"Americans are aware of NASA but I do not think they realize how much NASA does and for how little money. Do you know what NASA's budget is for 2014? Thanks to our deadlocked and dysfunctional Congress there is no approved budget for the Government. NASA is looking at roughly $17.7 billion requested by President Barack Obama for FY2014. That breaks down to roughly 15 cents a day per American and less than 1 cent a day per human on the planet. I include this last figure as much of what NASA does benefits all of humanity, not just Americans. To put NASA's budget in perspective, consider these facts - Americans spend $61 billion on their pets per year. Also, a white collar criminal was ordered to pay $170 billion in restitution to his victims."
Keith's note: This story manages to mention everything NASA does and how little, in the grand scheme of things, we actually spend on NASA. This article also includes Bill Nye's latest eponymous and somewhat presumptuous video. Indeed, the press release that the Planetary Society put out trumpeting his message to the President specifically says "Bill Nye the Science Guy®" Gotta make sure he gets his personal trademarked branding in even though he claims to represent a non-profit organization.
If you did not know any better, Bill Nye would have you think that the only thing NASA does - or should do - is planetary science. Everything else - well, why mention it? Nye totally avoids mention of human spaceflight, aeronautics, earth science, commerce, heliophysics, astronomy, biology, education, technology, etc. Yes,I know he's the CEO and grand spokesman for the Planetary Society. But only promoting a narrow slice of what NASA does, and ignoring the rest of what NASA is engaged in, is self-serving and totally deceptive as far as what the general public and decision makers need to hear.
A policy for NASA's budget that does not consider all that the agency does is one that is doomed to fail - or, worse - one that serves to spark a civil war over an ever-shrinking budget. No one wins in such a scenario.