Common Sense

Cavuto: America now 'hitching rides' to space

Nation falling from grace?


It was about hitching a ride, but it sure hit a chord.

My lamenting this latest Soyuz space mission, with an American astronaut on board, and our paying the Russian space agency 70.6 million dollars for a seat on the plane.

That's how we get into space these days. We pay others to get us up there.

Most notably to the country not too long ago we beat up there.

71 million bucks, each way. Each trip. Every trip no discounts for round trips.

Man, what a trip and for me, what a fall from grace. The country that conquered space relegated to hitching rides into space.

The very same week I learned that the same country that all but invented the Internet, is now letting go of control of the Internet.

Sad. And a lot of you mad.

Keith in New Orleans.

"You're right, Neil, this is a travesty. Good thing JFK isn't alive to see it."

Helen in Pittsburgh.

"I understand we're no longer in a space race...but did that mean we just had to ‘stop' space?"

Helen, I hear you.

T.L. via Yahoo.

"Cavuto, you forget we still do remarkable things with un-manned vehicles...look at Mars, look at capsules that have run circles around anything the Russians are doing."

True enough, T.L., but as the last man to walk on the moon, Gene Cernan told me. Humans might make machines, but nothing beats the human in the machine. I just wish we went full throttle on both.

Sean in Dublin, Ireland.

"Neil, I know you're half-Irish, so take pride in knowing Ireland is setting its sights on the stars. We might even give you a lift, for a six-pack of Guinness. What do you say?!"

Well, it certainly seems like a heck of a better deal than the Russians are offering you're on, Sean!

Unus via AOL.

"Neil, I heard you one time say you dreamed of being an astronaut yourself, so what happened to you?"

I visited Cape Canaveral with my parents when I was a kid, and realized I couldn't fit in the capsule, so I moved on to TV anchor.

Foster via

"Cavuto, man up!! Man's still going into space!! You're just offended it's not American men!!"

You're right, foster. I am mad it's not American men or women, for that matter. I have no problem others pursuing the heavens, I have a very big problem our country giving up trying.

Pat in NYC.

"Neil, how could you link our relinquishing control of the Internet with this stupid Soyuz thing? It's night and day, propeller head, get a clue. Please tell me what one possibly has to do with the other? And as a much smarter colleague of yours says, please be pithy!"

Easy, Pat. Each shows how we sold our soul. Pithy enough for you?

Elizabeth in Baton Rouge.

"Here's the problem, Neil, and you hit on this one years ago. America is broke. We can't afford squat. And when you're a bum, everything you once did goes bust."

Very profound, Elizabeth.

And I think Elizabeth really hit on the source of our country's problems.

It's our debt. It's all the money we owe that's made us as a country shrug our shoulders, and say, oh well.

It's hard to aim for the sky, when our bills are sky-high.

We're so deep in debt, that the rest of the world assumes we couldn't launch our way out of a paper bag.

We used to set goals that mattered and push the boundaries of our very imagination with technologies we knew would matter. Against long odds. Because we thought none of these dreams were odd.

We thought big. We dreamed big. We were exceptional. And not afraid to say it.

Now, it's as if we feel we might offend folks to even think it.

So we don't. We've gone from providing order for the world, to blindly signing on to a new world order.

Even if it means just as blindly signing off overseeing the World Wide Web.

Is it any wonder we have our thumb out, hoping someone will give us a ride?

And all we get is a raised finger, from a world just whizzing by.