Quote of the day: Should we cut Alaska’s space program?

From Democratic Rep. Les Gara’s newsletter:

At a time of $3 billion budget deficits, continuing the spending of $58 million in state funds over the past five years, on a nearly idle Kodiak Rocket Launch facility which has LAUNCHED ONLY 2 successful rockets since 2010, is not fiscally prudent. Three days of successful and failed launches in nearly 2,000 days is not a model of success. I’ve listened to five years of promises by proponents telling the Legislature they are about to turn the corner, sign big contracts, and stop losing money. The “we’re about to sign a big contract” line is getting old, and expensive.  I hope this facility has value.  If it does, the private sector can measure that, and, in my personal view, purchase it and run it more successfully.

Read more about the state’s space program here. Also read about the new plans for the facility here. 


8 thoughts on “Quote of the day: Should we cut Alaska’s space program?

  1. Anonymous in Chugiak

    DB is right in the sense that everything needs to be on the table. This is when Democrats and Republicans need to put their partisanship aside and put Alaska’s interests above all. That might mean that the Ds say “no” to organized labor and the teacher unions. It might mean that the Rs have to say “no” to their patron saints as well.

    Education spending has to be more effective. Doubling education spending while student populations decline and getting poor test results is unacceptable. Let’s look at bringing some competition to the matter. Come on Ds, let’s get your head your heads out of the pockets of the NEA and look at meaningful reform.

  2. Ger-Der

    When liberals like Les Gara are leading a meaningful discussion about getting spending under control, it says something. First, kudos to Rep. Gara. I wish the new unity Governor would take counsel from Rep. Gara. This project is a waste of money. Hey Republicans, where are you guys? Still in Girdwood maybe!

  3. DB

    Mr. Gara has this right. Now we need to look at all the Government owned (socialist) projects and either terminate them or scale them down. If Mr. Gara would only feel the same way about public education demanding more and more funding so it can improve. How does he feel about that? Alaska spends more on K-12 education per capita than any other state. Alaska spends more per student than all but 2 states on K-12 education. Yet we get just miserable results. Let’s look at the monopolistic public education system which is one of the 3 highest drivers of the budget. I challenge Mr. Gara to look at what we are doing wrong in the funding of public education.

  4. Lynn Willis

    Representative Gara is correct. If this facility has future value, let Lockheed Martin or others purchase and operate the facility. The fiscal paradigm in Alaska has changed for the foreseeable future and the discussion about funding of this space program will certainly allow Alaskans to see if the legislature and our Governor are now serious about allocating our ever diminishing funds to realize the greatest benefit possible.

  5. AH HA

    This is one of the few (very few) occasions where you will find Les Gara and I agree on anything. It seems very doubtful that the Kodiak Rocket launch complex will ever reach a point where it does enough business to justify the expense.

    Of note however, is that the budget for Poker Flats is also very large and while it does get more launches than the Kodiak Complex, they are far smaller events and It’s costing a pretty penny to operate Poker Flats as well….

  6. Orwell Was An Optimist

    The Republicans have learned nothing. They lost the governorship because they demonstrated no fiscal responsibility. They keep after pork for their districts, go on junkets, have a retreat at Alyeska, excessively expensive office space on an insider deal etc, etc… They have made Les Gara and friends seem like the adults in the room and that is hard to do. They have no one to blame but themselves.

  7. CPG49

    Normally, my political philosopky doesn’t line up with Rep.. Gara. However, he is 100% spot on in his decleration to eliminate funding for the state’s failed space programalling this agency a joke is being kind. In fact, Governor Walker should step up and shut this down now theis quarter, not the first quarter of the New Year or at the end of the fiscal year. Given the state’s fiscal outlook, we need to be saving where we can NOW.

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