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Six Congressmen have introduced a bill that would have the NASA administrator serve a ten year term, and put the running of the space agency in the hands of an unelected board of directors.
- The law would create a Board of Directors chosen by the administration, House, and Senate, made up of former astronauts and eminent scientists.
- Board members would serve three, three-year terms. Board member would also be forbidden from working for a company which has business with NASA.
- The Board would prepare NASA’s budget.
- The Board would recommend three candidates each for the positions of NASA Administrator, Deputy Administrator and Chief Financial Officer. The law encourages the President to pick from this list, but does not require him to.
- The Administrator would be selected for a 10-year term.
- The Board will be allowed to remove the NASA Administrator for cause.
They call this the Space Leadership Act. I instead call it the “Non-Leadership Act.” All this would essentially do is take power away from both the Congress and President, which in turn would rob the voting public of any influence on what NASA does.
What is it with these elected officials? Why are they so often eager to give up their power? Are they so afraid of responsibility that they can’t handle it and are willing to hand it to someone they appoint and whom they won’t be able to remove for years?
The real consequence of this law is that, if passed, it would essentially eliminate the ability of Congress to shift gears if it found its plans for NASA were not working. Instead, we all would have to beg an audience with this unelected board, praying that they might listen to us. Moreover, the existence of such a board, with enormous power and control over large sums of money but unaccountable to anyone, would be a wonderful opportunity for corruption and back-door deals.
Maybe the worst aspect of this proposal is how it illustrates in microcosm the overall irresponsible state of our government and society. Rather than deal with the problems at NASA and solve them, these politicians want to abdicate their power and leave it to someone else. Similarly, rather than deal with the federal debt, Congress and the President (from both parties) have repeatedly kicked the can down the road, refusing to face the fact that we are going bankrupt.
And the public goes along, unwilling to face reality.
It is all so pitiful it gives me a headache.