The International Space Station (ISS) is the sole orbiting laboratory for human spaceflight, whose missions have allowed America to remain the leading space program in the world. In an era where American superiority on the global stage is more critical than ever, it would be a mistake to prematurely end federal funding for the space station until a suitable alternative is up and running.
One of the leading proponents of this initiative has been Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has come out strongly against proposals to defund the ISS as a waste of taxpayer money that would give China or Russia opportunities to assert superiority in outer space.
According to The Hill, “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is blasting a proposal to end funding for the International Space Station (ISS) and vowing to fight for the program. Cruz told representatives from NASA that lawmakers were united behind the program during a hearing Wednesday on the ‘Future of the International Space Station’ before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. ‘Nowhere in federal statute is there a request from Congress seeking a hard deadline to end federal support for ISS,’ said Cruz, the subpanel’s chairman.”
Cruz stated additionally that, “Prematurely canceling a program for political reasons costs jobs and wastes billions of dollars. We cannot afford to continue to pursue policies that have consequences of creating gaps in capability, that send $3 1/2 billion in taxpayer money to the Russian government, or that create a leadership vacuum in low-earth orbit that provides a window of opportunity for the Chinese to capitalize on it.’ Cruz said China would have a manned space station by 2022.”
Cruz is right. It would be a mistake to risk American superiority in outer space, when we have foreign adversaries who would be more than happy to replace us.
If there were a suitable private sector alternative that would free up NASA to work on new space investments, then the proposal to end federal funding of the ISS would sound more reasonable. However, no such plan currently exists. To cut funding without a waiting alternative to government would be irresponsible.
NASA Inspector General Paul Martin recently shared his feelings on the issue, telling Congress that,
“The scant commercial interest shown in the station over its nearly 20 years of operation gives us pause about the agency’s current plans. Any assumption that ending direct federal funding frees up $3–4 billion beginning in 2025 to use on other NASA exploration initiatives is wishful thinking.”
Republicans and Democrats alike would be wise to keep the International Space Station afloat, not just for cost-saving reasons, but also to sustain American leadership in space. It’s critical that we maintain this advantage continuing into the 21st century.
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Is The Best Direct Cash Relief Plan Found Outside the Halls of Congress?
With every hour passing it appears that the leadership and members of the United States Senate are exposing their inability to manage and provide the necessary help to assure that America’s families and workers are able to survive the public health and economic crisis that most are experiencing from the current Chinese Virus pandemic.
In the last few weeks Senate leadership from both parties have put forward plans that appear to be means-tested bailouts for big corporations and banks but fail to address putting cash directly into the hands of the majority of Americans.
In the same time frame Americans have seen their retirements and investments tank to the tune of trillions lost, experienced tens of thousands of lay-offs, the local public schools have closed for the foreseeable future, local police are unable to stop looting, and new polls show that 71% of Americans have been negatively harmed by the Chinese Virus pandemic.
And where our Senators have failed, it seems President Trump has not.
Instead of just listening to the lobbyists and policy influencers of the inner halls of Congress, President Trump is open to the advice and ideas of people outside of government, people who are not deeply rooted in the D.C. Swamp, and those who actually give a damn about what happens to Americans.
In a recent Tweet Eric Bolling, a bestselling author and conservative political commentator said that he had a “comprehensive conversation” with President Trump about a direct cash relief effort that Bolling has labeled “Plan2020”.
The idea behind “Plan2020” is that every American family who makes less than two hundred thousand a year in income would receive a debit card with $2300 on it. The card would be used to cover food, gas, medical needs, transportation costs, and other necessities that Americans may need during the current crisis.
The “Plan2020” card would be a means of sidestepping any industry bailout while assuring local economies receive a much needed boost.
The interesting catch behind the “Plan2020” cards is that the funds on the cards expire after thirty days but will be reloaded if the President continues the national emergency and it would be a form of nontaxable income.
On Friday long time Trump associate Steve Bannon endorsed the “Plan2020” card idea on his “War Room: Epidemic” podcast calling it a way “that cash is forced back into the system, back into the hands of the little guy”.
Understandably there are critics of Mr. Bolling’s idea, but unlike the plans that are being formed deep inside the D.C. Swamp, his “Plan2020” correctly provides a bailout for America’s families and local economies instead of multi-billion dollar corporations, many who have connections to Communist China.
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