The reality is that NASA’s budget is far, far less than even 1% of the national budget. In fact, the Department of Defense WASTES more money than NASA gets in funding in one year.
More to the point, the recent New Horizons mission to Pluto cost LESS than one NFL stadium. And, NFL stadiums do not have a congressionally mandated knowledge and technology transfer requirement. I read a few years ago that NASA centers and programs return $7 to their communities and taxpayers for every $1 spent. That’s a seven times ROI (Return on Investment). Who amongst us would not like to invest $1 and get $7 in return? NASA spinoffs, in part, are responsible for the high ROI, bringing advanced technologies to bear in fields of medicine, research, pharmaceuticals, aging, cancer research, aviation, automobiles, home heating and air conditioning, insulation, and even those cordless power tools we all love so much. Yes, NASA pays for itself many, many times over.