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A new poll finds that the public opposes cuts to virtually all types of spending.

We are doomed: A new poll finds that the public opposes cuts to virtually all types of spending.

We can make believe we can keep spending as we have, but reality always wins.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • mike shupp

    Hmm? Virtually every President from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama has chopped down on “unnecessary” government spending. Granted, stuff keeps getting added, like Medicare and Obamacare and agricultural supports, but by and large things get eliminated. Post Bill Clinton “welfare” (TANF) isn’t as sympathetic to the Welfare Moms that Reagan supporters complained of, for example. The Post Office has been reduced in size. Airline and trucking regulations have been progressively reduced. Etc. It’s no longer the case that 5% of federal spending is lavished on an immense wasteful civilian space program — something that presumably causes delight in everyone visiting this website..

    Maybe we’re reaching the point where there simply isn’t that much “waste” to eliminate from government and what is left is actually seen as essential to most Americans? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Department — that’s about 80% of government spending these days, and most of the federal deficit can be blamed on the slow economic recovery from the worst recession since the 1930’s.

  • Pzatchok

    Name one program that was totally eliminated and not just renamed or rolled into some other program?

  • Pzatchok

    Apollo Applications Program

  • wodun

    There is never a shortage of worthy causes to spend money on but there isn’t enough money to fund all of them.

    Our deficits are not just a problem because of the poor economy but because government spending has grown so much over the past four years. Notice how the stimulus was supposed to be a spike in spending yet due to the Democrats deciding not to pass a budget since Obama was sworn in, that spending level has been maintained through CRs.

    And considering the level of spending before Obama took office, his excess is truly extraordinary.

    Listen to the people claiming there were cuts but there haven’t been any net spending cuts. Even with sequestration, government spending is going up next year.

    All arguments about what drives the deficit or what people like to spend money on aside, the sad fact is the we spend more money than we take in and our current path is unsustainable. The interest payments on our debt are north of $400b and getting closer to what we spend on defense. That is more than we ever spent in any one year in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. It is close to being 1/4 of our deficit.

    We just raised taxes on the rich and the people that wanted those taxes claimed that would fix everything but it didn’t. What are they going to blame this time, rich people again?

  • Jim

    This whole question of spending is much more complicated. The reality of the past 4 years can never be analyzed by simply assuming everything begins in 2009. You say that spending was maintained. Yes it was. Keep in mind that about half of the stimulus was tax reduction, so we really are speaking about $400B. Unless you want to say that this current President, once he took office, should have IMMEDIATELY stopped the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Iraq alone was at least $12B per month) and which were never paid for, and even fully repealed Bush’s Medicare D program (which Larry Kudlow says will eventually cost $7T, and was never paid for), then you surely cannot maintain that all of the spending during the last 4 years was Obama’s fault. And even in what’s left, some of that was increased military spending, which maybe both of us would agree should not have happened. And even Republicans would not have wanted that to happen.

    The rate of increased spending under this President has actually been quite modest, compared to our most recent Presidents. In fact the CBO says the rate of increase has been the slowest since Eisenhower. So spending has not been excessive, based on our history, nor has it been extraordinary. And note in the Bloomberg article that even financial analysts say that when it comes to the deficit, the primary culprit was the near depression we went through which actually started in February of 2008…10 months from the end of the last Republican President.

    Has it increased? Yes it has. Should it increase at all? Maybe we both would say no. But just look at all the screaming going on right now from both sides about the modest cuts in sequestration (and much of the screaming is coming from Republicans as well, such as Gov. Bob McDonnell). We are being told the world is going to collapse. And by the way, no one ever said the restoration of 98% of the Bush tax program was going to solve everything.

  • Jim

    Take a look at some of the first page headlines from many states across the country about sequestration. Most of these are red states, such as Idaho, North Carolina, Arizona, Utah, etc.

  • The truth is out there… but damned if we’ll ever know it.

    The government is a corrupt gang of thieves (all parties.) They have no business taking the money they take or spending it. In every case (not including the military) the results would be better had they not touched the money. The reason the military is an exception is not because the politicians are magically better at spending that. It’s just that military spending is required for our nation to continue to exist. It’s a necessary evil.

    Take any example and I can prove it would be better had the government not been involved. ANY.

  • Jim

    Scully and Mulder knew the truth was out there!

  • Pzatchok

    Did that reduce the NASA budget?

  • wodun

    “And by the way, no one ever said the restoration of 98% of the Bush tax program was going to solve everything.”

    Ever since they were enacted they have been blamed for not only our deficit woes but also the economy in general. For the past decade Democrats have been endlessly ranting about how if we only didn’t have these Bush tax cuts for the rich everything would be so much better. There would be money to feed starving children, heal old people, and the economy would be roaring.

    Turns out that the Bush tax cuts for the top brackets didn’t cause any of those problems and repealing them could not solve them. But that was not the rhetoric from the Democrats. They should be held to account for their rhetoric over the past decade now that those tax rates are gone. But instead we see the moving of the goal posts and that rich people must be taxed even more.

    Well, before they claimed that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be enough. Republicans gave in and let taxes go up but that didn’t stop the attacks. Now, Democrats want to close loopholes. When the Republicans agree to go after loopholes, the attacks wont stop.

    There is no amount of compromise from the Republicans that will prevent the Democrats from attacking them as the party for the rich people or asking for more taxes. When will it end? How many tax increases will be enough? Never and none seem to be the answers.

    And in regards to the levels of spending, the numbers I look at our the annual deficits and the accumulative debt. Never have we had deficits this high or debt added at such a pace. Bush added around $4.9t to the debt which was astoundingly high and he didn’t go around blaming all the presidents that came before him obligating the country to spend on their programs.

    Obama added around $8t in his first term alone. Blame whomever you want but no president chooses the hand they are dealt and they should be judged by how they play it. In terms of fiscal sanity, Obama is an abject failure.

  • Jim

    The difference between President Obama and President Bush, in terms of fiscal status, is that Bush inherited a budget surplus which was forecast to continue for a decade, and he turned it into the near complete collapse of not only the US economy but the world economy. That all happened under his watch, those are the facts. So if you want to say everything that occurred starting from Jan. 22, 2009 is Obama’s fault, then certainly the last Republican President owns responsibility for what happened when he was in office. Republicans hate to be reminded of their performance the last time they held the executive branch…I don’t think they are reminded enough.

    President Obama, on the other hand, inherited job losses of 2,600,000 in the last year of Bush’s presidency (2008). which was the worst such performance for the past 60 years. And forecasts for high unemployment were for years to come. No one living in reality thought he would change that starting on January 23, 2009. And that is where the bulk of debt came from…dismal revenues from a collapsed economy. And he was faced with the question of either austerity budgeting (which Republicans clamored for because Great Britain was doing it), or more investment. He chose the investment path in the stimulus program. So now Great Britain is facing a triple dip recession, and we are growing, even if slightly.

    So you’re definition of abject failure, when we now have at least an economy that is growing, unemployment coming down, and a doubled stock market, is curious. What’s your definition for what the last Republican President accomplished?

  • Jim,

    You are absolutely correct about your condemnation of George Bush Jr. and the Republicans. However, you reveal your Democratic partisanship by your last two paragraphs. Obama and the Democrats (once they regained control of Congress in 2006) have done nothing but continue and accelerate the bad fiscal policies of Bush and 2000 Republican Congress. And these graphs, which I published in 2010, illustrate it:

    graph 1

    graph 2

    Since then, the Obama administration has continued to run trillion plus deficits, and have resisted every effort to scale those deficits back, by even the smallest margin. It is this resistance that explains the unwillingness of Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats to propose any budgets since 2009. By forcing the government to function under a continuing resolution, they force the 2009 spending levels (which includes the first so-called onetime stimulus package), to continue.

    None of this fiscal insanity is good for the economy. You can fantasize that the economy is improving, but no one but Democrat partisans believe it.

    If we are to get ourselves out of this mess, we have got to stop making excuses for the incompetent and corrupt politicians in power, from either party.

  • Jim

    One more opinion of mine about the sequester. Every one has known that this might go into effect, and they have known it for over 6 months. The day that was signed into law, 6 months ago, I hope this President said to each department effected, “I want a plan in place that covers where the cuts are going to come from, the impact of those cuts, and how we are going to insure that services and delivery are not impacted. Meaning defense needs to tell me how we will maintain keeping the country safe, transportation needs to tell me how airlines will continue to run smoothly, and so forth. And I want the first draft of the plan in 3 weeks.” If that plan was not delivered, demonstrating a constant level of services, he would ask for that department head’s resignation.
    If he did not do that, then its a lesson on how worthless an MBA is from Harvard.

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