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Congress Cuts NASA's Budget On Apollo Anniversary

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the bush's-mars-trip-might-be-delayed dept.

Space 462

colonist writes "A House appropriations subcommittee voted to cut NASA's budget request by 7 percent on the 35th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon. The panel also cut environment and science programs, but increased funding for veterans' affairs. NASA would get $15.1 billion next year, $229 million below this year and $1.1 billion below the President's request. Most of the cuts are on new initiatives. The subcommittee is the first step of a long budget process and major changes to the bill are expected."

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Anyone else feel really left out? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760037)

There's a whole bunch of us who aren't 35+ and can't discuss where we were when it happened. It sucks.

Re:Anyone else feel really left out? (1)

Antihero77 (602539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760169)

There's a whole bunch of us who aren't 35+ and can't discuss where we were when it happened. It sucks.

Do I feel left out? Nope, because I can distinctly remember where I was during the O.J. white bronco chase.

Plus we went there 35 years ago and never went back. Why? Because it's boring up there.

Serves you right, Liberal Geeks! (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760188)

You cried and pleaded for extensive welfare programs for niggers, spicks and other terrorists. The money had to come from somewhere!

Venturing into Space is the most important task for humanity. How else are we going to escape the escalating tide of subhuman negroid filth that threatens to engulf our planet?

Re:Anyone else feel really left out? (1)

Hakubi_Washu (594267) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760228)

Yeah, but I sure as hell want to be able to say "I was there when it happened", talking about a manned mission to mars, be it onboard or in front of the tv... Well, all hope's not lost, ESA's "Aurora" Programm still runs fully as expected. Might well be that Europe will send the first men and women to mars... Would be ironic, don't you agree?

Re:Anyone else feel really left out? (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760379)

There's a whole bunch of us who aren't 35+ and can't discuss where we were when it happened. It sucks.

In true proto-geek fashion I listened to "That's one small step..." on a crystal set.

The earliest mission I remember with any clarity is Apollo 8. In typical 7 year-old fashion I thought it would really suck to be away from home on Christmas Day.

The world forgot about space after Apollo 11, probably helped by the general lack of live video from Apollo 12. Pointing fancy new tv cameras at the Sun will do that. :-(

The world noticed Apollo 13.

After that nobody cared. NASA axed Apollo 18, 19 and 20. After Apollo 17 (no real media coverage, but great pictures in National Geographic), NASA decided it was more fun to go around in circles, and, with minor exceptions, that's all they've done since.

Sad.

...laura, space geek from very early on

3 Reasons (4, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760039)

FTA: A House appropriations subcommittee voted to cut NASA's budget request by 7 percent on the 35th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon.

I believe this happened for a few reasons:

1. War
2. Sympathy
3. Elections

War: The spending on the war has caused so many problems in the US that it's hard to fathom any budget increases for any program, other than a military one. Take into account the huge chunk of cash moved into Iraq and you have yourself some questions. Is it prudent to be offering extra money to spend on space when so much money is going to killing resistance fighters, terrorists and occasional Iraqi civilians? Not to mention the costs of rebuilding the country that was bombed into the stone age, for whatever reason.

Sympathy: Dogbert says that if you want to get more funding, you should have your funding publicly slashed and burned for about a year. The sympathy you get will cause your funding increases to double in the next year, and the year after that. Part of the problem with getting new funding is that the old funding can be perceived as too fat if it hasn't been cut recently. Having funding cut will help obfuscate your motives for even more padding in the years to come.

Elections: By cutting the funding to NASA, this will show people that it's an election year and it's important to vote. I'm not sure which party will benefit from these cuts more, yet it's important for everyone that more people go and vote. People everywhere love NASA for their space exploration because most human beings want to pretend they can be members of a space faring race, like on Star Trek. NASA's human rights injuries [worldnewsstand.net] , be damned.

Re:3 Reasons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760093)


Man, you quote Dogbert entirely too much.

Re:3 Reasons (4, Insightful)

ZeroGee (796304) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760129)

Sympathy: Dogbert says that if you want to get more funding, you should have your funding publicly slashed and burned for about a year. The sympathy you get will cause your funding increases to double in the next year, and the year after that. Part of the problem with getting new funding is that the old funding can be perceived as too fat if it hasn't been cut recently. Having funding cut will help obfuscate your motives for even more padding in the years to come.

Are you actually implying that supporters wanted the funding cut, so as to increase it in the future?

Government funding doesn't work like that. On the contrary, if you don't use up all your funding, the likelihood of it going up is nil.

If NASA can meet the new budget, Congress says, "See? That's all you need. That's what you get next year."

If NASA underruns, Congress says, "See? You've made improvements. You don't even need THAT much!"

The reality of the situation is that you need to use all your funding / even run over a little bit to justify "getting more" in the next round of appropriations.

Hmmmm. (0, Troll)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760170)

Didn't bush make some big statement about a manned mission to Mars?

I guess when it didn't successfully divert attention from the war casulaties, he tossed that idea.

Re:Hmmmm. (4, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760306)

I live in Huntsville, AL--Rocket City USA.

There's nothing sadder than engineers who've been chomping at the bit for years wanting to do some *real* space work hearing about Bush's Mars plan, maybe even getting to work on preliminaries, and knowing that it's all a political game and nothing will ever actually get off the ground.

Re:Hmmmm. (4, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760331)

And of course, the vote went along party lines. The 6 Republicans, led by Young, voted for the cuts; the three Democrats, led by Obey, voted against. At least they gave more veterans benefits than the pittiance that Bush requested....

Still, there's no way that this will remain in its current form. I can't imagine even the Republican-dominated house supporting this.

Re:3 Reasons (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760227)

Is it prudent to be offering extra money to spend on space when so much money is going to killing resistance fighters, terrorists and occasional Iraqi civilians?

Nah Gonna Do It. Wouldn't be Prudent, at this Juncture.

/DanaCarvey

Re:3 Reasons (4, Interesting)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760231)

MSNBC's take on this [msn.com] indicates that cuts were made across the board, including earmark projects in representative's home districts. cutting funds to your district isn't the way to win elections (#3). and cutting funds to veteran's programs in the middle of a war is definitely not the way to win sympathy (#2). which just leaves the reality of war spending draining funds for other federal programs (#1). With no new taxes to pay for the war, the cost has to come from existing programs. an unfortunate reality.

Take a hard look (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760325)

The generation before mine was able to go to war( 'nam, anyone ) and to the moon.

The problem here was that taxes were cut, AND spending was increased. You can not do that for long. If you are going to do new things, you must have a solid tax base.

There are days that I wonder if this world would be a better place if W had just 10 more IQ or had not been so gutless that he went to 'nam and saw some death. Probably would have been fragged, even though it was not much of a problem in the Air Force.

Re:Take a hard look (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760362)

Vietnam escalated after the majority of the Apollo costs were spent. Although, I agree, the main problem is the cut in tax revenue at the same time as a costly venture (war) was launched.

As Neil said (4, Insightful)

Burb (620144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760040)

That's one smaller step for man ...

Sorry

Re:As Neil said (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760242)

And good luck, Mr. Gorsky!

Re:As Neil said (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760290)

No, it's a "rightsized" step.

Ugh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760041)

That's just wrong.

(I'm actually agreeing with Bush.)

I'm confused (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760085)

What's just wrong, the cuts or agreeing with Bush?

So? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760044)

What does this have to do with Apple? Why are you posting this non-Apple related crap here? Or is this the new name of their open networking zeroconf protocol?

Slashdot: Apple news, and Apple news only.

Apple (2, Funny)

yohan1701 (779792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760045)

How does this have anything to do with Apple ?. I thought this was Slashdot news from Apple.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760299)

The budget cuts mean they won't be able to buy Macs.

Re:Apple (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760327)

Current space travel : Space travel in 2001 :: Original mp3 players : iPod

That is to say, when Steve Jobs gets into space travel, it'll be better and more stylish. Unfortunately it will also cost even more :)

prayer is free (-1, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760051)

What do we need a space program for, when all true believers are going straight to heaven?

Re:prayer is free (2, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760120)

"What do we need a space program for, when all true believers are going straight to heaven?"

Errr... I *believe* you are a moron. Cool, I get to go to heaven.

Re:prayer is free (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760194)

You, lp, are probably beyond redemption. For the rest of the irony-challenged contingent of Slashdot readers, here's a clue: nerds would prefer a space program to prayer, although they know they don't have to choose. It looks like you, lp, are going to have to rely on prayer, as your intellect won't be getting you off the ground.

Re:prayer is free (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760326)

"You, lp, are probably beyond redemption"

could be, but I was just messin' with you.

well.. (1, Flamebait)

dignome (788664) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760053)

I guess NASA will not be using those million dollar wrenches anymore.

Re:well.. (0, Flamebait)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760133)

No, not anymore. They sold them to Enron and Worldcom, and then Haliburton got them for a steal at the bankruptcy proceedings.

The terrorists have already won! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760055)

It saddens me to see our proud government to decrease the investment in R&D, especially an institution like NASA which has produced some great technologies. This tech has now found its way into every-day use.

But instead we increase our military spending and restricts our citizen's rights and freedoms, for no sensible reason.

Yes, Osama has won, and our leaders are too dumb to realize it.

Re:The terrorists have already won! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760173)

actually he hasnt,

you are still alive, and so am I.

he doesnt want to change us, he wants to kill us.

dont forget that, he isnt about spreading fear and terror, he is about killing us. its very simple.

Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760060)

I thought they were supposed to be "going to the moon... and beyond!" not likely if they keep scrimping on the funding!

No Mars Mission? (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760062)

I would rather scrap the majority of other programs and focus on Man on Mars Mission.

Re:No Mars Mission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760099)

But wait--the other programs actually get you something.

Re:No Mars Mission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760137)

As an astrophysics major, most of the astrophysicists I've talked with about this seem to agree that, while manned space flight is a neat concept, our drive to go to Mars will basically cost the majority of the unmanned missions and earth-based observation we are doing, for little or no gain in our understanding of the science of Mars.

Re:No Mars Mission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760317)

so do your astrophysicists also say that we obtained little or no understatind of the mission to the moon? we konw it isn't made of cheese and it's round, has craters, etc. So it cost money, do you know what todaies dollars the moon missions cost - probably more than the present budget of nasa.

Re:No Mars Mission? (2, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760158)

YES!
And then we can build an underground ship that can tavel to the Core, and detonate a couple nukes to get the techtonics going again. Then we can produce CO2 for it's atmosphere, and then plant trees n' shit for the O2, and we can live there. That would be cool.. i'm selling the rights to hollywood.

Re:No Mars Mission? (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760246)

What a waste of cash! Just get some brainwashed spy to activate the ancient alient relics that will replenish the atmosphere for the entire planet in less time then it takes to asphyxiate. That's much more efficient.

Re:No Mars Mission? (1)

tmhsiao (47750) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760312)

Nah. That was all just a misguided hallucination.

Re:No Mars Mission? (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760315)

Funny; I'd rather scrap the Man on Mars mission and spend the money on science (as opposed to engineering.)

Not that a man (or woman) on Mars wouldn't be unbearably cool, and certainly capable of doing some great science (a human could walk from crater to crater in hours, not months), but the cost is astronomical (pardon the pun). We put two rovers on Mars for less than a hundred million; people on Mars would cost tens of billions.

Of course if they were talking about sending _me_ to Mars I'd feel differently; I'd love to go. But I don't get real vicarious thrills watching somebody else go, so I'd rather spend the money more carefully.

Re:No Mars Mission? (2, Insightful)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760350)

Your correct, I imagine that Steve Ballmer or his one of his children could be the first person to walk on mars. Privatize the mission so the taxpayers don't wring their hands worrying.

Ridiculous... (1)

scoot241 (794509) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760063)

Apparently outer space isn't a large enough concern for Congress. The future of the human race lies outside of this one planet. When are these lawmakers finally going to realize that Mars and beyond hold much more knowledge than what is left to discover on Earth?

Why's this OUR job? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760319)

Let the rest of the world do some of the work for a change!

Bunch of freeloaders...

older news slashbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760065)

will someone just answer so i can stop wasting all of our time?

the older news slashbox has dissapeared out of the list of slashboxes on preferences -> homepage. does anyone know what happened and/or how to get it back

Re:older news slashbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760255)

Taco says in his journal [slashdot.org] : The code refresh went as well as could be expected... which is to say that there was some twists, turns, and a whole lotta bad aftermath, but that's par for the course. Under the hood things are all working properly. We had a couple of quick bugs that are now fixed. A few more minor bugs are waiting to be swatted. We also temporarily disabled a couple of user functions... nobody noticed some of them, which means we can probably purge some stuff if it helps make the site faster.

I hope this answers your question.

Oh yea, right. (4, Informative)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760067)

The subcommittee is the first step of a long budget process and major changes to the bill are expected.

But most likely not any changes that will actually help NASA.

early post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760068)

1st EP in a long time. Props to Maus, the PiraTE, lINUXdAVE.....AND ALL THE REST

FIRTS POST ASSHOLES!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760070)

FirSt PosT! WHO wants TO smEll mY SHIT?

YOU FAIL IT, FUCKTARD!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760206)

YOU FAIL IT! YOU need TO Eat Your SHIT!

go die now.

Figures (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760071)

Until they detect signs of oil on Mars, this trend will unfortunately continue.

Re:Figures (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760250)

Just wait until they find out that Osama is guarding it.

KFG

WWBD (What Will Bush Do?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760074)

Now we shall see just how interested Bush is in getting us to Mars. Will he fight for NASA's budget, or just turn around and let things fade away?

I'm hoping for the former, but expecting the latter.

scientific and environmental research (1)

abhinavmodi (737782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760089)

It is unfortunate that the "leading" nation in the world has taken this step backwards. At a time when space exploration requires a major boost and research into space colonization as well as cheaper travel technology needs to be the priority, the cut might slow down these efforts. More worrying than the NASA budget cut is that of "environment programs". At a time when new inroads need to be made into environment presercation technology and practices, this cut may stall new developments

I disagree (1)

baudilus (665036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760268)

While you have some valid points regarding environmental research, I just can't see how this country can justify spending so much money ($11B!) on space programs, when so many of it's citizens are starving and dying in the streets. Can you imagine how much even 1/10th of that budget could do to help raise the standard of living?

Re:scientific and environmental research (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760364)

It's really quite clever. If you are going to cut environmental spending, do it at the same time as you cut space funding on the anniversary of a major event of the space age. All the press will be about Neil Armstrong and nobody will notice the damage being done to our planet in the name of money.

NASA's budget (1)

Rogue 2 (777932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760094)

I had a friend who interned for the same appropriations committee a couple years back, and I remember him saying that NASA's budget has actually been declining for years in terms of real dollar value. Even when NASA saw modest increases to their budget over the past decade or two, the increases did not nearly keep pace with inflation. So now that the budget is actually, really being reduced, how are they supposed to continue supporting all of their initiatives?

Conservative, my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760095)

Is there anything Bush won't spend tons of money on? As a former Republican, I get really sick of hearing Bush propose a billion here, a billion there. All while trying to fund multiple wars with the possibility of having another one (Iran). Please, somebody run for office on a platform of fiscal responsibility!

Can't say I'm too saddened. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760096)

I'd rather that money be used to feed the hungry and poor, fix the national debt, etc. rather than have some pretty red rocks in a museum.

That being said, though, I doubt the money makes it's way there either. Oh well...

And this... (3, Interesting)

gclef (96311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760101)

...is why we'll never make it to the moon or mars with the gov't: we're not prepared to pay the price.

I hold out hope for private enterprise, but that's still decades away.

Trip to mars (5, Funny)

mpupu (750408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760105)

In other news, Congress is now sponsoring the "Y-Prize", which awards 1M to the first private spaceship that safely lands on Mars surface.

They're also outsourcing NASA jobs to India, I guess.

Election year BS (4, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760106)

Face it, during an election cycle, lawmakers would rather be percieved as budget-minded tax cutters than bold visionaries. If any major funding for NASA is to come, it will have to be shortly after the election, when a president is in a better position to advocate major change.

Re:Election year BS (2, Insightful)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760207)

Face it, during an election cycle, lawmakers would rather be percieved as budget-minded tax cutters than bold visionaries.

Actually, in general, being a budget-minded tax cutter IS being a bold visionary.

I dunno... I just think civilization has had more than enough government produced bold visions...

Re:Election year BS (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760351)

I wouldn't mind Government Bold Visions (tm) if they were from the Government, Bold, and Visionary. Most of what I've seen in my 28 years are whimpy, short-sighted, industry handouts.

Let's face it, the problem is the old MIC. You have a billion dollar industry whose sole source of revenue is fleecing the government. You want to talk about accountability, how about stop using the same jokers who charge a fortune to not deliver year after year after year.

For what we are paying "private industry" we could have hired 5 times as many civil servants to do the same job better. (We are already paying the Goverment's overhead. Why should we pay industry's too?)

Re:Election year BS (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760262)

i would buy this argument, except cuts are occuring in other areas as well; including congressional earmarks (the porkbelly) as well as veteran's affairs. cutting funding to veterans is not the way to be perceived as a visionary, especially in the middle of a war. I think this is more a financial reality than some sort of election year posturing.

Priorities (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760123)

This is messed up. So we are reducing the cost of something that might explain the Universe and instead throwing money away on lobbying so two people of the same sex cannot get married..

Sorry, but that is fucked up. I know gay marriage and the sciences don't exact relate but that just shows you how our garbage political officials spend money on shit that doesn't even matter and is not even going to explain our fucking universe.

As George Carlin said about political officials "Garbage In = Garbage Out"

The Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760125)

Was is it all about? Is it good, or is it whack?

Tax cuttery (3, Insightful)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760126)

Well when taxes are lower, spending has to be cut somewhere. Many programs want more money, many people want more programs, many people (and corporations) want less taxes (there was a story in today's Chicago Trib about some new super-corporate-freeforall-taxloophole bill today, kinda disheartening, our government is 0wn3d).

Like the MS Word issue, where people with unrealistic demands drive software bloat, the unrealistic demands of people drive deficit spending.

And we elect the nice members of Congress to balance these needs. Better them than me.

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760143)

The toilet aboard the space shuttle has been upgraded to a crap bag.

And, all dehydrated foods have been replaced by 4 barrels of dried oats.

GOOD! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760154)

sorry I support NASA to the end,
but they waste a lot of money, and i dont mean the "toilets, or wrenches" garbage.

I mean they are a large organization and its a government entity, they waste tons of money in managers talking to each other.

I think every government budget should be slashed, from schools to police. FORCE them to be efficient.

Re:GOOD! (2, Insightful)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760225)

"I think every government budget should be slashed, from schools to police. FORCE them to be efficient."

Nice idea, but most places work from the ground up when figuring out the corners to cut, usually because they give the jobs to managers, and you appear to have missed the point that the whole system is dedicated to keeping a strata of middle-management in paperclips.

As for 'wasting' money, they're in a pretty unique situation regarding doing stuff for the first time, in terms of pure research, they're in the enviable position of having more stuff go to market than, say, high temperature physics or cosmology.

We need another space race! (5, Insightful)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760187)

I doubt the US would have put men on the moon, if they were not scared to death that the russians would get there first. I saw an interview with Buzz Aldrin last night, where he pretty well said as much, saying that this was an element of the cold war that they had won. How sad. And once this was accomplished, the budget was cut, despite the fact they had the Saturn V's in mass production at the time, and could have finished the planned missions for a relatively small cost. The NRE was over, and next Apollo rocket and crew was primed and ready to go. Go watch "2001 a space odyssey" (released in 1970) to see where it was widely thought we should have been by 2001.

Setting foot on another world was THE #1 defining moment of human civilization. 10,000 years from now, when we are hopefully spread across the galaxy, what historial event will stand out? A revolution in country X, a war in country Y? The raize and fall of empire Z? No, it will be the first steps off our home planet.

I can only hope in the next few years China makes a dash for Mars, and the west feels a need to upstage them. We should have been there by now.

Re:We need another space race! (1)

novakane007 (154885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760276)

HERE! HERE!! I only wish I had some mod points for you.

Re:We need another space race! (5, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760321)

Go watch "2001 a space odyssey" (released in 1970) to see where it was widely thought we should have been by 2001.

IIRC, 2001 was released in 1968. Think: that film was made in a time when nobody had ever been to the moon, but they were just about to do so. At Christmas '68 Apollo 8 orbited the Moon for the first time. That's the backdrop to 2001.

Now it's 2004. We've been to the Moon, we gave it up because we wanted to spend the money on killing Vietnamese people, and nobody seems to care anymore.

There's a word for this. Decadent.

Sad to say, but I actually agree with Congress (5, Insightful)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760190)


Let's face it, the American people (on average, not your typical US Slashdot reader - I hope) just do NOT get the fact that you have to HAVE money to SPEND money. Apparently being suckled on credit cards has removed that concept from peoples' minds.

With Bush's multiple rounds of slashing taxes, that means we have LESS to spend. We've got record budget deficits and we have to cut spending correspondingly. Period.

So if you like deep tax cuts, quit whining about budget cuts. This is what the results are - the government HAS to spend less or we're simply pissing in our own well.

Whine all you want about "But they could just cut (Program-I-Don't-Care-About) instead!" The problem is that every other program has their own segment of the population screaming about the exact same thing.

Maybe some nation that understands the concept of debit/credit ledgers can get to Mars instead, and send us a postcard.

Sad.

Re:Sad to say, but I actually agree with Congress (2, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760249)

Well honestly, NASA is one of the most wasteful organizations I have ever seen. The Russians are doing it for far cheaper than we are, even the Europeon space organization is. Hell the private sector is now involved and doing it for far less.

I love the people at NASA and appreciate everything they have done, but NASA is still a government organization and as such is extremely wasteful by nature. We just aren't getting the same type of benefits from NASA that we once did, it's stagnant and dull. I wish them luck but I'd rather keep my tax money and spend it on my kids college fund, sorry.

Dumbass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760360)

Bush's tax cuts are a drop in the bucket full of the dotcom collapse and 9/11 economic effects. Anyone with a single functioning brain cell knows that.

There's also endless cases where tax cuts wound up increasing tax revenues. It's called optimizing the tax rate.

Ah, but what's the point. Worthless, brain damaged think-they-know-it-all ideologues like you are not even worth arguing against anymore. Your ideology has destroyed your ability to think critically. You *think* you are thinking clearly and rationally, but you're not. It's a mental illness. So if you like deep tax cuts, quit whining about budget cuts.

Fine with me. I worked hard and studied hard an pulled myself up from a childhood in poverty to a $150K income. I'll happily pay for roads and parks and the defense of our freedoms and education and essential stuff, but fuck off and die with all this other shit.

Give it up NASA,, the Apollo Program was way ago (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760191)

The 'space program' needs a complete re-think.

Surely some focus and purpose could be brought to the opportunity presented by all that money and 40 YEARS NEWER technology by some new people.

Time for less bureaucracy and more entrepreneureal risk-taking. How incredibly gutsy was it to go to the moon riding on 1960's technology? NASA has done nothing like it since.

Nice start - now scrap NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760198)

NASA is great at wasting money and effort. It simply can't be fixed. Use private industry for all research and other efforts. Maybe leave a shell of NASA that only coordinates efforts.

Priorities. (1)

AaroneousMaximus (766141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760200)

Well, that's the current political climate down here on earth. Much more interested in taking over earth. No money for NASA, how much did Iraq cost?

But don't worry, they'll find more money again once Bush is re-elected and Iran is the next big "terrorist threat".

Finally Republicans act as they should. (5, Interesting)

TS020 (793513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760202)

I am a fervent liberal, but Republicans claim to be about smaller gov, and less taxes. Well, the tax cuts enacted earlier warranted great cuts in programs. I don't like seeing the space and science budgets cut, being a fervent liberal, but hey, they need to do things right, and it's about time. I have an 8 month old daughter and she will be paying for the sins of this administration for a long time after I am (possibly) retired. What they need are massive cuts around the board to protect her. They want to do big tax cuts, it needs to come out someplace. I am of the opinion, however, that the federal government should be nothing more than international relations and international science (these would include space exploration and military), and that would greatly reduce our national taxes. All other things should vary from state to state, and that would enable each state to model its own economy and laws that could overwrite the federal ones. Smoke up!

Re:Finally Republicans act as they should. (1)

Jason Hood (721277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760309)

Seems to me that is one topic that both republicans and democrats are embracing more and more. States' rights. Hopefully that continues. The federal government far to bloated and far to involved in state issues.

concept of federalism (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760358)

The idea of having states control schools, etc., and not having the Federal Government control as much as it does today, was the original idea in this country. The Federal Government expanded its power with money: raising taxes to the point that states couldn't raise their own money without bankrupting their people, and then being the benevolent provider, giving money to the states for programs IF they did how the Feds pleased. This isn't entirely without benefit (and some stupid restriction that they put on funding would probably have been written into law by many states anyway, as would some wise restriction), but in my opinion it's not a very honest way of doing business. If the Federal Government went back to what they were originally designed to do, it would just move the problems around, push the vegetables around the plate. It wouldn't give NASA or anything else more money overall because taxes would have to be much lower.

Research for Research's Sake (4, Insightful)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760204)

I think that Congress has the impression that more research should be done by the private sector. I tend to lean toward Libertarian values, but I can see how funding NASA helps us all.

After all, NASA doesn't need to turn a profit on its research. When the private sector pumps billions of dollars into something it's expecting to get billions in return. So why search for things that (seemingly) won't turn a profit right away.

NASA has benefitted this country so much its sad to see Congress shoving it aside. I guess they're hoping to offshore NASA.

These are necessary cuts (1)

taybin (622573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760214)

This is just the first of the hard cuts that will have to happen to have social security for the baby boomers as they start to retire.

It's a shame this matter isn't being seriously addressed this election.

Time for handwaving (-1, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760216)

This is just what dubya needs. "I wanted to go to mars, but they cut NASA's budget, so now we can't do it. So sorry, thanks for your vote."

Re:Time for handwaving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760243)

um NASA does a better job on a smaller budget than when they have unlimited funds

make them innovate not just throw money at them

of course you probably believe that just giving money to schools will make them better

Re:Time for handwaving (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760307)

I don't think we should give money to schools, exactly - I think we should spend more on education though, by building new schools in order to reduce class sizes. Some children (myself included, when I was in school) need more attention than you can get in a class of 30 students with only one teacher.

Gimme the knife and let me slay the beast! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9760220)

NASA should be cut even further and any extra money should be diverted to private groups like those involved in the X-Prize. As any economist will tell you, and as all you Linux people know, a monopoly of any kind is bad, and NASA has one on SPACE. The quicker NASA is killed the sooner we can become a true space faring race, but in order to do that it must obey the same laws as business and NASA will never do that.

Evil Man

Re:Gimme the knife and let me slay the beast! (3, Interesting)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760308)

"As any economist will tell you, and as all you Linux people know, a monopoly of any kind is bad, and NASA has one on SPACE."

Hi, coward. This is the rest of the world; we took slight umbridge at the implication that NASA is the only space agency, and we'd like to invite you to check out Ariane, Long March and Huygens.

And it's 'monoculture'.

"but in order to do that it must obey the same laws as business and NASA will never do that."

You mean like charging people for satellite launch, repair and retrieval? Yeah, they'd never do that.

OTOH, I really like your thinking. California's never had power supplies this good, Litigation is at an all-time low and the media isn't trying to position itself as a government protected subscription outfit. no siree. None of that happening.

It is for this reason that... (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760237)

we will not make it to mars or back to the moon. I really think that the next time an American steps on another planet it will be a private effort or as a passenger on another countries missions.

What bothers me the most.... (1)

cephyn (461066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760245)

Is that me, the voter, has no control over it. I never get to say what I think about something like this. Sure I could send a letter, but its never read, some staffer puts it in the "against" pile for this issue, and since its not well publicized, the politicians will ignore the letters on it. "Not representative of all constituents."

Sure I could vote for someone who says they won't cut the nasa budget....but when was the last time you heard a politician say that? Also, there's no guarantee a particular politician will ever be on the correct committee to cut/not cut the budget.

Its all very frustrating, but thats the price of our system I suppose. I still think its the best system around.

how to improve NASA (0)

menem (533901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760253)

The problem with NASA is that it's primary mission is to increase it's funding. Why else are they talking about sending a man to Mars? It appeals to the taxpayers hearts more than a space probe ever will. These days, NASA only has a few programs that are expanding the field of science. Hubble and their space probes.

I would like to see NASA gutted except for non-manned space craft. Then I would like to see the 100 billion dollars or so left over given to private groups headed by people like Burt Rutan. Think what Burt Rutan could do with $10 billion in funding.

Good. (2, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760258)

Oh, boy. I just know I'm going to get killed here, but in IMHO Nasa has done more to harm space development in the US than anyone else. For decades, they went way out of their way to thwart private space ventures, and frankly, they invested in a lot of of programs that had awfull returns for the money. Do I even need to mention the two downed space shuttles, the hubble mirror, or the the ft vs meter fiasco for the mars mission? IMHO, if you love space, you should hate NASA and all the godawfull bureauocracy that has come with it. They're presence just keeps something better from replacing them.

Kick in the balls to NASA... (1)

TiMac (621390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760285)

It's like putting your parents in an old-folks home as a golden wedding anniversary present. Oh well....worse things have happened.

Alas, my country (5, Insightful)

ColonelPanic (138077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760316)

Forty years ago, we looked to the stars and put flags on the moon.

Now we spend all our time worrying about countries that tend to put the moon and stars on their flags.

To put this in perspective (2, Insightful)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760344)

In order to pay for Bush's deficits over the past 4 years, NASA would have to have its budget COMPLETELY taken away for about the next 50 years.

So enjoy those tax rebate cheques folks, the money had to come from somewhere.

The Budget was Cut by 1.49 Percent (4, Interesting)

TheCrayfish (73892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760346)

Read the article carefully... The subcommittee recommended a budget for NASA of $15.1B, which is $229M below last year's budget of $15.329B. That means the subcommittee cut last year's budget by 1.49 percent. They did, however, cut NASA's requested budget, including a requested increase over last year, by 7 percent.

Good (2, Insightful)

sevensharpnine (231974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9760349)

According to the national debt clock, the U.S. is $7.2 trillion in debt. Even if you ignore the gov't-purchased "IOU" bonds, we're just about half that in debt. And of course, the entire Social Security system is running headlong into disaster. More budget cuts, please. Cut everybody. Defense, Space, Research, Healthcare, Retirement Benefits, Student Funding, Habitat Development, etc. We can't afford this any more. And to everyone here crying about these cuts: you are the problem.
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