New Tax policies – Is that a threat to America’s commercial space funding?

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Donald Trump the former American President was liberal towards space funding and under his regime, he allowed funding to two prominent space projects, named Project Artemis (the program to send astronauts back to the moon and eventually Mars) and the United States Space Force (the new military branch charged with operating in space). 

After Joe Biden came in charge, initially he responded to continue the funding for both these projects, which was highly appreciated by everyone, but his latest take on the tax schemes leaves a big question mark on the financial aspect of the space economy.

President Joe Biden is in favor of the notion which is the soak-the-rich policy that he claims will address the deficit and restore “fairness” to the tax code. During the recent State of the Union Address, Biden proposed not only hiking the corporate tax rate but imposing what he called a “billionaire’s tax” of 25 percent.  He claimed that such a tax would raise $500 billion over 10 years. The tax increases are part of Biden’s budget proposal and, according to an analysis by CNBC, will be used to lower the federal deficit, claims the White House, by about $3 trillion in total over the next decade.

According to the idea proposed by Bieden, the wealth tax will allow the government to charge a proportion of unrealized capital gains enjoyed by the wealthy. If the targeted assets rise in value, then the government will take 25% from it. If Congress were to pass Biden’s tax increases, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and a host of other commercial space companies would not have as much money available to build rocket ships and lunar landers as they otherwise would.

The fact that NASA’s objective includes maintaining the International Space Station depends on the well-being of the commercial space sector influenced by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to operate economically.

Joe Biden delivers the 2024 State of the Union

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  • The SpaceX Starship, currently being tested at the Star Base facility in south Texas, is crucial for landing the first astronauts on the moon for the first time since the voyage of Apollo 17 in December 1972. 
  • Blue Origin intends to land a cargo version of its Blue Moon lunar lander on the moon’s surface in as early as a year using its New Glenn rocket.
  • Smaller space launch companies such as Rocket Lab are joining the competition for customers keen to send payloads into space. 
  • The Commercial Lunar Payload Services program so far initiated two lunar landing attempts. One, undertaken by Astrobotic, ended in failure. A second, launched by Intuitive Machines, was (mostly) a success. The Commercial Lunar Payload Services program is a crucial part of America’s return to the moon.

The choice of Biden’s administration resulted in two clashing objectives, to issue an extreme tax policy against the private sector and wealthy class or have a well-funded treasury for the commercial space companies. The clash between Biden’s tax proposals and the White House’s space ambitions sets up an important issue for the 2024 elections. The matter could not only be decided by the outcome of the presidential contest, a rematch between Biden and Donald Trump, but by down-ballot congressional races as well.

The citizens of America are going to face a tough choice this voting season. To decide whether to allow endless possibilities in further exploration of the space economy or allow the desire of the White House’s desire to create a fair taxation policy. It is truly believed voters are going to make the right call that will determine the future of America.