Here I'd have to disagree with him. I'm strongly against this idea that we shouldn't be spending money until we fix all our problems. It's the same argument against any expensive research. Humans will never stop having wars or things of that nature. Are we going to stop all advancement until then?
Imagine what technology might developed in the process that could then benefit our everyday lives.
Despite my previous comment I agree with you here, we should never stop advancing our knowledge and should reach for the stars. To stall now would be turning the clock back to the dark ages where the fearful and weak minded saw witchcraft everywhere!
I just hope we grow up a little before bumping into ET otherwise some of us are bound to start a war over a difference of opinion never mind if they happen to have been observing us through various events in our history and we have it wrong.