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  (Source: historymartinez.files.wordpress.com)
China's recent successful manned mission has started a space race debate

Now that China has successfully completed its first manned mission, the United States is worried that it may be left behind when it comes to space-related endeavors.

China initially launched its Tiangong 1 prototype space station module in September 2011 and linked its Shenzhou 8 spacecraft to it in November. Earlier this month, China completed its first manned mission to Tiangong 1 using its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which contained the country's first female astronaut.

With so many firsts under China's belt, the U.S. is getting a little worried. Some scientists, such as lunar geologist Paul Spudis say that China could renounce the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which states that no one can claim national sovereignty in space. Spudis believes that potential resources on the moon, such as water, could tempt the country into renouncing the treaty.

There are also worries about the U.S. government's space program. While the U.S. has the private sector (SpaceX) taking care of space-related business for now, there are concerns regarding the private sector's ability to uphold the American space effort without the government's support. The U.S.' funding for the space program has been quite low, even to the point where NASA urged Congress to provide the full $850 million for commercial crew vehicle development last October.

However, the private sector has made strong contributions so far with SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule making its first successful trip to the International Space Station (ISS) last month.

Others aren't quite as worried about China's position in the space race. According to Jeff Foust, an aerospace analyst, journalist and publisher, China's space program could potentially face some issues with coordination because it is ran by many different government agencies instead of just one.

Regardless, China is now a member of the space race and the U.S. may be taking the new potential competitor into consideration.

Source: Yahoo News



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RE: The problem is leadership?
By name99 on 6/20/2012 11:12:11 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
Question is: Where is Obama's plan for the USA?


I hate to point out the obvious, but playing this game requires money...
Congress has shown zero interest in ever raising US taxes. Until that changes, stop wasting our time complaining about what Obama is or is not doing.

You don't get to spend four years complaining about the expanding federal debt AND refusing to ever raise taxes, and then propose a brand new MASSIVELY expensive government program. If you have so much faith in capitalism and libertarianism, why does the government have to be involved anyway?


RE: The problem is leadership?
By chµck on 6/21/12, Rating: -1
RE: The problem is leadership?
By Etsp on 6/21/2012 10:25:39 AM , Rating: 3
Far more than 53% of Americans pay taxes. 47% of Americans just don't pay one tax, the federal income tax. They still pay in to social security, they still pay for a myriad of other federal, state, and local taxes. They just don't pay income tax.


RE: The problem is leadership?
By JPForums on 6/21/2012 11:40:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They still pay in to social security, they still pay for a myriad of other federal, state, and local taxes. They just don't pay income tax.

State and local tax collection is irrelevant to federal interests. As the post he was replying to was clearly a federal issue, these points are irrelevant.
quote:
47% of Americans just don't pay one tax, the federal income tax.

You make it sound like this is an insignificant portion of Federal tax revenue. How big is Social Security revenue compared to federal income tax revenue again? Furthermore, regardless of its size, Social Security isn't used to fund the space program (or any other programs not related to ... Social Security) and is once again irrelevant to the initial discussion. Your "myriad of other federal taxes" is undefined and may or may not be related to general expenditures so I won't try to argue with something I may or may not agree with.

I don't necessarily agree with chµck's assessment that this is a problem or his implied solution, but he does have a point. The federal income tax has a large hole in it. One that makes it somewhat redundant to talk about cutting income taxes for 95% of Americans.


RE: The problem is leadership?
By Etsp on 6/21/2012 2:01:51 PM , Rating: 2
The point of my post was to point out that the particular statistic that gets copied and pasted everywhere is a falsehood. It simply isn't true as it is written, and that minor omission was done to intentionally make the statistic sound much worse than it really is. That info wasn't omitted by the poster, but more likely the resource they got it from. It's very likely that Chuck wasn't aware of the difference.

The discussion was about federal taxes, however his "fact" did not specify federal taxes, and his post did not mention them specifically.

If we want to discuss federal policy, It would be best if we are using facts and information that are accurate and qualified, otherwise it's just counter-productive.

Personally, I don't think that that particular hole in the federal budget is insignificant, but at the same time I can't believe that it accounts for even 10% of overall individual income in the US.


RE: The problem is leadership?
By JPForums on 6/21/2012 2:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The point of my post was to point out that the particular statistic that gets copied and pasted everywhere is a falsehood. It simply isn't true as it is written, and that minor omission was done to intentionally make the statistic sound much worse than it really is.

I can appreciate this. Thank you.

quote:
The discussion was about federal taxes, however his "fact" did not specify federal taxes, and his post did not mention them specifically.

It was my impression that his post:
quote:
@chµck: Tax rate isn't the problem. 47% of people not paying taxes is the problem.
was in direct response to name99's statement:
quote:
@name99: Congress has shown zero interest in ever raising US taxes. Until that changes, stop wasting our time complaining about what Obama is or is not doing.
and disregarded taxes not related to the problem as outlined by name99. That said, I can understand and support your sentiment that he should have been more specific.


RE: The problem is leadership?
By JediJeb on 6/21/2012 3:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Personally, I don't think that that particular hole in the federal budget is insignificant, but at the same time I can't believe that it accounts for even 10% of overall individual income in the US.


Just some quick searching gave the total personal income of all U.S. citizens last year at around $9-$12 trillion dollars depending on who's numbers you cite. With the deficit in the proposed budget being in the $1.3 trillion range that would make it right at 10% of the total income of all Americans combined. So to cover that deficit this year we would need to have every single American pay 10% more income taxes. If you continue to allow the 47% that don't pay Federal income taxes to be exempt from this, the amount you must raise the taxes for the 53% that do pay Federal income taxes becomes near 30%. I did the full calculation for this very same thing in a reply here a few months ago and it is quite staggering. If you want to stick it to the top 1% then they must pay and extra 50% of their yearly income to cover the costs. If you only apply it to billionaires then you need one thousand and three hundred billionaires in the U.S. to contribute an extra $1billion each in taxes to cover that deficit. Expand that to all billionaires and millionaires and it requires one million three hundred thousand of those folks to contribute an extra $1million in taxes each to cover the cost. Maybe we have 1.3 million millionaire+ people in the U.S. but I doubt we have 1,300 billionaires.

If you want to be "fair" by having the most wealthy people pay the biggest percentage of taxes to make the country work, would it not also be "fair" that those people are allowed to control the country? I for one would not like that to happen, though it seems to be that way now. If every single person pays and equal share, then they should all have an equal say in that happens. Since this country is based on everyone being equal, then shouldn't everyone contribute and equal share to supporting it?


RE: The problem is leadership?
By JPForums on 6/21/2012 11:01:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hate to point out the obvious, but playing this game requires money...

Agreed.

quote:
Congress has shown zero interest in ever raising US taxes.

And your point is?
If you are suggesting that hiking taxes increases revenue, you are thinking too short term and ignoring the stifling effect is has on the economy. Historical precedence in the Harding/Coolidge era, Reagan era, and even the Bush era (something he actually did right) shows that massive tax drops (>70% down to Mid 35-40% at the upper end) resulted in a few years decline followed by longer term large increases in total tax revenue. Point of interest: the rich payed a much larger percentage of the total tax revenue after the taxes were cut than before. John F. Kennedy, considered one of the greatest presidents of all time (multiple polls, pick one), had this to say:
quote:
“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

– John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference

He made several such comments during his tenure as President. High taxes, as seen before the aforementioned tax cuts, tend to raise short term revenue at the expense of mid and long term revenues. The implication is that we were well beyond the zenith of the Laffer curve and the economy was stifled before the above tax cuts.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve
Interestingly, while The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics estimates the highpoint of the Laffer curve to be around 70%, a brief look at the above points in history lead me to believe it could be quite a bit lower.

quote:
You don't get to spend four years complaining about the expanding federal debt AND refusing to ever raise taxes, and then propose a brand new MASSIVELY expensive government program.

Sure you can. Even if you assume no change in revenue, you can still reallocate funds from whatever current expenditures you deem to be of less worth. You just have to be willing to give something up. Of course, a good place to start is the plethora of government expenditures that no longer (or never did) effectively address the issues they were appropriated to address.

quote:
If you have so much faith in capitalism and libertarianism, why does the government have to be involved anyway?

Good point, though government funded exploration is no more at odds with capitalism than national defense. Sole source is becoming increasing rare leading to more competition. Of course, having few buyers do tend to give them more control over the market than is possible in traditional markets. The question is whether exploration (space or otherwise) is an area the government should be involved in at all. An argument can be made both ways. An individual can not, without government backing, claim national sovereignty of newly explored lands. On the other hand, it isn't our governments job to expand its territory and there's also the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to consider. The list goes on.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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