As it stands now it's hard to argue with Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and Jim Lovell about the challenge-less Obama plan. I honestly don't understand why we can't keep the shuttle running, help commercial space, keep the ISS until at least 2020, return to the moon and go to Mars. It is expensive, so we should take money from other inflated budgets, mainly the defense budget, to fund these ambitious projects. We need more MANNED space exploration, probes can only do so much.
Not in the 20th century. We KNEW we needed a space program, and had a little national pride too. The NASA budget actually reached 4.41% of the national budget in 1966, stayed over 1% until 1975, and remained close to or slightly over that until 2000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget
It's only in the 21st century that we seem to have lost our vision and drive.