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Do you realize that the… bank bailout — that sum of money is greater than the entire 50-year running budget of NASA. And so when someone says ‘We don’t have enough money for this space program,’ I’m (saying) ‘No, it’s not that you don’t have enough money. It’s that the distribution of money that you’re spending is warped in some way, that you are removing the only thing that gives people something to dream about tomorrow.’

…In the 60’s and 70’s, you didn’t have to go more than a week before there was an article in Life magazine — ‘The Home Of Tomorrow.’ ‘The City Of Tomorrow.’ ‘The Transportation Of Tomorrow.’ All that ended in the 1970’s after we stopped going to the Moon. It all ended. We stopped dreaming.

And so I worry that the decisions the Congress makes doesn’t factor in the consequences of those decisions on tomorrow. Tomorrow is gone — metaphoric tomorrow, not the literal tomorrow.

(Politicians) are playing for the quarterly report; they’re playing for the next election cycle. And that is mortgaging the actual future of this nation. The rest of the world just passes by.

Dr. NEIL DeGRASSE TYSON, reacting to space programs such as the James Webb Space Telescope — the successor to the Hubble — falling to budget cuts, on Real Time