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Virginia May Help People Pay For Space Burials

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the back-to-the-stars dept.

Government 145

PolygamousRanchKid writes "Want to be buried in space? Virginia would help pay for it under proposed legislation that aims to boost the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The bill, which the General Assembly will debate next year, would provide a Virginia income tax deduction up to $2,500 a year for such burials. Proponents hope the measure will provide revenue for the spaceport, which is expanding because NASA decided to cancel the space shuttle program. The facility, which describes itself as a 'full-service, FAA-licensed spaceport,' is located at Wallops Island on Virginia's coast."

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No please. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336054)

Don't litter space with more dead bodies than is necessary. K thx.

Re:No please. (4, Informative)

anlag (1917070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336104)

Perhaps if you'd taken the time to RTFA before rushing to get first post, you'd have realized they're cremated first.

Re:No please. (4, Funny)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336138)

Screw that. I want my meat-sack like body launched whole into space when I'm dead!

Re:No please. (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336416)

I'm with you there puddin pop.

Re:No please. (4, Interesting)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336740)

I want to be cremated by the very atmosphere that sustained me!

Re:No please. (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336148)

Who "buries" cremated remains anyway? And more curious than that, who even reads TFA on /.?

Re:No please. (2)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336174)

My father was cremated and was buried next to my mother who was not. Can't be that unusual. Maybe.

Re:No please. (2)

TarMil (1623915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336242)

And how exactly does this make them not space junk?

Re:No please. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336300)

Because the overall volume of ashes is much smaller than the volume of a human body. I am okay with this as long as they the remains are let loose into empty space, instead of being sealed in a voluminous container.

Re:No please. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336454)

Great, lets release hundreds of thousands of bits of dust and small particles into space.
At nearly 30,000kph its still more than enough to ruin space craft.

Re:No please. (3, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337134)

The article doesn't talk about it, but such cremated remains are encased in a small capsule.

Re:No please. (3, Informative)

InterGuru (50986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336548)

Even fine cremation ashes at orbital velocity can damage satellites.

So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337724)

There is only so much dirt on the planet. We need it to stay here.

If this becomes trendy, the resultant erosion will whittle the earth down to nothing!

This is a terrible idea (5, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336064)

If they are in space then they will become space ghosts because GOD can't get to them there, like it says in the BIBLE GOD does not exist outside of the Ionosphere that is the line of the Italians who will drink all our water from space with dead people. Besides, they smell and PASTA need I SAY MORE!!!!

Re:This is a terrible idea (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336576)

My god, man! The answer was staring us in the face this entire time!

Re:This is a terrible idea (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336712)

HIGO will nrot do an interview with slashdo9iewmf the stiny fat burning thigh buster of Ietalian watrer eater islamocommunist t4evils ontelivision.!!!! ass

Re:This is a terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336588)

need I SAY MORE!!!!

Please don't. Please don't say more ever again.
Thanks!
-The world

Re:This is a terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339612)

I misread the title i thought it said "Virginia Tech offers students with free burial plan"

We lost our pork (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336070)

now we need to survive on bullshit! what a waste of government time instead of finding a real solution

Corporate Welfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336172)

It's yet another sham in a long list of shameful activities where the people's money is squandered to prop up the corporations that seek to oppress us.

Re:Corporate Welfare (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339088)

It's yet another sham in a long list of shameful activities where the people's money is squandered to prop up the corporations that seek to oppress us.

They aren't spending any of "the people's" money - they're letting people keep some of their OWN money IF they spend it on a space funeral instead of an impermeable crypt buried in the ground. No different than deductions for "green" energy, hybrid cars, having children, etc. Not sure how a company that launches ashes into space is "oppressing" anyone.

Anything that keeps more money in private hands and out of bureaucrats' control is a good thing, IMHO. Less money for those that not only seek to oppress us, but also have heavily-armed police, national guard troops, and armed bureaucrats to do it with.

Idiotic plan (3, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336098)

They want to encourage development of the space port. That's a reasonable goal I guess.

Doing so by subsidising what is surely the most pointless reason to launch something into space and also the most wasteful way to dispose of a human body is just stupid.

Re:Idiotic plan (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336246)

the most wasteful way to dispose of a human body.

Pfft. Hardly. When it's time for me to kick the bucket I plan on piloting the Burj Khalifa directly into the Louvre.

I'm still working out the details.

Re:Idiotic plan (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336722)

When it's time for me to kick the bucket I plan on piloting the Burj Khalifa directly into the Louvre.

You are Randall Munroe and I claim my $64,000.

Re:Idiotic plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336780)

Doing so by subsidising what is surely the most pointless reason to launch something into space and also the most wasteful way to dispose of a human body is just stupid.

Interesting and unsurprising that Virginia is a very Conservative Republican Red state.

Like all Conservatives, they will complain about OTHER people getting entitlements, especially if it is poor people who are out of work and can't afford health care.

In the midst of MASSIVE deficits, a health care crisis and a looming depression; the absurdist tradition of spending money on frivolous economic plans (like sending dead people into space) while keeping health care and other "socialist" spending away from the people that actually NEED it is, of course, the ideal of the post-modern Conservative movement.

Re:Idiotic plan (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337256)

If you had read the article, you'd see that it's not even a bill yet much less law. Admittedly, it would be introduced (if it is) by Terry Kilgore, a Republican.

"Need" is inherently subjective. I see no real distinction between arguing that people who "NEED" the plethora of government services currently provided, and arguing that dead people "NEED" to be launched into orbit. For example, doling out cheap health insurance doesn't make me safer or healthier. To the contrary, it takes money away from things I consider "NEED", such as my freedom, my income, police protection, national defense, disaster preparedness, etc.

Re:Idiotic plan (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337454)

"Need" is inherently subjective.

Not to somebody who can't afford health insurance and who is dying of cancer or some preventable illness.

But my argument was really more about hypocrisy than about health care or the concept of "NEED" [alternet.org] .

Re:Idiotic plan (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337510)

But my argument was really more about hypocrisy than about health care or the concept of "NEED".

Of course, it was. I should have known the thread wouldn't stay on topic. I personally am deeply offended by hypocrisy... in others. Ba DUM tish!

I can't help but notice the claimed "pushback" in the article against Ron Paul didn't really happen.

Re:Idiotic plan (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339080)

I find it sad that you don't consider healthcare to be a need. Personally I find it liberating to know that if I get sick or have an accident (neither of which by definition I have anyway of predicting) I won't have to sell my house in order to pay my medical bills. You want freedom? It's right there.

Re:Idiotic plan (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339138)

In the midst of MASSIVE deficits, a health care crisis and a looming depression; the absurdist tradition of spending money on frivolous economic plans (like sending dead people into space) while keeping health care and other "socialist" spending away from the people that actually NEED it is, of course, the ideal of the post-modern Conservative movement.

By all means, let's enslave all the people with jobs and property, take all their money, and distribute all public and private resources based on solely on need, while working the most able and productive as much as they can stand. I'm sure that will last a few years before there's nothing left for anyone. Why wouldn't everybody want to spend 80 hours a week working their ass off for other people's "need"? I'm sure no one would make any sort of need-based claim that's not legit, would they? Makes perfect sense to me. Shit, if the talented and hard-working people don't like it, we can send them off to re-education, and if that doesn't straighten them out, might as well just dispose of them.

Re:Idiotic plan (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339146)

With a special tax break. 'Cause that's what the tax code needs: more special exceptions carved out for pointless bullshit only wealthy campaign donors can afford.

Interesting and all, but (3, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336214)

I haven't found a state or province that will allow my family to burn my body on a traditional pyre. I have written the specifications for how the funeral pyre is to be constructed and the protocols to be observed.... yet, all of it, should it be played out can only be done in secret... possibly in the deserts of california (we're working this out as I type.)

Re:Interesting and all, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336234)

It could be they're objecting to the plan because you're evidently not dead. In that case I think you'll find any form of burial or cremation will be frowned upon.

Re:Interesting and all, but (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336282)

The solution is to label yourself a magician, then have the stunt go "horribly wrong."

Re:Interesting and all, but (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338722)

Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

Re:Interesting and all, but (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336466)

Interesting idea and I wonder why burning one's own body isn't allowed on a pyre. I could understand them be cautionary due to fears of the fire spreading, but that's only a matter of proper precautions. Then again, I have just been pondering about people just dumping my body on the sidewalk or something: it's not like I'll care anymore at that point about what happens to my body so why not use it for some macabre humor?

Re:Interesting and all, but (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336580)

I would imagine they're concerned about air pollution, that's the usual reason why just burning something full of random chemicals is illegal.

Texas lets you do that (2)

pem (1013437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336542)

A friend of mine helped with just such a pyre.

Also, if you don't want to DIY (3, Informative)

pem (1013437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336558)

The Crestone End of Life Project [crestone-end-of-life.org]

Are you sure you've researched this? You seem to have missed a lot.

Re:Interesting and all, but (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336572)

There's apparently an organization in Colorado that's gotten permits [kindredcommunity.com] to perform open-air cremations on a funeral pyre.

Re:Interesting and all, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336972)

http://stalkedbyseth.com/

A more accurate title might be... (2)

Bartles (1198017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336222)

The people of Virginia may be forced to waste their money on a stupid pork project.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336310)

It's been proven by mid-level bureaucrats that spending money on expensive vanity projects generates wealth and jobs!

Heck, at the end of my block the city used federal stimulus money to build a dog park. It created a fourth of a dozen part-time jobs (running the toll-booth thing) paid for by money the city doesn't have. A win all around!

Re:A more accurate title might be... (2)

yotto (590067) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336544)

It's been proven by mid-level bureaucrats that spending money on expensive vanity projects generates wealth and jobs!

Heck, at the end of my block the city used federal stimulus money to build a dog park. It created a fourth of a dozen part-time jobs (running the toll-booth thing) paid for by money the city doesn't have. A win all around!

Could be worse, they could have only hired a sixth of a dozen, or even a twelfth of a dozen.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336330)

You mean money the government spends comes from the people paying taxes!?! WTF!

Seriously, I wish more people understood that.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336360)

I didn't get that. The state isn't paying for the stupid project, are they? They're just letting people pay for the stupid project and not be taxed for it. Your language suggests that they're taking the money from the government - as if it were the government's money to begin with, and what right has this jerk to waste it how he sees fit? That worries me. And I don't think one needs to be a libertarian nutcase extremist to find fault with that reasoning, either.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336422)

I didn't get that. The state isn't paying for the stupid project, are they? They're just letting people pay for the stupid project and not be taxed for it.
Your language suggests that they're taking the money from the government - as if it were the government's money to begin with, and what right has this jerk to waste it how he sees fit? That worries me. And I don't think one needs to be a libertarian nutcase extremist to find fault with that reasoning, either.

2500$ deduction in taxes if you spend it on the space port?

how is that not a 2500$ deduction in taxes?

if it wasn't governments money to begin with, how could you deduct from it. eh.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336778)

If it was government's money "to begin with", why do they have to take it from my paycheck?

Re:A more accurate title might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338074)

Because otherwise you would refuse to pay for society.

It does cost money you know.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339206)

Because otherwise you would refuse to pay for society.

It does cost money you know.

Society is NOT government.

"SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. ... Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer." - Thomas Paine

Re:A more accurate title might be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336430)

No, the rich space-nerds of Virginia will get a $2500 one-time (per corpse) tax break to finally, if post-mortem, achieve a lifelong dream of flying in space. The rest of Virginia doesn't even notice $2500*spaceNerds.count() missing from the general revenues, since spaceNerds.count() is low and $2500 is a small amount of money compared to a state budget. The total per year probably won't even be equal to a single kindergarten special ed teacher assistant's yearly salary. Goddard/Wallops Island Spaceport (which is owned by NASA) can tack a few lightweight, low-density "passengers" onto sounding rockets to cheapen up research projects. If those research projects are state funded in the first place (Virginia Tech, among others, launches atmospheric studies from Wallops), the net effect on taxpayers is either zero or, if the space-burial price exceeds $2500 and the tax break only partially subsidizes it, actually beneficial to taxpayers: instead of paying $researchCosts / taxpayers.count() , they're paying ( $researchCosts - ( $deadBurnedSpacedScatteredNerdPayments - $nerdSpacingSubsidies ) ) / taxpayers.count() .

Re:A more accurate title might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337262)

Now learn how to express yourself without using a programming language.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337368)

I'll translate.

No, the rich space-nerds of Virginia will get a $2500 one-time (per corpse) tax break to finally, if post-mortem, achieve a lifelong dream of flying in space. The rest of Virginia doesn't even notice $2500*spaceNerds.count() missing from the general revenues, since spaceNerds.count() is low and $2500 is a small amount of money compared to a state budget. The total per year probably won't even be equal to a single kindergarten special ed teacher assistant's yearly salary. Goddard/Wallops Island Spaceport (which is owned by NASA) can tack a few lightweight, low-density "passengers" onto sounding rockets to cheapen up research projects. If those research projects are state funded in the first place (Virginia Tech, among others, launches atmospheric studies from Wallops), the net effect on taxpayers is either zero or, if the space-burial price exceeds $2500 and the tax break only partially subsidizes it, actually beneficial to taxpayers: instead of paying $researchCosts / taxpayers.count() , they're paying ( $researchCosts - ( $deadBurnedSpacedScatteredNerdPayments - $nerdSpacingSubsidies ) ) / taxpayers.count() .

No, the rich spce nerds of Virginia will get a $2,500 per-corpse tax break to finally, if post-mortem, achieve a lifelong dream of flying in space. The rest of Virginia doesn't even notice this because there are so few space nerds that $2,500 each doesn't even count as a rounding error in the state budget. The total per year probably won't even be equal to a single kindergarten special ed teacher assistant's yearly salary. Goddard/Wallops Island Spaceport (which is owned by NASA) can tack a few lightweight, low-density "passengers" onto sounding rockets to cheapen up research projects. If those research projects are state funded in the first place (Virginia Tech, among others, launches atmospheric studies from Wallops), the net effect on taxpayers is either zero or, if the space-burial price exceeds $2500 and the tax break only partially subsidizes it, actually beneficial to taxpayers. The cost of having their cremated bodies sent into space less any subsidies goes to offset any research costs the state would have spent anyway.

Re:A more accurate title might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337512)

Sounds a lot better without the crippling autism, doesn't it?

Re:A more accurate title might be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337442)

Welcome to ./

Re:A more accurate title might be... (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339186)

The people of Virginia may be forced to waste their money on a stupid pork project.

You're using it wrong. A tax deduction is not "pork" - that's actual revenue earmarked for supporting only a small constituency. All states provide tax deductions for spending on some business or another that brings jobs and revenues to their state. This one is no different than the Michigan tax deduction that Michael Moore took advantage of for filming one of his movies in the state. Well, actually, it is different, because this is a $2,500 deduction from gross income, whereas what Moore got was a refundable credit of up to 42 percent which could amount to millions of dollars, and it's payable even if he ends up with NO tax liability at all.

2500 per year? (3, Funny)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336320)

Who gets to make the tax deduction? And if it's on the dead guy's estate, why per year? I mean, how many times to they expect a person to die in Virginia, anyhow?

Per year is actually per person (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336606)

The deduction is not continuous. It applies to the year the person dies and/or the "space burial" is paid.

Re:2500 per year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338340)

I've lived here for a while and I feel like I've died a thousand deaths.

Re:2500 per year? (1)

caramuru (600877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338654)

Drop dead.

Per year? (5, Funny)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336348)

"$2500 a year" it says. Just how many times will they allow a dead person to be shot into space?

"Today, we say farewell to Uncle Bob's left arm. We're all thankful knowing it will be joining his torso and the rest of his limbs in heaven. Amen"

"Psst! Aunt Sally, no more tax breaks, please. We're all sick of driving out here to see yet another funeral/blast off."

Re:Per year? (1)

Talence (4962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336532)

I'd suppose that the taxes would apply to remaining family, not the deceased person.

Re:Per year? (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336730)

The parent is saying that the deceased can be re-used several times if you cut them into small pieces and send them off a piece a year, translating into multiple instances of tax relief for the family.

Re:Per year? (1)

Talence (4962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336898)

Oops, meant to reply to the parent of this post.

That being said, tax relief does not result in net profit, just in lowering the effective costs of something you'd do anyway. So unless there's an added benefit, I would prefer not to cut up family members this way just for tax relief :-)

Re:Per year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337170)

Since (so far at least) only a small, and presumably relatively randomly selected, portion of a deceased cremains are sent into space, they are already sort of being "cut up" but more at the molecular level (different molecules of course due to the cremation process but these molecules are largely constructed of atoms from the deceased's body).

Planetes (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336428)

Planetes [wikipedia.org] , anyone?

Lets give them more garbage to work on!

Re:Planetes (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337318)

It even had an episode on space burial, though I didn't like much their take on it.

So let me get this straight... (1)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336492)

NASA is shuttering their space program, and the Virginia government wants to repurpose the spaceport to make some money by shooting dead people into space?

Set the controls ... (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336496)

for the heart of the sun.

It's not a space launch of eternal rest (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336598)

it's a delayed cremation on re-entry...

Contradiction in terms (0)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336690)

To bury someone means to place their dead body underground, in the earth or a tomb. Being launched into space is pretty close to the opposite of burial.

Re:Contradiction in terms (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336856)

To bury someone means to place their dead body underground, in the earth or a tomb. Being launched into space is pretty close to the opposite of burial.

So then I guess we should rename "burial at sea" to just plain simple "body dumping". Burial now has the common connotation of any type of interring of a body in any location: sea, land, or space. Could you have been any more pedantic?

Re:Contradiction in terms (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337936)

Burial now has the common connotation of any type of interring of a body in any location: sea, land, or space.

Unfortunately for your argument, "interring" means "covering with earth".

Could you have been any more pedantic?

I certainly hope not. What you deride as "pedantic", I consider "accurate".

bad precedent (4, Interesting)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336700)

That's like saying it's okay to junk-up our orbit with space debris. "It's just for a little while", yes, then, people will pay more and expect justice from their government when they demand to be put into a stable orbit. "You condoned it for them, so me, too!" Burial in space should necessitate being put on a tracjectory that would actual take you into OUTER space, not in orbit around the Earth.

Okay, I would accept one stipulation: your container has to be highly magnetized. Whilst in orbit with the rest of the junk, you will have to do some sweeping up and junk collection on behalf of a grateful Earth. Then, when you re-enter, you can bring the junk in with you and you can all incinerate together.

Re:bad precedent (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337614)

IIRC, most space burials are sub-orbital - they re-enter and burn up after 90 days or so, becoming a pollution non-hazard.

buried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38336726)

Sounds a bit rubbish. If you're going to bury something, you put it in something.

Space is less buried than leaving something free to atmosphere!

Hey! (1)

webanish (1045264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336754)

Don't just dump me in some random orbit around earth. I wanna rise from the ashes on Ganymede.

Heaven's Gate Cult (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336878)

Isn't that roughly where these guys [wikipedia.org] were headed?

Subsiding what? (4, Insightful)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336828)

Support for a budding enterprise might be worthwhile, but what socio-economic benefit is there from disbursing cremated ash in space? If I was a VA taxpayer I'd be wondering what I'm paying for.

Presumably the spaceport is primarily for putting up satellites, which can be useful infrastructure.

Why subsidise a frivolous use of rocket fuel instead of satellites?

Re:Subsiding what? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339266)

Support for a budding enterprise might be worthwhile, but what socio-economic benefit is there from disbursing cremated ash in space? If I was a VA taxpayer I'd be wondering what I'm paying for.

Presumably the spaceport is primarily for putting up satellites, which can be useful infrastructure.

Why subsidise a frivolous use of rocket fuel instead of satellites?

The private space industry (that is, private rockets and launches) is in a very early seed stage. To make it grow, you have to be able to support whatever market exists for the technology now, so that the industry can grow into supporting really interesting and much more important functions.

Think of it like the very early Internet. When the government funding was virtually gone, and it was handed over to private investment, where did most of the funding for new technologies come from? That's right: Porn. There was still a lot of tax credits and government funding for supporting and promoting Internet technologies, even though the discretionary private funding was mostly coming from people wanting to see naked chicks and 10-inch penises.

So don't worry too much if people spending money on space projects are doing it for stupid reasons right now - if it works out there will be lots of great stuff using those technologies in the future.

Keep these C molecules on Earth please (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336890)

We need them for new life...

Re:Keep these C molecules on Earth please (1)

webanish (1045264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336966)

Huh! I want earth to have a Saturn-like ring as well :-)

Just don't take my title! (1)

sporkboy (22212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38336944)

I hope to be the first American to die in space. That would be enough to be notable for Wikipedia I think.

I have been and always shall be.. (1)

nightcats (1114677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337030)

oh WTF, never mind:die short and prosper

Perhaps they shoud subsidise retarded summaries? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337090)

would provide a Virginia income tax deduction up to $2,500 a year for such burials.

I can just about comprehend dead people paying taxes. But the thought of them coming back to life and, umm, redying on an annual basis has got me confused and a little disturbed.

Re:Perhaps they shoud subsidise retarded summaries (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338266)

But the thought of them coming back to life and, umm, redying on an annual basis has got me confused and a little disturbed.

Dead folks vote in elections in every state of the Union. In each election, they tend to vote early, and vote often. Dead folks also cash their social security checks.

They are a very influential part of the electorate, so I'd be mindful of talking kindly about them . . . them being dead, and all.

I don't know ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337142)

... if I'd trust Virginia to dispose of my remains [reuters.com] according to my instructions.

The Good, The Bad, The Awesome (1)

KowboyKrash (2020632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337156)

While a must admit as a SciFi fanboy and an Uber Geek I love the idea of being buried in space, I don't think that a tax break for doing so in in the best interest of Virginia or anybody really. In a honesty I believe that all tax breaks are unfair. I think that on of the biggest problem with the American economy is the convoluted tax system but, I have a SOLUTION. Here goes let me know what you think! Flush the entire tax code down the toilette, then implement on tax rate for everyone. 10% income tax on all income earned over $45,000. So, if you earn $60,000 your tax liability is $1500. this applies to every one married, single and corporation. so a 10 billion dollar business will pay $999,995,500 in taxes. no exception. period. This would replace FICA, medicare/medicaid all other federal taxes period. How did I come up with 10% you ask. Well if you have ever attended a church you will know that in most christian sects you are expected to tithe 10% to the church. I figure that if "god" can get by on 10% so should uncle Sam!! why set the cutoff for paying taxes at $45000? Well again it is kinda arbitrary. for a family (two wage earners and any number of children) that would allow for up to $90000 tax free. and save for a few places like NYC, and LA you should be able to live on that a year just fine. if you do live some place with outrageous cost of living Move! OK flame on and tell me how stupid you think I am but please give a good wel thought out reason.

Re:The Good, The Bad, The Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337408)

At church u give 10% of what? Weekly income? What's in ur wallet at the time?

Re:The Good, The Bad, The Awesome (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338322)

Excellent idea, pull a random percentage out of your ass, without even stopping to consider the most fundamental issues, like:

How much tax is being collected right now
How much tax would be collected under your scheme
How much tax is needed to cover what the government spends

Looking at Wikipedia, the lowest tax bracket in the US is 10%. Highest is 35%. So if you put that in practice you've just cut tax revenue by a huge amount.

I've not done the calculations, but I'd be surprised if you could pay for the military with what remains, so your plan better include drastic military cuts for a start.

Re:The Good, The Bad, The Awesome (1)

KowboyKrash (2020632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338756)

I never said that cuts wouldn't need to be made but the elimination of ALL corporate tax incentives/breaks should limit this to a point but. we can start cutting with congressional salary's then the federal dept of education we can also eliminate most of the IRS under this plan. as for the military... As a Marine (2000-2004) one of the first things we can due is stop acting as the worlds police. oh we can also end all non humanitarian foreign aid. oh and get rid of Obama care, hmmm oh and we need to put tariffs on all imports from china until the start treating US company fairly in China and respecting us IP rights. how about eliminating federal grants too.

Red state shenanigans (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337292)

So, this is how a former blue state, now red, looks at fiscal responsibility?

Bio-mass (1)

astropirate (1470387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337350)

Am I the only one that's worried about losing all of this bio-mass from the earth?

Two questions arise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337450)

1: Will it have enough fuel to get out of orbit?
2: Won't the aliens just take the vases and dump the ashes? Shouldn't we should just send out the body in tact as a way of telling them that we're crazy and shouldn't be messed with?

Ghoulish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38337708)

Space Nutters will stoop to any low to subsidize their fantasy/religion.

Helping? (1)

Cyphase (907627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38337884)

A tax deduction does not mean the government is helping you pay for something. It means they're going to take less money from you if you buy a certain product or service.

Re:Helping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338662)

If the Commonwealth of Virginia reduces your tax burden when you buy a certain product or service, they are certainly helping you pay for it.

Re:Helping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338826)

Uh.. yes it does. "we're going to nail you for less taxes when you purchase ..." is the same as "you owe us the full amount of taxes, but we'll pay off part of your purchase ..."

Because it is a tax deduction and not a tax credit means that the assistance of government is not $2500. But it is government assistance for a specific transaction.

Really? (1)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338472)

I guess that now the subject of space junk will be an awkward thing to talk about?

Anyone else? (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338986)

I misread the headline as:
Viagra May Help People Pay For Space Burials

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