Washington bureaucrats reject public request to build Death Star due to excessive cost
The proposal to construct the Star Wars-inspired space station-cum-death ray was lodged in November last year through We the People, a recently-implemented system that allows ordinary Americans to petition the government with any request, providing it gets enough popular support.
The authors promised that building the Death Star would “spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.”
The petition has collected 34,435 signatures, well above the 25,000 threshold that necessitates a response from the White House.
But despite endorsement from the public, the government has been reluctant to make the necessary investment in the pioneering space platform.
Titled ‘This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For’ and authored by Paul Shawcross, who oversees science and space departments at the White House, the official response gives three reasons for why the project isn’t viable:
• The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
• The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
• Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Instead, Shawcross calls for Americans to revel in the existence of the rather more modest International Space Station, which although impressive, does not possess a death ray, or in fact weapons of any sort.
This is not the only time We the People has been used to push forward unlikely proposals. Recent petitions have called for British TV interviewer Piers Morgan to be deported for his gun control stance (more than 100,000 signatures) for Texas to secede (more than 120,000 signatories) and to recount the presidential election, which 68,000 petitioners claim Barack Obama won through a combination of fraud and administrative error.
We the People, which was launched in 2011 and has attracted in excess of 3 million signatures, has previously been criticized for allowing itself to be hijacked by attention seekers and for failing to turn any petitions into actual policies.
Nonetheless, at least one petition has yielded a positive reaction from the Administration. A request to ‘Release the recipe for the Honey Ale home brewed at the White House’ was promptly responded to with what appears to be a functional recipe.