Dicover Magazine has an interview with creator of SpaceShipOne, Burt Rutan.
Here is a summary of his views on NASA:
No, no. NASA does hundreds of wonderful things. They send robots all over the solar system. They have scientists doing all kinds of stuff. Some of it is good work. The stuff that JPL [the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California] does is fabulous work.
People think I’m a NASA critic. That’s not true. I’m just saying what they are doing on [the manned space program] is not looking for the breakthroughs that are needed. The breakthroughs are likely to come from folks who go out and try some new stuff.
But I have a tremendous amount of respect for what JPL does. NASA did some phenomenal research during the 1960s in response to [Yuri] Gagarin [the first cosmonaut], and very quickly we were driving cars and playing golf on the moon. That is something that made me very proud to be an American who sent taxpayer funds to that NASA.