further with development. Both SpaceX and Boeing have made that very clear…

    no they have not, at least not SpaceX is committed to go to crewed flight even without government “involvement”.

    You are doing strategic analysis on what is happening tactically.

    Two points

    First NASA programs are collapsing. that is inevitable and what will be there to pick up the pieces is Musk and maybe Boeing.

    Second there is a customer base in government outside of NASA both in and out of the US and both Boeing and Musk are pursuing it. Boeing is at a major airshow now (points if you know which one) along with Bigelow busily trying to convince countries that want a space (human) program but dont have the NASA dollars…that there are ways to do it cheaper… There are other customers for human spaceflight besides the NASA. Bigelow is working with the DoD on this. I cant tell you how I know that and you can happily dismiss this as nonsense…but they are. There are at least three colleges (that I know of) who are talking with Bigelow about having their people fly on his station and do research.

    The ground is shifting.

    NASA HSF is dying and will be dead shortly.

    Robert G. Oler

  • DCSCA

    MrEarl wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 3:01 pm – They’ll do some horse trading. Boxer will push to fund the planetary probes and if it means taking it from any allocations for ‘commercial space’ that rightly should be raised by private enterprised ventures in the capital markets all the better. The country is broke and this kind of discretionary spending using borrowed funds from foreign powers on national ‘luxuries’ is going to get increasing scrutiny in the months ahead.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Rich businessmen with discretionary income support jobs through purchases of caviar, yachts, etc. But more importantly their excess discretionary income supports job creation through investment..

    two points.

    That is the rhetoric but its never been more then that.

    The “job creation” that is done has value to thepeople who get the job but little to the economy in general. A job building high end yachts for instance has more value to the economy then a contractor at USA…ie they pay taxes not require that the taxes create their job.

    But there is no real data to indicate (and a lot to dispute) that the investment does things like create SpaceX or industry that levers the economy.

    Second…and most importantly the cuts kill tax revenue which directly is used to improve (in theory) the infrastructure of The Republic for ALL of us.

    What you are arguing is good right wing rhetoric but there is no real data to support it, it is like the nutty claim that those on unemployment dont want to work and would rather collect unemployment.

    nutty

    Robert G. Oler

  • DCSCA

    “NASA HSF is dying and will be dead shortly.” <- Absurd. As usual.

  • Robert G. Oler

    DCSCA wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 11:03 am <- Don't be so hard on yourself. Facts are stubborn things,…

    the very thing I was thinking as you refused to acknowledge you quoted me wrong.

    Along with "this person is goofy"

    Robert G. Oler

  • Second…and most importantly the cuts kill tax revenue which directly is used to improve (in theory) the infrastructure of The Republic for ALL of us.

    That depends on whether the tax rate cuts (not “tax cuts”) grow or shrink the economy.

    What you are arguing is good right wing rhetoric

    Despite your paranoia about “right wingers” (did one scare your mother when you were in the womb?), it’s not “right wing rhetoric” — it’s economics 101.

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 6:32 pm <- Inaccurate. The acknowledgement was made and apology posted on another thread. But you go on believing it wasn't. It's amusing.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Rand Simberg wrote @ July 22nd, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    That depends on whether the tax rate cuts (not “tax cuts”) grow or shrink the economy….

    correct. there is a place on “the curve” where tax increases shrink the economy (ie to increase taxes is to decrease the amount of capital which can fuel the economy) and then there is a place on the curve where decreasing taxes does little or nothing to increase the amount of capital available for economic activity, and indeed inhibits that ability because it decreases the infrastructure available for business to operate in.

    The reason “tax cuts” dont work as a remedy for The Republic’s ills today is many fold. Not the least of which is that “insufficient capital” among the people and corporations who benefited from the Bush “tax policies” is NOT the reason that the economy is not expanding. All reports are that the major banks, major corporations have 1-2 trillion dollars of “cash” that they are hording and not spending.

    Worse as the government has been forced into deficit spending to maintain the desired infrastructure (like NASA HSF programs or a few wars or drug benefits or whatever), the infrastructure TODAY and tomorrow has been affected. One may argue that things like a senior drug care benefit are not infrastructure that The Republic as a government should have (I would!) but the fact is that these things are such that they are probably not politically reverseable.

    As business have failed to spend the economy has continued its extraction with the tied up capital doing nothing.

    Robert G. Oler

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