Argument: Mars mission would require raising taxes, cutting social services
Gregg Eastbrook. "Why We Shouldn't Go to Mars." Time. Jan. 26, 2004: "Present systems for getting from Earth's surface to low-Earth orbit are so fantastically expensive that merely launching the 1,000 tons or so of spacecraft and equipment a Mars mission would require could be accomplished only by cutting health-care benefits, education spending or other important programs--or by raising taxes.
[...] If Mars proponents expect taxpayers to foot their bill, then they must make their case against the many other competing needs for money. And against the needs for health care, education, poverty reduction, reinforcement of the military and reduction of the federal deficit, the case for vast expenditures to go to Mars using current technology is very weak."