While somewhat facetious, this petition on whitehouse.gov makes an excellent point. With investment in space-related technology, science, and development,
the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more.
Ever dollar the federal government spends on NASA boosts the United States GDP by a much larger amount, with estimates ranging from 2 or 3 dollars to 14. (That’s anywhere between a 100% and 1300% return on investment. Any number there is a fantastically good deal.) Of course, the pure economic return doesn’t come close to capturing the effects of new technologies and inspirational missions.
If you got a laugh out of the Death Star petition, like I did, I’d suggest that when you’re done chuckling you take a look at this one, instead, or learn about advocacy groups like Penny4NASA and The Planetary Society.