The Great Billionaire Space Caper, by Matt Taibbi

Why are taxpayers picking up part of the tab for the space dream of one of the richest men in the world? From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:

Let’s fly the first black woman to the moon, but send the checks to Jeff Bezos! On the congressional hustle that perfectly captures 2022 America

In a story that shows how hard it is to deter a billionaire ravenous for public money, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and The Washington Post fame appears to have prevailed upon buddies in the Senate to keep alive a childhood dream of not only going to the moon, but getting the public to pay for it. A Bezos company officially lost this moon contract three times in less than a year, but the fourth time’s a charm: thanks to congress, his Jason Voorhees-like determination may be rewarded with a contract worth $6 billion or more.

On March 28th, Joe Biden released his fiscal year 2023 budget, which despite eyebrow-raising changes — in particular, a 10% increase in defense spending — generated few headlines. One of the few items the press did cover was this passage:

The Budget provides $7.5 billion, $1.1 billion above the 2021 enacted level, for Artemis lunar exploration. Artemis would return American astronauts to the Moon as early as 2025, land the first woman and person of color on the Moon…

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