Amidst myriad troubles the White House is dealing with, it's nice to see that someone in the government hasn't lost their sense of humor to the tanking economy.
Back in mid-November, a man in Colorado filed a joke petition on the White House petition website, asking the U.S. government to build a Death Star. The reasons cited definitely sold the construction of the fictional space station. "By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star," read the petition, "the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."
The petition garnered over 30,000 signatures, enough for it to go to the attention of the White House.
Rather than simply dismissing it, the White House surprisingly released an equally cheeky response titled "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For." Unfortunately for the signees of the petition, it was denied.
"The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon," wrote Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. "Here are a few reasons:
· 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?"
The funnies aside, Shawcross points to the International Space Station, the SPHERES experiment, the James Webb Telescope, among other U.S. space achievements as proof that "[w]e are living in the future!"
Shawcross ended the denial with a call to support the sciences and maths, something that the U.S. has been lagging behind in recent years, "If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force."
It's just too bad that the Empire doesn't need the permission of the White House to begin construction on space's ultimate super weapon.