January 18, 2004

But some of us are looking at the stars...

Mike writes, (concerning Lileks's Space musings)

...Oscar Wilde said a wonderful thing: �We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.� That one works for me on more than one level today. The right hand holds the sword, the left hand holds the sextant. Beautiful - and inspiring in its own right. James, once again I most humbly tip my hat to you.
I'm not enthused about the Space Initiative, because I think giving NASA the job is really a way a making sure that the big scary space genie stays in the bottle.

BUT, I am pleased with it because it is a great big thumb o' the nose to the Jimmy-Carter-turn-down-the-thermostat types who will whine that we have problems here on earth to solve first. This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA you're talking about here, and we can fight a war, grow the economy, shoot bricks into space AND stillspend more to exacerbate our social problems than all the little countries put together.

And it's not really very big, budget-wise. Space has been running less that 1% of the Fed budget. The cost is a bit of a bullshit issue. (Anyway, how come no one says "we need to spend money solving social problems before we subsidize professors to deconstruct James Joyce?" Or before we subsidize sugar beets?)

I have a heartfelt desire to see smaller government, but not because I think we can't afford more. Those deficit snivelers have rocks in their heads. Our economy is going to grow far faster than our debts. It's been doing that for several centuries now. Remember what happened the last time we had a tax-cuttin' President? Fellow named Reagan? To this very day we hear whinging about how he increased our national debt by 1.3 Trillion. Sounds ombinous, but not one of those lying-with-statistics crybabies ever mentions that our national wealth grew by 17 Trillion in the same period!

Posted by John Weidner at January 18, 2004 4:50 PM
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