Budget shortfalls rather than technical challenges may prevent NASA from launching its new $12 billion deep-space rocket by the end of 2017 as planned, federal auditors said.
Just three-and-a-half years away from the initial launch date, NASA’s “flat funding profile” put its Space Launch System (SLS) “at high risk of missing the planned December 2017 launch date for the EM-1 initial test flight,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned in a report on Wednesday.
According to the GAO, SLS represents not only a “significant portion” of NASA’s planned budget for major projects during that period, but “also a significant portion of government wide launch-related research and development funding.”
The GAO estimates that the current shortfall stands at $400 million, with NASA’s launch system officials telling the auditors there is a 90 percent chance of not hitting the launch date on time.
Despite the funding shortfall, the auditors say that the highly technical challenges associated with those SLS “appear manageable” and that NASA is “making solid progress” on the rocket program design.
NASA is working on the problems the GAO highlighted, but argues delaying launch or siphoning money from other programs would harm taxpayers, NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier wrote in the agency’s response.
“Welcome to aerospace,” Pace said, adding that large space projects often over run initial budgets by up to 50 percent. He said that “is why you shouldn’t believe initial cost estimates.”
SLS is NASA’s, the agency’s first exploration-class heavy lift launch vehicle in over 40 years, will expand NASA’s exploration capability to include crewed flights beyond Earth’s orbit. It is designed to launch the agency’s Orion capsule, which could carry astronauts to the moon, asteroids and other deep-space locales.
Image from nasa.govImage from nasa.gov
The first version of SLS will stand at 321 feet, have a diameter of 27.6 feet, and carry a payload of up to 70 metric tons. A nevolved version of SLS will be capable of blasting 130 metric tons into space, making it the most powerful rocket ever build, officials say.
Travis Perry / @Watchdogorg / July 13, 2014 /
OSAWATOMIE, Kan.—For Kansas, the bad news is the state flubbed more than $18.9 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Payments during fiscal 2013.
The good news is this represents an improvement. The state snapped a streak of rising payment errors that stretched back to 2010.
Overall,Kansas incorrectly paid out 3.99 percent of the roughly $474 million distributed during fiscal 2013. The state overpaid on 3.24 percent ($15.4 million) and underpaid on .75 percent ($3.5 million) of all SNAP disbursements.
Even with the improvement, Kansas still lags behind the national overall average of 3.2 percent.
Read more:Florida wins $7 million for wasting $47 million in food stamp funds
Here’s the recent history for the Sunflower State:
Fiscal 2010 – 4.79 percent error rate / $18.36 million
Fiscal 2011 – 5 percent error rate / $22.1 million
Fiscal 2012 – 5.45 percent error rate / $24.8 million
Theresa Freed, communications director for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, told Kansas Watchdog last year that the state’s elevated error rate was caused, at least in part, by Kansas’ focus on paying benefits before eligibility was verified. Now, it seems, that’s no longer the case.
“We are now doing a better job of rechecking applications to ensure we have all needed information prior to authorization, to prevent errors from ever happening,” Freed said.
“Our (Economic and Employment Services) staff meets with our regional director on a monthly basis to discuss the error rate. We are also continually researching the types of cases that are more prone to errors so we can be proactive in preventing inaccurate payments.”
Kansas’ SNAP program serves 127,651 households, including 150,003 adults and 135,979 children.
Read More on Watchdog.org.
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MIAMI — Florida once again is getting a hefty bonus from federal officials for “saving” taxpayers money.
This year, the state’s Department of Children and Families misspent $47.8 million in food stamp benefits.
However. that’s out of almost $6 billion the federal government gave to Florida.
So, Florida’s error rate of .81 percent is the second-lowest in the nation — and only a slight dip from the previous year when the state received $8 million for having the lowest error rate at 0.7 percent.
As a result, Florida receives a $7 million bonus for its welfare assistance programs.
Vermont had the highest waste rate at 9.66 percent. The national average was 3.2 percent.
SNAP, known as food stamps, is meant to give individuals and families a helping hand when they need it most.
Although data verifying the effectiveness of the program is in short supply, participants are not. In 2013, about 3,556,500 signed up for SNAP, an increase of more than 200,000 from the year before.
Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation who focuses on welfare policy, said that adding work training or a work requirement to the food stamp program would help reduce misuse of the federal program.
Back in Florida, though, officials are pretty excited.
“We are pleased Florida is again being recognized as a leader for quality and accuracy in processing food assistance applications,” Mike Carroll, Florida’s interim DCF secretary, said. Carroll added:
The department is committed to helping individuals in crisis, and being able to quickly assist families and individuals in need of these resources is one of our principal functions. This is the seventh year in a row that DCF’s improvements and accuracy in correctly processing food assistance applications has received accolades and bonus money from the federal government, totaling more than $54 million.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture rewards states for keeping error rates to a minimum.
State agencies such as the one in Florida determine eligibility for Medicaid, food assistance, and temporary cash assistance based on federal guidelines.
The fundamental numbers behind all the propaganda tell a starkly different story
by MAC SLAVO | SHTFPLAN.COM | JULY 10, 2014
Amid all the talk of recovery by politicians, economic officials and big business leaders, the fundamental numbers behind all the propaganda tell a starkly different story.
Home sales have dropped to record lows, more people are out of the workforce than anytime in the last 50 years, and cash-strapped consumers have run out of money to fuel economic growth.
By all meaningful measures the American boom times of old are gone.
A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services suggests that we may have already reached the tipping point and that things are only going to get worse going forward.
According to the HHS, nearly half of all Americans are now dependent on some form of government benefit just to put food on the table. And of our population of 310 million, nearly one in four receive welfare benefits.
That’s over 70 million people who, if the government safety nets broke down due to lack of funding or a monetary crisis, would be starving on our streets right now.
The sheer magnitude of the numbers is shocking. What’s worse is that they are indicative of a continuing down-trend that won’t be improving any time soon.
According to the 2014 version of a report that the Department of Health and Human Services is required by law to issue annually, the percentage of Americans on welfare in 2011 was the highest yet calculated. The data for 2011 is the most recent in the report.
By this measure, according to the report, 23.1 percent of Americans were recipients of welfare in 2011. Since 1993, the earliest year covered by the report, that is the highest percentage of Americans reported to be receiving welfare.
A startling 38 percent of all children 5 and under in the United States were welfare recipients in 2011, according to the report.
When recipients of non-means-tested government programs (such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and veterans benefits) were added to those receiving benefits from means-tested programs, the total number receiving benefits in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 151,014,000, according to the Census Bureau. That equaled 49.2 percent of the total population.
CNS News via Infowars
Of critical importance is that this particular report looks only at 2011. Since then we’ve seen even more people taken out of the labor force. Moreover, we’ve seen prices for all consumer goods rise during that time frame and incomes either stagnate or drop to inflation adjusted levels not seen since the 1960′s.
Thus, in all likelihood, we are well over the 50% mark. This means that without government assistance that may include social security, welfare, unemployment or other social services, at least one in two Americans would not be able to pay their rent, buy food, or keep their utilities turned on.
The end of the world as know it is happening right now.
What’s worse is that the those in the upper echelons of our government know it.
They have been actively preparing for the fallout by war-gaming large scale economic collapse scenarios and militarizing domestic law enforcement for the civil unrest to follow.
The American public got a small taste of what something like that might look like when the Electronic Benefit Transfer systems in sixteen states went offline last year for about 12 hours last year.
Nothing short of panic ensued; along with the looting and riots the government expects will invariably happen should the welfare and social distribution systems come under strain.
Watch: Like a Tornado – Grocery Store Shelves Razed in Less Than 3 Hours
Watch: How Am I Going to Feed My Family
The above videos depict the reactions from people in an event that was limited to a small portion of benefits recipients in several states.
Imagine what would happen if such a crisis developed across the entire United States and affected a full quarter of our entire population.
Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, warns that such a scenario could lead to a breakdown of the system as we know it within a matter of days.
“Think of mass chaos of people running into grocery stores to get as much food and supplies as possible, gas lines that run out into the street, highways at a virtual stand still, banks not giving out money, looting, fires, the health of the elderly deteriorating due to not being able to get needed medicines, babies crying because they have no formula to drink. It’s not a pretty picture when you allow yourself to imagine it.”
(Source: Emergency Items – What Will Disappear First)
And then, once the store shelves are empty, the real disaster begins, as the government will have no choice but to deploy military assets to quell the riots, and that means mass detentions, incarcerations and maybe worse.