Tea Party AWAKE! Hatch, Bishop, Matheson are expanding government again

I see where Utah’s congressional delegation is trying to expand government, impose undue regulation and legislate requirements on federal agencies that hamper their ability to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

I assume the Tea Party will be up in arms about this, perhaps with a Saturday protest. The boss needs something to cover for Sunday’s paper, so call early, will you?

I refer, of course, to this story (click) where Hatch et al have put language into legislation that pretty much requires NASA to buy solid rocket motors made up at ATK Space Systems.

Needless to say, this is not a bad thing, if you look at it from the Utah point of view: ATK employs thousands of Utahns, those jobs are critical and the people who hold them vote. So even though it could be argued that NASA’s scientists and engineers, not a bunch of senators and representatives, should be the ones deciding what sort of rocket engine to build and buy, the business of protecting Utah jobs is a political one, not an engineering one.

This is an object lessen, which we always seem to need, on why the federal government gets so big: Local lawmakers defending their turf won’t let it shrink. Utah’s congresspeople argue that, by God, their defense of ATK IS in the best interest of the country, but there are others who would argue that visions for NASA’s future that don’t include Utah are what’s really best.

I have no idea who’s right, and probably none of Utah’s congresspeople do either. All they care about is who wins, and in this case winning means writing detailed legislation that requires NASA to buy Utah-built rocket motors. That means Utah’s congresspeople have to write some pretty specific language and lobby hard with other members of congress, trading horses and cutting deals, to protect that language.

That is ALL precisely the sort of “Inside the beltway Washington business as usual” game that the Tea Party has made a living denouncing. It will add to the budget, expand federal power, and increase the deficit because I don’t hear anyone talking about an increase in taxes to pay for this new series of rockets, whereas not buying rockets will sure as heck save money.

Why do we really need NASA anyway? All they do is build stuff and shoot it off into space or blow it up. One could argue –  if one chooses to ignore the value of scientific exploration – that the space program is one giant jobs welfare program.

We are supposedly trying to cut back on spending.

Last week Sen. Hatch wrote an editorial in the Standard-Examiner specifically condemning the federal government’s wasteful ways. It will be a relief to ATK workers to learn that he was just grandstanding for the Tea Party crowd and not throwing Utah workers under the bus in his drive to cut federal spending.

And its ironic that Utah, home of such ardent Tea Party supporters and hard-core Republican “shrink the government” types is in the position of having to work so hard to keep federal spending alive to pay their wages even as they denounce it.

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8 Responses to Tea Party AWAKE! Hatch, Bishop, Matheson are expanding government again

  1. The sad thing to me is that they keep diverting more money from science missions in to the “jobs program” side of NASA.

  2. laytonian says:

    For those who don’t understand “pork” and “earmarks”, this should be your lesson.

  3. Bob Becker says:

    Same ol’ same ol’. And it has nothing whatever to do with party. [Matheson joined his Republican colleagues in their "spending is OK so long as it's in my state" principled stand on deficit reduction.]

    I recall many years ago, a good liberal Democratic Congressman from Wisconsin, long of tenure [and so an appropriations committee chairman] insisted on including an order for 500 trucks for the Army in that year’s military appropriations bill. The Army had testified that it didn’t need the trucks, didn’t want the trucks, had no use for the trucks. Didn’t matter. The trucks were built in a plant in the Congressman’s district, and in they went.

    Same ol’ same ol’. Folks looking to Hatch for “change” should get used to disappointment.

  4. Steven White says:

    Wait a minute! I consider myself a tea party member. I want a limited federal government based on the Constitution. America needs to decide if it wants a space program at all and not allow Obama to transform NASA to suit his political purposes.

    The actual problem is that Obama set out, from the start of his administration, to destroy our human space flight program and turn NASA into an EPA in orbit that will spend billions trying to prove that global warming is real. On the side, he wants NASA to work to make Muslim nations feel good about their contributions to math and science from a thousand years ago. Our shuttle, the finest launch vehicle in the world, will fly two or three more times before being grounded forever. Obama has cancelled the shuttle’s replacement even through remarkable progress has been made over the last five years. (Check out Youtube: DM-2) We will spend millions on NASA green aviation programs and buy our astronauts tickets to ride to on the Russian Soyuz for $56 million per seat for years into the future. Does this sound right to you?

    Obama’s primary goal was to cancel the Constellation program that would have replaced the shuttle and put a base on the Moon before sending astronauts on to Mars. He did this, not to save money, but because Constellation was started under the Bush administration. If Constellation had been allowed to succeed, people might someday remember George Bush the way they fondly remember JFK today for challenging our nation to boldy go to the Moon. Obama and his political apointees (Lori Garver and John Holdren) could not stand this and changed the destination to an asteroid to make it HIS space program. If this is not the reason then why was the administration so determined to get rid of the “Constellation” name tag for our space program? It means, “with the stars,” and symbolizes mankind’s desire to explore beyond the Earth, to be with the stars. It is the perfect name, regardless of our destination. They could have said, “We are redirecting Constellation.” No, they had to discredit, then erase and destroy what they perceived as the Bush Space Program. So now our space program now has no name except: Flexible Path. Is this an improvement. What is the Flexible Path? Where is it going and how will it get there? We’ve seen it before from this administration, we need to change all the words. A terrorist is now a “man caused disaster causing man.”

    Obama cancelled the rockets Ares I and Ares V calling them “Moon Rockets.” On this point, he is gravely mistaken, these rockets were designed by NASA, use solid rockets motors and liquid engines, and are capable of reaching the moon, an asteroid, or even Mars. That is a fact. A single Ares V heavy lift vehicle would be able to launch 8 times the cargo of the Space Shuttle! Ironically, the NASA mission plans detailing Constellation hardware missions to an asteroid and Mars are still posted online on NASA sites! We do not need NASA to “envision” new rockets that can can reach beyond the Moon as Obama claims. NASA has already designed them and Obama has canceled them.

    Sure the Utah delagation is fighting for solid rocket motors because it means jobs for Utah. Underlying this is the fact that, if we are serious about having a space program, the Ares I and Ares V should not have been canceled in the first place. Congress knows this and that is why they are forcing NASA to build a heavy lift vehicle now rather than wait 5 years as Space Cadet President Obama proposed. Those are the rockets that NASA needs and needs now, if we are going anywhere beyond low Earth orbit.

    Obama is a one man wrecking ball, destroying everything he touches. He has increased NASA’s budget by six billion over the next five years and destroyed our human space flight program in the process. Is that what you want? Now we will are on a “flexible path” to nowhere. That is not change I believe in.

    Five time shuttle astronaut, Storey Musgrave, said it best. Under Obama’s Flexible Path to Nowhere: “We will build nothing. We will go nowhere. It takes us 15 years to do what we used to do in 5 years and that was 50 years ago.”

    If you don’t believe me, read Neil Armstrong’s letter from April 14, 2010. Every single word, still rings true.

    One last thing, Obama said in Florida on April 15, 2010 that we don’t need to return to the Moon because, “We’ve already been there and there is plenty of space to explore.” He should note, that of the twelve Americans that walked on the Moon, three have since passed away. The remaining nine are all between 75 and 80 years old. In a few short years, the rest will be gone. At that point, we will no longer be able to claim that “we” went to the Moon. The best we will be able to say is that our ANCESTORS went to the Moon. Thank you Mr. President for making it possible.

  5. Jerome Borden says:

    Steven White listed all the gory details and hit the nail squarely on the head. One more thing to add: Taking out ATK may be on Obummer’s list of “Things to do”. I can only speculate on the motive and none of the possibilities are pleasant.

  6. ctrentelman says:

    Thanks to both Stebve and Jerome for proving my point — it’s not waste when it is your ox being gored and the guy trying to gore your ox, whether named obama or bush or anyone else, is evil.

    Now, multiply Steve and Jerome’s comments by 50, and you have 50 states that will fight like badgers to make sure those other 49 states stop getting wasteful government money, while their state keeps getting funds critical to the national welfare and/or defense, which any fool could see if they took a second to look.

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