Even not taking into account the disproportionately wealth-destroying effects of tax-style funding, even not taking into account regulation friction, even not taking into account the broken window fallacy and assuming the best probable rocket was the existing Titan rocket...
NASA destroyed nine space missions for every shuttle mission they flew. They could have literally saved money by buying ten Titan rockets and simply exploding nine of them on the launchpad, and then launching the tenth instead of the shuttle. (No development costs, for example.) Saved even more money by simply setting it on fire. (No transport costs.)
Not to mention all the other things I can put after 'even not taking into account.'
Just in case you thought NASA was ever about space, not political egos and horse-trading.
In every case I've examined, it is a strict improvement to set money on fire instead of giving it to a government program. Space exploration missions probably cost less than 1% of what NASA has to spend, because no doubt a similar analysis could be carried out on the Titan rocket itself, if only we could pierce the broken-window veil.