Obama: Hey, let's land astronauts on an asteroid

In case you were wondering what the president was doing on Tax Day, here you go: He was talking about Mars and reassuring Florida voters that money will continue to flow to NASA. This is one of the more surreal Obama clips we’ve ever posted, not just because the subject matter is such a change of pace from the usual “if you like your plan, you can keep plan” blather but because it’s so utterly disconnected from all the news pieces published today warning of unsustainable spending and inevitable tax hikes. I know they’re planning to privatize parts of the space program, but so dire are our budgetary circumstances and so (relatively, temporarily) non-essential is space exploration that I find myself asking the same question as Cynthia Tucker for once: If we can’t cut funding for NASA, what can we cut? Granted, Obama’s hands are tied politically — if he scales the agency way back, he’ll be accused of betraying the American “pioneer spirit” and creating a “space gap” with China or whatever — but if sacrificing that (along with many, many other things) for a decade or two is the price of averting an economic implosion, sacrifice away. Tell me why I’m wrong.

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