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Should NASA'S budget be cut?


In the late 1950's we saw the beginning of NASA as a response to the first satellite launched into space, later with intentions of getting human life on the Moon. The Space Race took up the end of the decade with the United States and the Soviet Union at neck and neck to have claim to be the first in space. It was in 1958 when President Eisenhower finally signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act establishing NASA as an official Administration. In the beginning of our initial startup, throughout the 1960's NASA's budget had reached almost 5 billion. This amount would decrease and stabilize over the next couple decades, standing at about 3.5 billion throughout the 70's.

This year, almost 70 years into what we know today as NASA, the Biden administration had called to increase the annual budget NASA receives and was successful when Congress approved the budget by 3%, putting the increase at about 24 billion, which still was short of the original request by a little over 7 billion. In the United States we spend about 6.6 Trillion in a fiscal year which has efforts to still be expanded. According to the 2020 consensus. Homeless services are averaged at 50 billion, Military services at 754 billion and Mental Health services only averaging at about 2.5 billion. This meaning that NASA, with its budget only accounts for about 0.3% of our annual spending. We can use these numbers to determine that at such a small percentage NASA's budget should have practically no effect on the federal budget whatsoever.

We know that NASA has been the runner for our comprehension of Space and our direct relationship to our galaxy and solar system. This is a leading scientific program responsible for generating over 60 billion dollars in economic impact, as each dollar that goes into NASA adds at least $10 more to the economy. As well as knowing of the groundbreaking research that goes into identifying interstellar bodies and sending satellites out to improve the quality of our daily navigation on earth. NASA stands out as a pioneer of scientific research, fascinating us with the opportunity to delve into knowledge beyond our very own galaxy and universe. With the current state of the US's economy I argue that NASA's budget experiencing cuts is necessary in achieving economic solution.

Directly before the onset of COVID-19, both suicide rates and those of Americans experiencing mental health crisis's were on the rise. According to the 2020 consensus that increase translates to 1 in 4 adults who are experiencing mental health issues. More than half of these adults do not receive healthcare nor have access to mental health care. This subjects those people in need to expensive and out of pocket options that are proceeded with extensive barriers that only prolong and complicate the individuals healing and recovery process. America is the leading country for suicide rates as well as being the second highest in drug related deaths. I believe mental health is an underrated and underfunded program in our Country and making cuts to a program like NASA will benefit our current economic state, one that neglects to provide for the literal health of its citizens.

Standing at an average 2.5 billion budget wise annually, there remains to be an underdeveloped education and understanding of mental health and the importance of treating such. The judgment around those who may be experiencing any level of mania or crisis is so common and so normalized it has created a stigma around a system that I believe should be prioritized. With the numbers in the federal budget so low we can evaluate that the US has an impossibly low supply of actual health care workers meaning that there are hardly any psychologists or psychiatrists employed at all. Therefore the mental health crisis experienced by over 45 million Americans goes ignored and suicide rates as well as drug use, continue to rise.

This is a human rights issue. I reiterate the prioritization of addressing the mental health issues that so many Americans suffer from, here today on this very planet Earth. Our country aims to lead our system with research and space exploration which in retrospect, truly is groundbreaking in helping understand our relationship to the universe. At the same time I cannot see the ethical economic impact on America when Officials and congress stand by and allow our population to have close to no resources for basic health care.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Christa Canady

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