We are such a great nation that we need to keep on spending more and more money (only let’s call it investment).
That was pretty much the gist of President Obama’s SOTU, only there were also some really odd bits: The president went on and on about Center Rock, an American company in Pennsylvania whose drilling equipment helped rescue the Chilean miners (Axe, we gotta work those miners in-people love ‘em!). No problem, we all love sagas of entrepreneurship.
But-let’s face it, Mr. President-you haven’t created a very good atmosphere for companies like Center Rock, which, according to its website, was founded in 1998. What do you bet it would have been impossible to start such a company today? The president then quoted one of the Center Rock owners saying after Chile, “We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but we do big things.”
The president really liked that. He kept repeating it, “We do big things,” and applying it to the United States. Mr. President, in case you haven’t noticed, we are a really biiiig country. I wish he’d quoted instead Center Rock’s slogan (on its website): “Drill Faster, Run Harder, Work Smarter.” Drilling faster, Mr. President, could solve a lot of our problems, both in the realm of jobs and fuel.
The Sputnik Moment line (“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment”) seemed to evoke less thunderous applause that one might have expected-perhaps the result of the new kumbaya seating for the SOTU. I had thought the date-night seating would let the Democrats off the hook, allowing them to hide rather than show where (literally) they stand on the president’s policies. But it also meant that they couldn’t go wild at the words “Sputnik moment.” It was sort of a dud moment.
The president indicated that our Sputnik Moment is also a moment to spend, spend, spend. The space program, after all, is a government program (correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t NASA one of the very, very few government programs Mr. Obama is willing to curtail?). Ergo: we need to spend more money. Daniel Foster on The Corner has some stats on what the first Sputnik Moment cost, and I can assure you it was a bargain compared to what this one will cost if the Republicans don’t take away the president’s credit card:
A sharp operator on the Hill points out to me that the total cost of the Apollo program – America’s long-form response to Sputnik – was $25 billion, or $113 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Also known as one seventh of the stimulus bill.
Don’t like that? Okay, how about this: the entire NASA budget from 1958 to 1970 was about $38.5 billion, or about $150 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.
I have a confession: I fell asleep during the speech. This is absolutely no reflection on the speech. What I heard was, as I have indicated, strange, but I didn’t realize how bad it had been until through my torpor I heard Kirsten Powers, the FoxNews liberal, beginning her comments by noting how unimportant, in the scheme of things, the SOTU is. This one is very unimportant.