As most of you know, I am no fan of Mitt Romney. The only constant in Mitt’s history seems to be moving his political career forward. So, I haven’t exactly been disappointed in the recent disruption of Mitt’s coronation plans. Moreover, I’ve got to admit that I’ve enjoyed watching the Establishment’s hyperventilation over Newt Gingrich’s upstart candidacy.
I’ve always been amazed by Newt’s intellect and his capacity to generate almost unlimited schemes to make government better. He’s a big idea guy, maybe a bit of a technocrat. So it didn’t surprise me when today, he announced a big idea to make America proud again: a permanently manned lunar base by 2020. But this scheme directly confirmed my fears of what Newt’s presidency could become.
What this boils down to is little connection to reality. Reality is that this nation is nearly bankrupt. To get us even close to solvent requires radical, significant cuts, similar to what Ron Paul has proposed. If the Speaker wants to combine his space plan with fundamental reforms of the entitlement state, perhaps it would be worthy of discussion.
For those of you who see this as something to help America dream again, creating new found patriotism, keep in mind what our last major space project was: the International Space Station. I’m not exactly a fan of creating “patriotism” in international efforts. And Gingrich hasn’t guaranteed an exclusively sovereign US effort, something we’re unlikely to see given his internationalist tendencies and modern multinational space efforts. Nor have I heard him call for serious reform of NASA, an agency dominated by failure and alien hunters.
In any event, the real problem is that we’re well over $100 trillion in debt, including future unfunded liabilities, and until that is radically attacked, there’s no way we can spend hundreds of billions on a moon base.
Newt has called for downsizing the federal government, getting rid of deficit spending and returning power to the states. But now he’s calling for more spending, making me wonder whether he really comprehends that the federal government is the problem. Its debt threatens to drag us into oblivion. Dreams are nice, especially while Rome is burning, but they don’t put out the fire.