Space exploration has always been, to one degree or another, a private enterprise; while the programs have always been government run and paid for, most of the manufacturing and technological research was actually done by contracted private companies. As the cost of the technology decreases, private companies can now feasibly do this.
The United States has spent decades developing the world's premier space agency. We should not let all of the time and money spent on NASA go to waste because of temporary budget short falls. Depending on private companies for something so expensive and difficult as space exploration places a tremendous amount of power in these untested entities.