We do not need to spend billions of dollars on the moon RIGHT NOW. The way you describe it is a "hair brained get rich quick" scheme.
I'm sorry, but every fricking generation from now til the end of time can put forth this bull shite argument. Yeah, its going to take around 40 years for this to pay off, and that's probably not going to change. Yeah, we're looking at a very long term investment rather than something you'll be able to see by the turn of the next election.
Here's the problem though: It's a race to get to the Moon and secure its resources. If we don't get there first, the Chinese will and secure the Moon more or less. In order to maintain itself as the worldest greatest country, America has to get there and stay there first. We need to be the ones that are the innovators, because that's one thing America is much better than pretty much any of the other powers in the world. We are the creators, and in order to do that we need to boldly go first where no country has gone before.
We need practical, real world spending cuts. Massive government worker layoffs. Do you have any idea how many useless government positions are available for people who suck too much to make it in the private sector? I have had relatives and friends in many levels of state and a few in federal positions who have expressed the overabundance of useless people in their (and others') government offices. I know I can't be the only person to have heard this.
We need to cut before we can grow. It's like a fruit tree; you cut the branches that do not produce fruit so that the others can thrive.
Root out that which is fruitless, so that the fruitful might survive and multiply.
I am by no means a political junkie or someone who knows exactly what it takes to make things right.
I do know that if I was having trouble paying my bills, and owed money all over town, the first thing I would do is cut my needless spending. I would not wipe out my savings to order a "work from home" kit from late night TV. Eating out for dinner, movies, drinking, bars, junk food, hobbies: cut them all. Then I'd look at the situation.
None of this has anything to do with a space base on the Moon. What is your point with this?