Look, I'm really hypercritical of the way NASA does things...but slashing their budget is not the answer.
Not, unless, you are a Democrat with all the experience of a single term as a US Senator, trying to become the Democrat nominee versus another single-term Democrat Senator. Hillary is sure to get the female vote; Obama is trying to counter that by getting the teachers unions on his side--by promising to give them money, of course.
I don't even know what the federal government spends on education but I know it's already a damn sight more than the $18 billion we spend on space exploration. Oh look: this page says "ED currently administers a budget of about $67.2 billion per year". Which is already three times what NASA gets.
Has no one told Obama that the various entitlement and welfare programs in this country literally spend a million dollars a minute? (Actually I think it's two million per minute these days. But one is bad enough!)
It's bad enough that we have a stupid, ossified federal agency in control of our space program; to de-fund it will just make a bad situation even worse than it already is.
It's interesting to note that a lot of pro-space people are left-leaning--take a look at the political affiliations of much of the attendees of SF conventions--and will vote for a Democrat even if he spouts incredible stupidity like this. So if Obama gets the nomination, none of the hard left SF fans will even think about his position on the exploration of space and will obediently vote for him come election time.
And Obama's position is typical. He's a Democrat--the party of William Proxmire--and Democrats have argued against "sending all that money into space" for literal decades. Johnson was the last Democrat President who was pro-space, and the only reason he was because it took the public's attention off of Vietnam. (That, and because of Kennedy's mandate.)
Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars--a series of novels about exploring and terraforming Mars--is personally against manned space exploration. What the hell kind of cognitive dissonance does that take? To spend all that time researching and writing three freaking novels about something you don't even believe in?
(Granted, they were worthless. Red Mars was shit and I never bothered with the other books. But still....)
Obama is a buttplug. I've decided.