The fact that there's water there GREATLY increases the ease of exploiting the moon, and makes our entry into the greater solar system that much simpler.
That there is huge mineral and energy wealth to be found and used in the solar system can't be denied, nor can the fact that establishing a permanent human presence on the moon is essential to gaining access to these other resources.
Unless you're willing to accept the concept of a "Spaceship Earth" that never stops in port for replenishment with it's concomitant vision of a restricted humanity and limited future, exploitation of the solar system is essential for a wealthy human future.
China has, on more than one occasion, threatened to use nuclear weapons against the United States over Taiwan, and China is repeatedly testing American resolve by threatening naval ships and US aircraft in international waters and skies.
To say that China "won't/can't" fight the US is foolish in the extreme and it's not how sane nations react to potential threats.
I say just let Richard Branson do it. He will probably end up getting it done at 1/100th the cost.
But I make the arument that this is a national defense issue, not merely commercial, and as such the US government has a signficant role to play, and a Constitutional duty to fill that role.
Teflon doesn't hold a candle to a good, well-seasoned cast iron pan.
Something tells me if the federal government were to subsidize such an endeavor, you would be one of the first to complain about "intrusion/intervention".
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
"Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911