I deplore Brandon's remark about reducing ourselves to the level of the least fortunate members. It's **** like that that makes the Republicans despicable pieces of barely human ****--it's very likely crypto-racist, too.
However, that doesn't make Advocate's horseshit any more plausible. In the terms of their day, when specie was scarce, government-sponsored voyages of exploration were terribly expensive, which is why monarchs were reluctant to fund them, and always tried to find other shifts, like joint stock companies (the English and the French Protestants) or simply the seizure of private property (the Spanish). The Portuguese financed their voyages from the royal purse, which is why it took them more than a century to creep around Africa and finally make the plunge to cross the Indian Ocean--the pay-off was unheard of, though.
The effort to just get out into the solar system would be more than repaid in resources. It is utter bullshit that the moon and Mars are not habitable. Inhabiting them would be expensive, at least initially, but the expense is something we've been discussing right along before Advocate showed up with his stupidity and his statements from authority, an authority which not only do we have no reason to assume he possesses, but which is contradicted by his witless pronouncements.
Going back to the moon, and setting up a habitable base there is "do-able," and not even really that expensive if it were shared between one rich nation (China) and two very experienced nations (the United States and the Russian Federation). Mars is more difficult simply because of the constraints opposed by microgravity and cosmic radiation in getting there. In the case of both the moon and Mars, once you're there, you obviate the problem 0f cosmic radiation by tunneling under the surface.
I've long stated that colonizing other planets or satellites of planets (the moons of the Jovian planets might yield some interesting prospects) is unlikely--but because of a lack of resolve (see Joe's post), not because they are unattainable.
Advocate is being, as usual, and idiot and a dick.