But if it made intelligent cuts, few would even notice. So, the sequester, Will writes, has “been made deliberately dumb by mandatory administrative rigidities intended to maximize pain in order to weaken resistance to any spending restraint. Spending on basic medical research is being starved as the river of agriculture subsidies rolls on.”
Indeed, bureaucrats have made the cuts as visible as possible. The administration ended White House tours and slashed the number of meat inspections. And Congress did its part, by making half of the sequester cuts apply to defense, one of the constitutionally required federal duties. Meanwhile we’re still pumping ethanol into our tanks, costing us money and gas mileage.
There’s a simple way to save money. Slash NASA’s budget, and allow private companies to explore space. There are already millionaires lining up to go into space. Let them pay for it, and take the risks associated with it. Anything they learn about asteroids, or planets, or whether ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space will quickly become public knowledge anyway, whether or not the government paid for it.
Instead of searching for missions, NASA could find ways to pitch in closer to Earth. Giving some of its funding to medical research would be a good start.