"Having read the whole report, my view is that it is strongly slanted towards the status quo and the real situation with the "Program of Record" is far worse than the Commission was prepared to admit publicly.
[T]he worst example of this is the manipulation of financial data. For instance, they always use the "GDP Deflator" as their inflation index for projecting program costs forward and backward in time. As I showed over two years ago this index grossly understates the real increase of space project costs over time. NASA calculates their own "NASA New Start Index" which is higher than the GDP deflator and even higher than the Consumer Price Index you see in the news.
This error affects all the historical graphs on p. 21-22.
On p.82 we find another example of financial deception in the elaborate description of how the Aerospace Corp. cost models and the corresponding "sand charts" were constructed. An average cost overrun of 51% is assumed for all programs (starting at the beginning of Phase B). This is derived from an analysis of 77 past NASA programs. But most of these programs were unmanned spacecraft or non-space related. The actual historical cost growth for manned space projects is about 100%."
An interesting comment from Jeff, and one that has a lot of relevance for the commercial crew competition that is being proposed at a cost to NASA of $5 billion by the human spaceflight review committee. While Jeff sees a slanting in this use of such figures to favour the status quo these same assumptions are being used to evaluate a space taxi otion, as the report likes to refer to commercial human transportation
This $5 billion proposal sees commercial crew delivering a service in 2016 with a FY2011 start. But how much matching private funds would have to be provided, 100% or 51%?