The Obama administration released its 2013 proposed budget for NASA. A step in the wrong direction!!
If one looks at the fact that NASA’s budget of $17.7 billion is 0.47% of the proposed national budget of $3.8 trillion, and they’re proposing a cut of .3% of NASA’s 2012 budget, which works out to $59 million. Now, is that $59 million really going to help reduce the national debt—or will it just get lost in the pork-barrel legislation that seems to be prevalent? When you consider the impact it has on NASA and its plans for future space exploration and the benefits it will bring, is it really worth it? These projects stimulate employment and provide opportunities for technological spinoffs that can further stimulate the economy. And, we’re not even talking about the educational benefits by getting young people interested in and excited about science and engineering.
Speaking of education. Why in the world, with our decaying education system, would you cut NASA’s education budget? Cut by $36 million from 2012’s allotment of $136 million—26%! We have no business cutting any educational programs. If we want to save money we should be looking at how we can run them more efficiently and put more children into the programs. This is an investment in our future. Our 401K for the nation is the education of the children today. We can’t afford to let our technical edge get any duller than it is now.
Consider the benefits of raising NASA’s budget by just $59 million (.001% of the national budget). We would be joining the European Space Agency in two missions to Mars in 2016 and 2018. We would be able to expand the educational programs and further development of flagship mission that push the boundaries of space exploration. Just think about what we have learned from the Pioneers, Voyagers, Cassini, Galileo, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity to name a few.
I know times are tough. I feel it every day as does everyone else. But, our government seems to be flailing about in a panic to leave nothing untouched in the effort to reduce the budget. Is that for the good of the country or just PR for the next elections? It seems to be Republicans pointing fingers at Democrats and visa-versa. Aren’t we all on the same team—team USA? I don’t get the feeling that we are seriously weighing the consequences of some of these cuts, the perceived benefits we see today won’t pay off tomorrow.
If we don’t carefully invest in our future, our future will be very bleak indeed…
Check this link to Universe Today for a review of the budget.
Till next time,