Friday, March 5, 2010
This editorial cartoon by Jeff Parker in today's Florida Today nailed something I've been saying in the paper's online comments for weeks now.
Contrary to what some have been claiming, the Shuttle program wasn't just cancelled by President Obama. It was cancelled in January 2004 by President Bush.
The Space Coast has had six years to prepare for this. Local and state officials should have worked to diversify the local economy, but didn't. They continue instead to dawdle by creating false hopes that Shuttle will be miraculously resurrected.
This week, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation to study extending Shuttle flights for five more years, while Space Coast Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas asked the House Budget Committee for $1.2 billion to keep Shuttle flying.
Bill Posey, Space Coast's other Congressman, introduced legislation in 2009 to extend Shuttle flights through 2015 but it's gone nowhere.
The message doesn't seem to be getting through to the elected representatives of Space Center districts. Shuttle is going away. You need to stop misleading people into thinking you can save it. You need to work instead on diversifying the economies of affected districts.
But I guess it's easier to pander.