The Mars Curiosity rover’s sardonic sibling speaks its mind:
6 BILLION DOLLARS spent on 2012 political campaigns, and they think NASA and PBS are the problems here? GTFO.— SarcasticRover (@SarcasticRover) November 5, 2012
To be clear, NASA’s annual budget is estimated at $17.77 billion for 2012, while the Congress-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting devoted a comparatively paltry $26.65 million to PBS. But while the astute reader may note how the combined $17.8 billion is nearly three times higher than the $6 billion spent on electioneering, the facts remain that A) NASA and PBS’s combined funding amounts to less than 0.5% of the U.S.’s 2012 federal budget expenditures (and cutting it would only reduce the deficit by 1.3%), and B) there is absolutely no sane reason why U.S. elections have become so ludicrously costly, while every penny sent to space exploration and public broadcasting is crucial if the nation wants to retain its scientific and educational credibility (already suffering as it may be in the global eye).
Calls to cut funding to programs like NASA and PBS in order to reduce the deficit aren’t only logically and mathematically ridiculous, they’re outright harmful to the country’s scientific future. But then, that’s something that the sort of people who decry NASA and PBS as examples of “wasteful spending” don’t appear particularly concerned with in the first place.