...the ocean is our final frontier. Besides if we need to explore it before it is overfished, mined, covered in trash, or a sink for all our excess carbon. Mars can wait.
Of course I say this in partly in jest. I mean I don't want to start another Volcano War. A country like the United States should worry less about being a military leader, outspending all other countries 20 to 1. If we outspent the rest of the world 18 to 1 that would be enough for both space and deep-sea exploration.
I'm a big booster of the hegemonic state? I want the USA to continue to be the imperial power. I also, however, support your comment on going from 20 to 1 to 18 to 1 wholeheartedly.
Shoot even giving EPA, NASA, NOAA, NSF and USGS each a $25 billion boost, it would still leave the military budget at more than the next 20 highest spending countries in the world all combined - and that is not including combat appropriations!