The Instigator
DLiebs
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
andre
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Should NASA continue to receive significant federal funding?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
andre
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,345 times Debate No: 9448
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

DLiebs

Pro

Some in the government and in the general public think NASA is a waste of the government's time and money and should be disbanded. I disagree. Let's argue! I'll let you have the first word.
andre

Con

The United States currently fails to live up to its Millennium Goals commitment of donating 0.7% of the national GDP per year to end poverty. Somewhere around 12% of the US population lives below the poverty line, and about 15.3% of the population are without health insurance, a necessity that could be provided by the government. In one American "Indian" Reservation, Pine Ridge in South Dakota, the male life expectancy is 44 years, comparative the poorest nations, and 32 years less than the national average. 97% of Lakhota people living on the reservation are below the poverty line, infant mortality is 300% the national average, diabetes is 800% the average, the median income between $2,600 and $3,500 p.a.

NASA funding comes in at several billion, just over 0.5% of the federal budget. This isn't a lot as a percentage, but the billions of dollars can be very useful - this year's funding is $17.2 billion. With just $30 billion, we could provide primary education for every child on the planet, and with just $7 billion, end hunger in the US.

I recognise the social and scientific importance of space research, but clearly this money could be better spent elsewhere. Indeed, a deeper and more appropriate pocket to take from would be the defense budget, but failing that, some research that ultimately gets us nowhere. This isn't medical research, or research into the environment, this is research we use, well, to satisfy our curiosity, but its funds are really much more needed elsewhere.
Debate Round No. 1
DLiebs

Pro

DLiebs forfeited this round.
andre

Con

Clearly, I'm debating the wrong opponents these days. My argument stands for another round.
Debate Round No. 2
DLiebs

Pro

DLiebs forfeited this round.
andre

Con

Virtually uncontested, I win.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by andre 7 years ago
andre
That's true, I think they should split the defence forces into clearer categories: actual defence, military aid, treaty commitments etc.

It would make it easier to spend money where it is needed. I'm actually glad that we use our defence force as part of aid, that's fine.

I think my point is nations who are getting involved, say, in Afghanistan are perhaps spending more money than necessary, and maybe in the wrong way.
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
"Perhaps not in the US, the world needs a defense force like them, but in countries like my own, we may as well have no military if it came to that."

Australia's role is not so much as a bulk force but at least outside it's borders, specialist applications where numbers are less relevant. In the case of the immediate region, policing pacific instability where deemed appropriate, such as Fiji, Tonga, East Timor - and in Afghanistan, Iraq, it's more the elite specialists. It's why, in part, they have the reserves system, where should the need arise, to bolster the standing army at short notice, while still following the more specialist route such as SAS.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Nags, "Who's going to attack us?" I read something in the paper about terrorists -- have you seen anything about that? Guess not.

China spends a higher fraction of GDP on the military than does the US. North Korea is building nukes and missiles to reach Hawaii. Iran is building nukes. It's pretty obvious where the threats are.

The argument for NASA is that there is really no mechanism in the private sector for funding R&D that does not produce a return on investment in less than about 5-7 years. Nonetheless, it's reasonable to believe that some very long term projects like NASA have good paybacks.
Posted by andre 8 years ago
andre
Yes, there is a lot that could be cut, and a strong defense force is good to have, but, peace-wise, we really could cut out violence from the budget. Perhaps not in the US, the world needs a defense force like them, but in countries like my own, we may as well have no military if it came to that.
Posted by Xer 8 years ago
Xer
Straw man. I never specified defense as the only part. I agree most of government should be cut.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Most of government should be cut. No reason to specify defense as the only part.
Posted by Xer 8 years ago
Xer
Defense Spending should be drastically cut. We spend more money on Defense than the rest of the world put together. Who's going to attack us? We don't have to worry about the west or the east. Canada and Mexico are not threats. We have the best Navy and Air Force in the world. Defense Spending should be cut by at least half.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
"A deeper and more appropriate pocket to take from would be the defense budget..."
So, you don't care if we all get massacred by terrorists, as long as you know which star is the brightest?

From Rush Limbaugh's liberal glossary:
National Defense - the one part of the budget that can always be cut
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by jurist24 8 years ago
jurist24
DLiebsandreTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
DLiebsandreTied
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