Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Everything's Big about Government these Days

NPR was complaining recently about how paltry today's GI Bill is compared to those from the original, and people complain about the lack of ambition in today's space program when compared to Apollo, and that we need a concerted push for clean energy like we did with the Manhattan Project.

When the truth is that the GI Bill provides greater benefits today than it did after World War II, not counting the vast number of other ways education is subsidized. That the annual budget of NASA today is higher than average annual spending for the Apollo program (adjusted for inflation). And that direct government spending on climate change R&D over the past 7 years is higher than the entire cost of the Manhattan Project, and direct spending is dwarfed by tax credits.

And yet, NPR regularly ignores these realities. As do the pundits they interview. Boo.

(Fyi, according to wikipedia, the Apollo mission averaged $8 billion per year in 1996 dollars, whereas the NASA budget is $13 billion in 1996 dollars. According to wikipedia, the GI's got $10,000 per year for education post WWII, today they get $13,000 according to va.gov. The Manhattan project costs about $20 billion in today's dollars. US Federal Government Clean Energy Research spending over the past 7 years is about $14 billion. Lots more if you add in state/local government, private spending, and research into other aspects of climate change.)
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