Tea in Space has a press release:
June 23, 2011 — For Immediate Release
TEA Party in Space (TPIS), a non-partisan organization, today publicly released the TEA Party Space Platform. “This is our response to the vacuum of leadership in Washington, D.C., for America’s national space enterprise,” said Andrew Gasser, President of TPIS. “Whether it’s timidity from the White House or Congress’ earmark-laden ‘compromises,’ our space dreams will be stuck on this planet unless someone articulates a vision based on economic and technical reality, so that’s what we’ve done.”
This platform, and its specific planks, are grounded in sound science, technology, and the TEA Party’s core values. The TEA Party in Space Platform promotes fiscal responsibility, limited government, and stimulation of the free market.
“The status quo of crony capitalism, earmarking billions of NASA’s budget to a few companies, districts and states, has got to stop. We already tried this approach with Constellation and all we have to show for it are stacks of power point presentations, some pretty CGI videos, and a half-billion-dollar practice rocket,” said Gasser. “It’s time to return NASA to its roots as an R&D agency instead of serving as a slush fund for a few influential members of congress. This platform provides that plan.”
This platform gives the Administration, Congress, and federal candidates guidance on economic policy, technology development, and legislative priorities to help advance America’s leadership in space. Specific issues covered in the platform include reform of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), tax incentives for space investment, and changes to how NASA does business. One example of government waste the platform corrects is the U.S. Senate’s mandating of a wasteful Space Launch System in last year’s NASA Authorization Act. Instead of embracing new technology and opportunities to leverage private investment, Congress chose to waste over $11 billion in a few districts and states to keep a few contractors in business for a few more years. Instead, the TPIS platform calls for moving NASA away from the “Apollo crash program model” of designing, building, and operating its own unique and ultra-expensive launch vehicles.
“The same NASA centers and contractors who failed to complete the Constellation program are getting a bailout courtesy of the taxpayers. Billions of dollars continue to be directed to Ares contractors, just under a different name, SLS,” Everett Wilkinson, head of the South Florida Tea Party, stated. “The TEA Party’s core values are just what America’s space endeavors need right now in this volatile economy. NASA is being forced to fund programs that are behind schedule and ridiculously over budget. It’s time to ask: ‘how much is enough?’ Both NASA, and the American taxpayer deserve a better plan and that’s what our platform provides.”
Recently, a report mandated by Congress found that a private upstart company designed and built two new launch systems, and several generations of a new rocket engine all for roughly $390 million taxpayer dollars. The report estimated it would have cost NASA anywhere from $1.7 billion to $4 billion dollars to develop those same capabilities using standard NASA acquisition approaches.
Constellation cost the US Taxpayer over $11 billion dollars and produced only test articles, no flown hardware. When it was canceled last year, its schedule had already slipped by more than a year for each year it had existed. And even NASA’s vaunted robotic science projects are plagued by cost overruns and delays. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is suffering the same fate of Constellation. Originally priced at just under $1 billion dollars with a launch date of 2010, JWST is currently $5 billion dollars over budget and eight years behind schedule.
TPIS is making this platform available to everyone to read and review on their website, and then discuss with their friends and neighbors. TPIS hopes that people from all political backgrounds will read this.
“Our goal is make space policy a national issue. We want to educate Americans and our elected officials that we have a space economy and not just a space program, and every district and state can participate. We need to move away from calling a state a ‘space state’ or a district a ‘space district,’” stated Isaac Mooers, TPIS Director of Operations. “We have a platform that will grow all of America’s potential in space. We ask each elected official, and those running for office, to review the TEA Party Space Platform and pledge to vote in line with this platform.”
TPIS and its volunteer network will be reaching out nationwide to candidates and elected officials of all parties.
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TEA Party in Space (TPIS), is a non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the American people and their elected representatives in applying the core principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets to the rapid and permanent expansion of American civilization into the space frontier, focusing on strategies for privatization, deregulation, and appropriate technology development partnerships between government institutions and the private sector. TEA Party in Space is proud to be part of a coalition of individual tea party groups with Tea Party Patriots. For more information, visit www.TEAPartyinSpace.com.
Tea Party Patriots, Inc. (“TPP”) is a non-partisan, non-profit social welfare organization dedicated to furthering the common good and general welfare of the people of the United States. TPP is the original and largest national grassroots tea party organization that is composed of over 2700 individual tea party groups. There are over a 130 tea party groups in Florida. TPP furthers this goal by educating the public and promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. Tea Party Patriots has not endorsed candidates for public office. For more information, visit www.TeaPartyPatriots.org.
I still don’t think that space is likely to be a big election issue, but I hope that to the degree it is, Republicans are paying attention to this.