Unfolding debacle at Spaceport America

Today’s Albuquerque Journal has an excellent article on the major issues developing at Spaceport America. We at the Rio Grande Foundation have long opposed the project as being outside the appropriate scope of basic government services and a massive transfer from average New Mexicans to millionaires and billionaires.

We should have added to that criticism the fact that government is incompetent, particularly when it comes to doing something completely “new” like building a one-of-its-kind spaceport. As the Journal reports, the project has been delayed by more than a year (to date), costly modifications have been made, weather damage has occurred, and contractors are not being paid on time.

The Spaceport (like the RailRunner) is yet another “gift” from Gov. Richardson to the taxpayers of New Mexico. The project may eventually be built, but taxpayers should never have been put on the hook for a speculative project like this one. Private capital should be put at risk. One might expect that defending the poor and middle classes from wealthy shysters would be the “liberal” position, but they only want to raise taxes.

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4 Replies to “Unfolding debacle at Spaceport America”

  1. What you say makes a lot of common sense to me. When and how will it be possible to instill in the population at large that privatizing ventures (as well as public services) reaps the most beneficial results? Capitalism works!

  2. What the state is doing in funding this venture is putting the people’s money to work for them in the future AND to capitalize on the future. Portions of the money LOANED by the state have been paid back, and paid to school distircts in Dona Ana and Sierra Counties. Additionally, the horizontal and vertical lauch faciulities hauling rich folks on adventures to space are only one of five intentions of the Spaceport, with three being specifically oriented to US national defense interests. So please support the USA and reentry into space by being supportive of the Spaceport. And besides, did commercial airlines build the Albuquerque SunPort? I don’t think so.

    1. Actually, taxes paid by airline passengers pay for the construction and upkeep of airports. I’d love to see privatized airports and they exist in many countries. The absolute BEST thing that can happen at the Spaceport is that NASA starts to use private space flight contractors. That MAY happen, but there are no guarantees and no private investor would put his money up to build such a facility. We are seeing why that is true right now.

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