Foust 9 (Jeff, writer @ The Space Review, 1/15/7, http://www.thespacereview.com/article/785/1) JPG
Easily the biggest near-term problemfacing the Vision, and NASA in general, is the agency’s budget. When the Vision was first announced, it was sold to Congress and the public as an effort that required very little additional money, instead taking advantage of the savings that would be realized once the shuttle was retired and the ISS completed. NASA produced an elaborate chart, soon dubbed the “sand chart”, which showed how the budget for the exploration program would grow while the overall size of the agency’s budget grew only at roughly the rate of inflation through 2020. This avoided the half-trillion price tag that doomed SEI, although initially there were media reports that claimed the whole effort would cost a trillion dollars (see “Whispers in the echo chamber”, The Space Review, March 22, 2004). This appeared to win over Congress, which provided NASA with the modest initial budget increase requested to kick off the program (thanks, in part, to some last-minute maneuvering by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in the final negotiations for the fiscal year 2005 appropriations bill.) Since then, though, NASA has found it more difficult than initially expected to ramp up the Vision without impacting other agency programs.The high costs of returning theshuttle to flight and continuing work on the station led NASA, in its FY 2007 budget proposal, to propose cutbacks in science and aeronautics programs toavoid bigger cuts in the exploration program—something that Griffin, who returned to NASA as administrator in April 2005, had previously claimed he would not do. This has created a growing degree of opposition to the Vision within the scientific community where previously, when it appeared the Vision and science missions could co-exist in some degree of harmony, there had been little active opposition. Exacerbating the problem is the lack of a 2007 budgetfor NASA. The 109th Congress adjourned in December without approving most of the FY 2007 appropriations bills on its plate, including the one that funds NASA. The new Congress, now under Democratic leadership, announced last month that instead of finishing those outstanding bills, they would instead quickly pass a “joint funding resolution”, which, in effect, would be a longer version of the stopgap continuing resolutions that have funded NASA and other affected parts of the government since the fiscal year began on October 1. The new resolution, which would run through the end of the fiscal year, would continue to fund agencies at the FY 2006 levels—meaning that NASA could end up with about a half-billion dollars less than what it anticipated for 2007. That’s not good news for an agency that was already feeling squeezed. Some reports have suggested that there may be some room for improvement in the weeks to come as Congress hashes out the joint funding resolution, allowing NASA to win back some of the money it currently stands to lose. However, giventhe expected fierce competition for funding, it seems unlikely NASA will get it all back, making a bad situation worse. In an interview with Aerospace Daily published last week, Griffin said both the two key programs of the Vision, the Orion spacecraft and Ares 1 launcher, as well as the shuttle and station, would have the highest priority for funding, suggesting that science and aeronautics programs or even lower-priority exploration programs, such as robotic lunar missions that would follow the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, could be in greater jeopardy. Cuts are inevitable – NASA has unfunded projects
Both the House and Senate versions of the NASA authorization provided for an additional space shuttle flight after the two remaining on the manifest, which would likely occur in February. But Gordon said he is concerned by an “unfunded mandate” in the Senate bill that would keep the program going through the remainder of Fiscal 2011, even after the fleet is retired. Thisprovision would cost “$500 million or more without clarifying where the funds will come from, all but ensuring that other important NASA programs will be cannibalized,” he said. Gordon said another concern is that the Senate bill is “overly prescriptive” on the design of a follow-on human-rated launch system, as compared to the House Science compromise language, which he said would let NASA determine the best approach to design and safety.
No Link – PayGo/CutGo
The plan is new spending – PAYGO doesn’t guarantee trade-offs – each committee allocates its own funds guaranteeing funding for each project Riedl 5 (Brian, Grover M. Hermann fellow in federal budgetary affairs @ Heritage, 1/25/5, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2005/01/whats-wrong-with-the-federal-budget-process) JPG
The budget process is designed with a bias toward higher spending and taxes. Public choice theory recognizes that how democracies make decisions has a substantial effect on what is decided. Multi-year constraints, such as PAYGO and discretionary spending caps, represent an attempt by policymakers with a long-term view to constrain the decisions of annual budgeters who are focused only on the short term. However, these multi-year constraints fail to settle the question of whether the budget process should be used to limit spending (as discretionary caps suggest) or to slow the growth of the budget deficit, regardless of government size (as PAYGO suggests). This confusion created odd situations whereby even policies that wouldachieve both goals of reducing spending and reducing the budget deficit (such as a discretionary spending cut accompanied by a smaller tax cut) have not been allowed. Furthermore, PAYGO did notsuccessfully blunt the pro-spending bias of annual budget writers because it focused only on the effects of new policies and ignored current policies-because it was rarely enforced. Public choice theorists also note the pro-spending bias caused by the decentralization of spending committees. Although a single appropriations committee in the House and the Senate annually approves all discretionary spending, nearly a dozen different committees in each body of Congress write mandatory spending programs. The lack of coordination between these committees creates a "tragedy of the commons," whereby each committee is responsible only for the funding of its own pet programs with no obligation to trade off their costs with the costs of other committees' programs. Accordingly, each committee over-prioritizes and consequently over-funds its own programs. A single committee reviewing all legislation would solve this bias by taking on the responsibility to make the difficult trade-offs.