Barack Obama’s budget blueprint will face the scrutiny of Congress. In the meantime, the American people are getting to grips with the president’s proposals to create jobs and cap spending.
A host of domestic programmes are in line for a three-year spending freeze. But Obama offered reassurances over where the axe won’t fall.
“This won’t apply to the benefits folks get through Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare,” Obama explained after laying out his proposals. “And it won’t apply to our national security including benefits for veterans. But it will apply to all other discretionary government programmes.”
Obama’s plans to reduce the huge US budget deficit and fix the faltering economy mean money has to be saved somewhere.
NASA’s symbolic but expensive programme to return to the moon is one of the proposed casualties.
It is a prospect met with mixed reactions by young Americans visiting the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
“I think that going back to the Moon in general is a very cool idea, but right now there is just a lot more important things that we should be spending that money on,” said college student Todd Herrmann from California.
“We were a scientific powerhouse for most of the last century and we have not started out well and I think it is something I value, so I think we should keep it,” commented Elizabeth Rose Binette from Texas.
Who knows what Obama’s illustrious predecessor John F. Kennedy, who launched the United States original lunar dream, would make of the sequel being shelved. Another small step for mankind is now simply too expensive.