- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 12, 2013

While conceding its potential contributions to job creation and defense against intergalactic threats, the Obama administration officially announced this week that a U.S. Death Star “is not on the horizon.”

Paul Shawcross, chief of the science branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget, broke the bad news late Friday in the administration’s response to an online petition that garnered over 34,000 petitions when it was posted on the White House’s “We the People” website. Administration officials have pledged to provide an official response to any petition that attracts at least 25,000 e-signatures.

Mr. Shawcross cited several reasons for the administration’s decision to reject the Death Star proposal, including the administration’s longstanding policy that it “does not support blowing up planets.”

He also cited the daunting $850 quadrillion price tag, as estimated by business students at Lehigh University.

“We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it,” he noted.

And Mr. Shawcross said that research conducted in Hollywood revealed unexpected defensive vulnerabilities with Death Star technology, which might not make its construction cost-effective.

“Why should we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” he asked.

Mr. Shawcross used his response to tout the country’s other advances in space, from the International Space Station and recent private missions into the heavens to President Obama’s reported proficiency with a light saber.

The original petition called on the government to secure the funding to start construction on an American Death Star by 2016.

“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense,” the petition read in part.

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