Feb 04 2014

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A fisking of Michael Cole

Michael Cole is a Democrat is running to represent the 36th district of the state of Texas in Congress, and he wrote an opinion piece titled Cole: An argument for increased NASA funding. It is the epitome of big government drivel and draws so many wrong conclusions that it deserves this site’s first fisking.

Before I get started, the 36th district is Houston, so of course as a politician he is in favor of increasing NASA funding because a lot of those dollars would go to his own backyard. I get that. But this opinion piece…I think I’d vote for a turnip before I’d vote for the rock that is Michael Cole.

So here goes:

It is estimated that for every dollar invested into NASA, the public reaped at least 8 dollars back in technological advances, medical breakthroughs and other fields that have created jobs, improved lives and increased the standard of living not just for Texans but the entire nation

Ah yes — the typical big-government canard about the benefits of government spending. Any time you hear this drivel, use argumentum ad absurdum jui-jitsu. Does that mean that if we spent every dime we had on NASA, we’d all be 8 times richer?

FACT: this kind of statement neglects the opportunity cost to every single citizen of paying the taxes that feed NASA in the first place.

Here’s where Cole really derails:

If you crunch the numbers, you will find that 2012 is the 2nd lowest year of NASA funding by percentage of the US budget since 1958 and 1959, their founding years. When looked at in a constant 2007 dollar value, the 2012 funding comes in at about 23rd place out of the almost 55 year history of the agency. Coincidentally, 23rd place is also the United States’ world position in Science test scores!

So…huh…NASA’s budget in 2012 was actually higher than average over the 55 years it’s existed! In fact, actually NASA got better funding than usual in 2012 — and that was in spite of the sequestration cuts. Mr. Cole either can’t do basic math very well, or he thinks his constituents are stoopid. (editor: take a deep breath, dude — you’ve got your angry eyes in)

But…but…think about the children, the CHILDREN!!! Ah yes, liberals are always concerned about the children…never mind that the libs have no hesitation about shackling generations yet unborn with crushing debt that just gets higher and higher…never mind the social programs that instead of eliminating poverty have obliterated the middle class — particularly black middle class — in cities…If Cole really cared about the children and our lousy science scores, he’d go after teacher unions and endorse alternative education like charter schools and home schooling. Yeah…let’s all hold our breath until that happens.

By comparing NASA’s budget level in its history (23rd) to the US’ world position is science test scores (23rd), Cole implies that NASA funding levels directly correlate to public school science scores. In fact, he’s comparing apples to suspension bridges.

More pearls of wisdom:

In the district, and especially in Clear Lake and the Bay Area of Houston, the benefits of increased funding for NASA and space related fields are increasingly evident. It is entirely possible with the right level of investment, that South East Texas could become the Silicon Valley of the space industry.

I agree — SE Texas could become the Silicon Valley of the space industry. Interesting that he uses Silicon Valley as the model — companies like Google, PayPal, eBay, Amazon that made it big with absolutely zero investment from the government. And note well that it is the NewSpace companies like SpaceX and XCOR that have moved operations from California (very liberal = heavy tax and regulatory burden) to Texas (very low taxes and regulatory burden). NASA funding has almost nothing to do with the current Texas space-rush.

And in case one is still not convinced that Cole is clueless:

It is possible that the next two space ports can be built in Harris and Chambers County; that Houston could maintain not only a lead in human space exploration, but also advance as the leader in the space tourism industry when it finally blasts off.

Similar to my preceding comment. The space ports built now are built with an eye toward NewSpace, not NASA. And for Pete’s SAKE — NASA has nothing to do with space tourism and everything to do with NewSpace commercial companies!! (editor: again with the angry eyes)

Michael Cole is not the politician that Houston needs. He clearly lacks vision and his arguments for increased NASA funding are nonsensical. Vote for him at your own peril, and if you do and he wins — Houston gets what it deserves as it watches other parts of the country move ahead of it in this NewSpace race.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/02/04/a-fisking-of-michael-cole/

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