Good transition planning is propitious but it offers

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Unformatted text preview: to LEO and beyond. That was unaffordable even with the President's $6 billion proposed increase; it surely is unaffordable now. NASA's space science programs are very popular with Congress and the public, but earth sciences have been a political football for a long time. Many Republicans do not believe that climate change is human-induced and question why NASA needs to invest so much in earth science research. With the White House and Senate still in Democratic hands, and Senator Barbara Mikulski still in the Senate to champion Goddard Space Flight Center and its earth science research programs, the news is not entirely gloomy. Still, the President's requested increase for NASA's earth science program may encounter rough seas ahead instead of the smooth sailing it enjoyed this year. Democrats now are intent on regaining the House and keeping the White House in 2012, while the Republicans want to prove that they are the party of smaller, cheaper government and win the Senate and the White House. Every agency is battening down the hatches against inevitable austerity. My best guess is that if Congress passes an omnibus appropriations bill this year, the bottom line for NASA will read $19 billion, the same as the request, but there will be a significant across-the-board reduction for all the agencies at the back of the bill. Such cuts are not uncommon, and usually are a fraction of a percent, but might well be more this time. The FY2012 request for NASA, I bet, will be level funding. The Republicans won the House and made gains in the Senate because people are fearful of today's economy and what tomorrow may bring. Spending money to send people to asteroids, as the President proposes, just doesn't have the allure needed to protect NASA from the impending federal spending cut tsunami. In many respects, this is yet another Back to the Future drill reminiscent of Mr. Clinton's tenure as President and then-NASA Administrator Dan Goldin's outwardly cheerful acquiescence to that Administration's budget cuts. He crafted "faster, better, cheaper," which proved, as everyone says, that one can have two of the three, but not all. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 224 Mercury Politics Link – Generic – AT – Plan Is Popular/Win (2/2) Their link argument assumes 60s nostalgia, not budget realities Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, 7 [5-14-7, “Congress and America’s Future in Space: Pie in the Sky or National Imperative?”, , accessed 7-2-11] Panelists: Professor Howard E. McCurdy, Chairman, School of Public Affairs, American University; Chuck Atkins, Chief of Staff, House Committee on Science and Technology; Lori B. Garver, former Associate Administrator for Policy and Plans, NASA; and Marc Kaufman, Reporter, The Washington Post America must continue with its scientific exploration of outer space, though the costs of building a space station on the Moon as a launch pad for sending astronauts to Mars and beyond—-e...
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