I bet you thought being a mascot for a professional sports team was a lucrative and high-paying job. Apparently not.
US News's Thomas K. Grose points out that George Bush's call for a crewed Mars mission doesn't come with the necessary funding:
The Apollo moonshots ultimately cost more than $150 billion in today's currency, but Bush has asked NASA to realize his grandiose vision using little more than existing resources: $11 billion reallocated from other NASA programs over the next five years, plus $1 billion more he'll ask Congress to kick in.
Grose thinks Bush is trying "to show he has some space-age vision," but could there be something more along the lines of a starve-the-beast strategy here? Bush charges NASA with a noble mission and sets it up to fail. NASA looks bad, and ten years down the road there are no more expensive planetary-science missions, no more satellite analyses of the earth's surface temperature, and no more civilians mucking around the High Frontier.
From Bob Park:
...a new [Bush] administration proposal would block the adoption of new federal regulations unless the science on which they're based passes a centralized peer review overseen by the White House Office of Management and Budget.... The proposed change would lay out specific rules regarding who can sit on peer review panels. Participation of academic experts who have received agency grants is explicitly discouraged, but there is no equivalent warning against experts with connections to industry. Moreover, the executive branch has final say as to whether the peer review process was acceptable.