Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rep. Boehner, Ludite

This morning on NPR, I heard an interview with Rep. John Boehner, the House Minority Leader. When asked about his reservations with President Obama's stimulus plan, he responded by saying that some of the spending did not seem wise to him.

"Remember, the goal of the stimulus package is to preserve jobs and help create new jobs in America," Boehner said. "And I don't know how giving NASA $400 million to study global warming is going to meet the goals."

It occurs to me to wonder if perhaps Rep. Boehner has so little conception of how science works that he truely doesn't know that when money is spent to study a problem, that money goes into the economy. NASA does not simply trassubstantiate the money into knowledge about global warming. NASA employs thousands of Americans on problems such as these; NASA contractors employ many thousands more. NASA advances technologies that help create new jobs.

My guess is that Rep. Boehner knows all this. It seems likely that Rep. Boehner knows that engineers and scientists are being laid off along with workers in almost every other field. Rather, I suspect the congressman is simly trying to rally his political base by warning them that the government is spending money on a problem they have been trained to think is a liberal hoax, global warming.

Which shows a certain level of consistency. Rep. Boehner is as derisive of the conclusions of science as he is ignorant of the process by which we reach those conclusions.

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