Inflation is running around 4%, but NASA's increase in the President's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2009 rises only 1.8% to $17.6B. There is more money for Earth science missions, but, in a zero-sum game, that's not really new money, just shuffling between categories.
To NASA advocates, the good news is that this budget submission, the last of Presideat Bush's term, is likely to be ignored in practice. The bad news is that there's no guarantee what Congress produces instead will be any better. Despite Democratic control of the Senate, Democratic Senators have failed to get a $1B plus-up to reimburse NASA for the costs of Hurrican Katrina, and funds to replenish the post-Columbia recovery costs that sapped the agency's budget have never made the cut. Add to that that earmark reform shows no signs of being more than a campaign slogan, and.... well, in space no one can hear you scream.