A clarification of the Obama NASA manned space budget

To avoid confusion, I want to clarify why I consider Obama’s commercial space budget proposal today to be a decrease, not an increase, from past budget proposals. The history of this budget goes like this:

  • In February 2010 Obama proposed to spend $1 billion per year on new commercial space.
  • Congress responded by reducing that budget to $312 million for 2011 and $500 million per year thereafter.
  • The new Obama budget for 2012 proposes to spend $850 million per year for commercial space, more than presently authorized by Congress but less than proposed by Obama only last year.

It is almost certain that Congress will trim these numbers. Meanwhile, the amount of money to the program-formerly-called-Constellation goes up.

A victory for aerospace pork

Update: See my partial retraction here.

The NASA budget announced today by the White House proves how right I was when I stated back on July 8, 2010 that I had no faith in Obama’s new-found commitment to private commercial space. The new budget reduces the funds for private commercial space while putting the bulk of its support behind the unbuildable program-formerly-called Constellation. First read what I wrote in July:

The problem is that I simply do not believe the Obama administration. Everything I have learned about the current President, including the specifics (or lack thereof) of his proposal, tells me that none of his promises are going to be fulfilled. » Read more

Bernanke to Congress: We’re Much Closer to Total Destruction Than You Think

Bernanke to Congress: We’re much closer to total destruction than you think. Key quote:

One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget must occur at some point. The question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people adequate time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will come as a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis.

Cutting the Full $100 Billion

Keep this momentum going! The House Republican leadership was forced this week to increase its proposed budget cuts to $100 billion because of tea party movement pressure, both in the House and back at home. Key quote from this New York Times report:

The reversal was the most concrete demonstration yet that the wave of fiscal conservatives who catapulted Republicans into the House majority is reshaping the political and policy calculations being made by the party leadership.

Are Health-Care Waivers Unconstitutional?

Are the more than 700 waivers to Obamacare that the Obama administration has handed out unconstitutional? The final paragraph sums it up well:

Waivers can be used for good purposes. But since the time of Matthew Paris [around 1251], they have been recognized as a power above the law — a power used by government to co-opt powerful constituencies by freeing them from the law. Like old English kings, the current administration is claiming such a power to decide that some people do not have to follow the law. This is dangerous, above the law, and unauthorized by the Constitution.

Bernanke headlines a day of grim warnings about the nation’s fiscal standing

Fed chairman Bernanke issued a grim warning yesterday about the federal government’s overwhelming debt. Key quote:

The national debt is currently about 60 percent of the economy, or Gross Domestic Product, [Bernanke] said, adding that it is projected to reach 90 percent of GDP by 2020 and 150 percent of GDP by 2030. But Bernanke’s citation of $9.5 trillion in national debt didn’t include the $4.6 trillion owed by the government to trust funds for things such as Social Security and Medicare, which have paid out cash to the Treasury in exchange for promisory notes. The full national debt – when both forms of debt are included – is already just under 100 percent of GDP, which is currently around $14.6 trillion.

Senate Rejects Full ObamaCare Repeal but Votes To Kill ‘1099’ Provision

By a vote of 51-47, the Senate today rejected a full repeal of ObamaCare. A second vote, 81-17, did repeal the 1099 tax paperwork provision.

No surprises here. This just illustrates the need to throw more of these clowns out of office in 2012. For one thing, many of the 81 Senators who voted to repeal the 1099 tax provision had voted for it only 10 months ago. Have they finally learned to read?

Congressman says that Congress has the right to force people to buy insurance

Behind the curtain, a dictator: Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) said yesterday that he not only thinks that Congress has the power to make people buy insurance according to the Constitution, it is his obligation to force them to do so. In his own words:

“I think people should be required to get health insurance. We require people to get insurance for their automobile state by state but the federal government has an obligation to encourage by law, moral persuasion, to get people to get health insurance,”

Climate change study had ‘significant error’: experts

Climate scientists admit that a climate change study which claimed the Earth would warm by more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in about a decade had “significant errors”. Key quote:

Scientist Scott Mandia forwarded to AFP an email he said he sent to Hisas ahead of publication explaining why her figures did not add up, and noting that it would take “quite a few decades” to reach a warming level of 2.4 degrees Celsius. “Even if we assume the higher end of the current warming rate, we should only be 0.2C warmer by 2020 than today,” Mandia wrote. “To get to +2.4C the current trend would have to immediately increase almost ten-fold.”

200 Economists Ask Lawmakers to Repeal Obamacare

I’m not the only one saying it: Two hundred economists ask lawmakers to repeal Obamacare. Key quote:

The letter from economists said the law is “fiscally dangerous at a moment when the United States is already facing a sea of red ink. It creates a massive new entitlement at a time when the budget is already buckling under the weight of existing entitlements. At a minimum, it will add $1 trillion to government spending over the next decade,” the letter stated. “Assertions that these costs are paid for are based on omitted costs, budgetary gimmicks, shifted premiums from other entitlements, and unsustainable spending cuts and revenue increases.

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