Fantasy on a budget
Never mind the US is broke on misadventures and mismanagement lets go to another star.
We have not explored and occupied any of our solar system save home planet. We seem to be having difficulty keeping a presence in low orbit. Sort of like Erickson's Greenland 400 years before Columbus. Rather than jumping to the next star just because with no reward other than a flag planting video, maybe we could cover the basics that we haven't mastered.
Suggest we use the business model or government expansion model, without the killing of locals, develop in the neighborhood we know and grow a series of successful products, colonization/mining, until the base is sufficiently large to attempt the big jump and be able to do something with it. Master getting up/down from orbit, processing local materials and generally thrive on newly tilled soil.