to be fair...
i suppose every administration employs cronyism to some
extent (although Bush & Co. seem determined to set a new record). The basic question is whether we can afford manned trips to the moon and Mars). Look at our national budget. The deficit has already ballooned to monumental proportions, and from what I've read, it's projected to approach between 700-billion and a trillion dollars in a year or two, given our ongoing multiple war commitments, the rise of "baby-boomer" entitlements, and Bush's tax cuts..... and this is without the ramped-up space budget figured in. So who's going to pay for it all?
What's maddening is that Bush & Co. might get away with this for another five years, getting well into development of these very expensive manned space flight programs, continuing to try and finish what was started in Afghanistan and Iraq and refusing to budge on taxes, sending the budget deficit to the moon before the astronauts get there. This would probably force the next admin. (after '08) to either cut programs or raise taxes to stop the bleeding. Suppose this next admin. was Democratic. I can hear the howls of right wingers far and wide: "Tax and spend!...Tax and spend!...stinkin' godless socialist liberals!".....better than spend and spend and hand over a trillion-plus dollar IOU to your kids, dontcha think?......Sorry for the ramble.
note: I'm not sure exactly what assumptions the deficit projections I read about are using to account for offsetting economic growth (if any) due to the tax cuts. Shamatha posted an article on this... I believe it was last summer.