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The Houston Chronicle today has an editorial entitled “Let’s bring logic to NASA’s budget process” which describes and supports a bill introduced by two Republican Congressmen which would
model NASA’s budget process after that used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Doing so would make the agency less political and more professional. It calls for the president to appoint the NASA director to a 10-year term and would make the budget cycle multiyear rather than annual.
The editorial also quotes sponsor Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) as explaining the goal of the bill is ” to take the politics out of NASA … and create continuity in the space agency.”
Bah. The last thing I want is to take the politics out of NASA’s operations.
I, along with a growing majority of the voting public, is sick and tired of these kinds of attempts by politicians to “take the politics out” of anything they have to do, whether they are Republicans or Democrats. It is exactly for this reason that the tea party movement exists, and why it has moved to kick out incumbents from both parties who won’t do their job of balancing the federal budget and running the government.
I am also disgusted that the Houston Chronicle is so out of touch that it falls for this load of crap. Haven’t we had enough of a failed Congress who wants nothing more to do but sit on its hands and collect their salaries? For a major newspaper to support such idiocy suggests that they haven’t been reading their own reports for the past three years.
It is the job of these damn politicians to deal with this agency, and to adjust its operation as politics change. “Taking the politics out” is to absolve these idiots from their responsibility. It would allow them to get their big salaries and big staffs and big offices in both Washington and their home districts and not have to do anything!
More important, what is “taking the politics out” but removing the influence of the voter from the running of the agency. Why would we want to do such a thing? Giving the NASA administrator a ten year term means we might be stuck with a guy like Sean O’Keefe or Charles Bolden for ten years. Much better for politicians to have some freedom of action. If a guy is doing a bad job, they can fire him. And if the voters decide to change politicians they will then be picking people who will then have the freedom of action to change the direction of the space agency.
Finally, the true way to “take the politics out” of space exploration is to no longer look to the government for space exploration and to get rid of NASA entirely. Making the agency immune to the winds of politics will do just the opposite.