NASA and NewSpace to suffer under sequestration

This kind of gives you an idea of the broad reach of what will happen if, at the end of next week, Congress isn’t able to cook up another deal to punt decision-making another month or year or whatever down the road:

Spaceflight Now — That’s if Congress and the White House don’t act to avoid the across-the-board cuts, which will be automatically triggered at the end of next week without a compromise on how to deal with the federal government’s budget deficit. NASA would lose about $894 million from its current budget outlook in the period between March 1 and Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2013.

According to a letter to the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, the space agency’s commercial crew program would suffer the brunt of the budget cuts. By the second half of 2013, NASA says it will be unable to make payments to companies working on private spaceships under the agency’s commercial crew program.

You might think NASA can spend its money how it wants and manage the cuts how it sees fit. Well, you’d be wrong. Like many agencies, Congress micromanages where every NASA dollar goes.This same thing is playing out in pretty much every department in the government affecting every aspect of the economy. Since everyone has a fave program, and one they detest more than others, there’s ostensibly good news and bad news in the sequester. But what we are really doing is damaging our country and economy with yet another pissing contest provided by House wing nuts who have cultivated a base using Obama Derangement Syndrome and now must pretend they truly believe the President is a Kenyan Muslin Socialist Traitor if not downright Satanic.

It means that as long as this charade keeps up and we lurch from one crisis to another, the only government-community projects we can engage in are those which are short term one shot deals or already in place. We basically can’t plan, as a nation, on doing anything new, not if it  will take more than a few months to complete.


  1. Usernames are smart says

    What is more distressing (to me) is how the GOP has managed to spread so much FUD that the average person has no idea that this is a 100% ginned up “crisis.” Not to be left out, the spineless and impotent Dems are too scared to point out the truth and/or do something about it.

    Let me elucidate:

    All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
    — US Constitution, Article 1, §7

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises ~.
    — §8

    What does this mean? It means that the GOP-controlled House determines tax rates on everything, not the Dems, and not the President. PERIOD.

    What about spending? Yes:

    The Congress shall have Power ~ to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
    — §8

    Congress and only Congress determines the budget. Not the President. Both the House and Senate create their own version of the budget and then reconcile the difference in committee.

    What about the deficit? Again, if the GOP-controlled House doesn’t tax enough to cover their own budget (and any compromise with the Senate’s version), then it is up to the whole Congress to determine how much money to borrow to cover the gap.

    To sum up: this whole crisis is manufactured, and can only be solved, by Congress.

  2. kraut says

    Easy solution: brain drain to China.
    Who wants to work in an agency that is dependent on ideological and political whims of idiots.

  3. erikabutler says

    This country is completely messed up. Americans keep electing the same leaders over and over. I’m becoming increasingly convinced the only way this country can truly change is for its people to go through the same hell the peoples of Japan and Germany went through during World War II and for us to have some sort of MacArthur-figure to lead us out of the dark ages.

  4. Crudely Wrott says

    This is precisely the new niche that private industry can fill. The government has little hold over private investment and private investment represents individual as well as popular will.

    Space X and their sister companies will lead the way into the future of space exploration and the expansion of human existence. Congress, and the short sighted greedy bastards who pay their way will be left earth bound and they will wail. Oh, how they will wail.

    Luckily, once in orbit or on the moon or en route to more distant destinations, their ululations cannot be heard. One would, of course, want to keep the volume of the radio low.

  5. sillose says

    that sounds… almost like it would be hostile to businesses! preposterous! the republicans are pro-business! clearly this is a muslim communist nazi robot-assassin-from-the-future lie.

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