Cash for Russian Clunkers

John Ransom
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Posted: Jul 30, 2014 12:01 AM

Something stinks here.

And it’s more than just wastewater from the marshy ground in and around Washington, DC.

When a commercial airline is shot out of the sky it immediately triggers a number of questions. What kind of projectile? Where did it come from? Who fired it? All of these questions are answered by spy satellites. But getting one of these expensive satellites into orbit requires we launch a rocket.

At present, the United States is buying rocket engines from Russia for these critical national security launches . That is right. Even while a domestic supply of launch vehicles is available here at home, there are some who think it is a good idea for us to be dependent on the Russian government for our access to space.

“Over the past 20 years,” reports the IBTimes, “the U.S. has become dependent on a steady supply of $10 million RD-180 rocket engines manufactured by NPO Energomash, the 85-year-old manufacturer largely owned by the Russian government. These engines are used to deliver military satellites into orbit.”

Every year, the online site says, between 8 and 10 launch vehicles are purchased by the Defense Department at a cost of potentially $100 million per year.

I always knew that Obama didn’t care about American jobs, or American security, but I’m curious that he does seem to care so very much about Russian jobs and Russian security.

Says the Times: “Sources in the industry who are watching the case closely told International Business Times on background that few believe the U.S. or Russia will move to block RD-180 deliveries, because Russia needs the money as much as the U.S. needs the engines.”

But that’s only partially true. Russia definitely needs the cash. But there are suppliers of rocket engines in the United States, and the Defense Department merely needs to pick between them in a free and fair competition known as a certification process.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration says that Russia has launched missiles from inside its border into eastern Ukraine in an attempt to bolster the terrorists there, while Russian heavy artillery has moved across the border.

It’s the latest sign that the war in Ukraine isn’t going that great for Russia and her bullies. If things were so great, Russia wouldn’t need to have such direct involvement. When Russian forces themselves eventually cross the border, our ability to see them will be leveraged on whether Russia wants us to be able to launch satellites or not. That doesn’t seem to be a hard choice for them.

But at a time when the Russian war of “liberation” isn’t going well and the US can crush Russia like a bug economically, the Administration seems too happy to try to kill the Russian fleas with a tack hammer, imposing sanctions on Russian billionaires and millionaires who could care less, while they ignore the dirty dog that hosts the fleas.

In fact, they are feeding the dog and the fleas at the same time.

It’s an indisputable fact that the Russian state needs money, especially foreign currency. It’s a sad historical truth that every Russian Government since Ivan the Terrible has needed outside cash to survive. Frankly, the Russian people just don’t produce enough to generate much wealth—or currency-- so they have to export resources from Russia to other countries.

Russia has trouble stopping the flow of things like natural gas because they really need the money.

And using that fact is how to kill the Russian bear. And create US jobs. And improve our country’s own security posture.

Remember when we had a security posture?

Ronald Reagan knew these facts about Russia and so did Franklin Roosevelt, who made sure the stream of supplies and money never stopped flowing to Russia even as the Japanese carved up the Allies in Asia.

But today, the Obama Administration just can’t stop the money flow from going to the Russian state.

Down with the billionaires, says Obama. Hooray for the Russian state! While we wage war against private persons in Russia, we send cash to the Russian state-- cash used to wage war on Ukraine.

So that smell we’re smelling? It’s not the Foggy Bottom breakdown, nor is it just Russian gas.

It’s the distinctive odor that we have come to expect from Obama: It’s the smell of cash.

Cash for clunkers, cash for government clunkers—even a clunker Russian government that’s waging a war of aggression against our friends.

And in all, it stinks.

It’s time for the House and the Senate to take action today. It’s time to cancel the contract with Russia. They can do it, and if they don’t, the smell will linger.