Why can't we use the money on major diseases and alternative energy?
Personally, I'd like to see more spent on AIDS, Malaria, Mutliple Sclerosis, other diseases, and Stem Cell research. There should be lots left over for developing Alternative Energy like solar, wind, geothermal, that is doable here on earth. One year I read that only 1.4 million dollars were slated by a Bush administration energy bill for alternative energy development. I doubt that's enough to develop an alternative ice cream cone, given the way the government handles it's accounts.
I don't think sending NASA out to find new energy sources is a good way to spend even .6 % of the national budget.
We have so many tech billionaires playing Jor-El and trying to get into space themselves.
Let them work out their kinks, test new products, and we know they will sell what they find to other businesses for a fair price so we taxpayers don't have to worry about another very expensive way to funnel new technology to fat cats, and exploring for new energy sources for Bush administration favored energy companies.
BTW, much pro-NASA Internet action is paid for by us, American Taxpayers:
Here is the text from the subcommittee approval of the 2005 NASA reauthorization bill. This was reported on a forum. The original wording could be found and confirmed at the House Committee on Science and Technology on Aug 8, 2005 when the original post was created, but has since been hidden or its location changed. (We checked it out back in 2005.)
Quote: "The Committee directs NASA to engage in a national awareness campaign. The purpose of such a campaign is to provide NASA with a venue in various media (print, radio, television, Internet, etc.) to articulate missions, recent accomplishments and recruitment efforts to young Americans."Unquote
The bill was passed earlier (in early July of that year IIRC).
Here (http://gop.science.house.gov/press/109/109-105.htm) is a reference at the House Committee of the national awareness program (where is Joseph Goebbels when you need him?).
Now during the flight of Discovery that July, big forums were swamped with talking points people yodeling about all the great products that were the result of NASA testing. But no one told people how much Big Business pays for licensing of all the products developed through space exploration or otherwise how how most of us down here really benefit from NASA's wanderings.
Another point is to forum and comment readers. Just because you read it in a post (in science as well as politics venues), doesn't mean it hasn't been paid for.