One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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- Net Neutrality Repeal – Plus Two Years: The Leftists Were Dead Wrong Yet Again - December 17, 2019
- Private Sector Internet: Delivering Greatness – Of Which Government Can’t Even Conceive - December 3, 2019
I’m incessantly harangued by pin heads – about everything.
But for the purposes at hand – we will focus on the pin heads who are dying to catch me in hypocrisies when it comes to my desire for less government.
Let us begin with the fact that my organization is called “Less Government” – not “ No Government.”
I remember being accused on television by host Thom Hartmann that I wanted America to be Somalia – i.e. a lawless rambling wreck. To which I responded “I want to be somewhere between $4-trillion-per-year (our current federal budget) – and Somalia. Closer to Somalia – but somewhere in betwixt.”
I am a Constitutionalist. And the Constitution calls for federal spending on some things. Pin heads routinely chastise me for wanting to spend money – on which the Constitution mandates we spend money. Because they are pin heads.
To wit: Yes, the federal government is responsible for defending our federal borders. Because they are federal borders. So yes, I want to spend money on border enforcement.
But here’s where Reality really kicks in: Fairly frequently – spending a little government money now…saves us from spending a whole lot of government money later.
Say a border wall costs us $40 billion. And we spend $40 billion-per-annum on regular border enforcement. (Those are very generous amounts – they are actually lower).
But that money – will dramatically reduce the $100+-billion-per-annum we spend on aliens illegally in the country.
A little government – saving us a whole lot of government.
And again, we now are under the crushing auspices of a $4-trillion-per-year federal budget. Sometimes there are some things the federal government is doing that we would like to privatize – to get that massive budget number down some. And where we can do that – we absolutely should.
But sometimes – the private sector isn’t yet ready to take over. So we would end up spending much much more on the not-ready-for-primetime private effort – because of their fumblings, bumblings and stumblings – than we would keeping it for the time being with government.
To wit: The Barack Obama Administration basically ended the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) doing anything having to do with space exploration. (And instead tasked it with faking climate change data and reminding Muslims about their accomplishments made a millennia ago.)
The Obama Administration instead started handing massive amounts of space-exploration-government-money – to private sector cronies.
Cronies – like Elon Musk and his company SpaceX. Who has time and again failed utterly and spectacularly in his attempts to replicate…what NASA has been doing for decades.
To wit: Musk wasted about a decade and a WHOLE LOT of government money – failing to get a rocket to successfully leave the launchpad without exploding.
And then when Musk managed to finally get one off the pad – he couldn’t get it to remain on its flightpath for very long at all before it again exploded.
And then when Musk FINALLY managed to get one to take off and land in less than a billion pieces – he announced the rocket would never, ever do…the one thing we were paying him all that money to get it to do.
So Musk immediately pivoted to another rocket – and began asking for massive government money for that one.
Keep in mind – we just commemorated the 49th anniversary of NASA landing men on the Moon. That rocket made it all the way THERE and back – a half century ago.
Musk – and his rockets – today? Not so much.
And just so you know we aren’t just picking on Musk – NO ONE in the private sector is within a billion miles of being able to do what NASA has been doing for decades.
In fact – and to prove our point – Musk gets most of the government money…because he is just about the only private person in the field.
Which only exquisitely demonstrates that the private sector – ain’t nowhere near ready.
It’s been so bad – we’ve spent the last decade regularly relying on Russia (<GASP> Collusion!!!™) to even get into space.
The Donald Trump Administration inherited this premature NASA outsourcing. And due to its inherent less government inclinations – seems to want to continue down that path.
But this is one of those instances – where we need to keep a little government…to save a whole lot of government.
To wit – the International Space Station (ISS).
“The International Space Station, started in 1998 and completed in 2011, has become a valuable hub for commercial ventures to test technologies in space. Microgravity science experiments from researchers around the world also fill the orbiting space station, and international space agencies use the station to study the effects of long-term habitation in space….
“NASA’s commercial crew program is working to launch astronauts to the ISS on SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft, but neither company is expected to deliver the first astronauts to the ISS until late 2019 or early 2020.”
Get that? The Feds are STILL attempting to rely on Elon Musk and his SpaceX. The ongoing triumph of dope over experience.
God bless Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. He is on a crusade to save NASA from itself.
Indeed it will. Unfortunately, much of NASA is still stuck on Musk-SpaceX stupid:
“William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said…the administration envisions greater commercialization for the station so that taxpayers are not on the hook for all of its funding.”
Again – I am ALL for that. But on this, you’re asking the private sector to fly – before it can even crawl. The private players anywhere near ready for the handoff.
Thankfully, NASA has an Inspector General (IG):
“Paul Martin, the inspector general for NASA, questioned the agency’s transition report, saying it is too optimistic about the business opportunities for the station.”
Senator Cruz his own self highlighted the cronyism:
“It is my concern that considerations other than the merit of the science drove this decision making process.”
Well that would seem quite obvious – giving the lack of any scientific success the private sector has thus far provided.
And, as always, Cruz harkens back to the Constitution:
“‘As long as Article 1 of the Constitution remains intact, it will be Congress that is the final arbiter of how long ISS receives federal funding,’ Cruz said, stressing the importance of congressional control in spending.”
Yes indeed. Because Senator Cruz understands that as long as the private sector remains unready to do what the government has for decades been doing – the private sector should not yet be asked to do it.
By keeping Congress and NASA on the job, Senator Cruz is – actually and in fact – saving a ton of government money.
A little government money – saving us a whole lot of government money.
That is the best of all available options.
And the best of all available options – is the best for which we can ever hope.
[Originally Published at RedState]