I think the government should support space exploration but not to be ahead of other countries. Really I would say that this could be the way of the futue salvation of humanity if we ruin the ecosystem of this planet earth. We might need to colonize other heavenly bodies at some point.
While at one time we needed government money to do the initial research and development on spacefaring vehicles (and of course, that was mostly for testing out rocket engines for intercontinental ballistic missiles), it's now up to private enterprise to determine if space exploration is viable. No exploration venture in the history of man has been simply for discovery, it's been to make money. Space should not be different.
The government shouldn't be supporting space exploration unless it can financially manage its own affairs and resolve poverty conditions. Turning attention toward exploring unoccupied space instead of caring for the population is a foolish waste of money. Space exploration should only occur after the population is uniformly healthy and properly nourished.