manned space program benefits
I grew up watching Commando Cody, Jet Jackson, the Mercury and Gemini flights, Fireball XL-5, Star Trek, and the Apollo missions. Although all of that stirred and inspired me, rational discussion of manned space program benefits needs to be based on something other than nostalgia.
My impression is that "space program technology" is mostly engineering, not basic science, and that most of it was based on military prior art, not NASA pioneering from scratch. The basic science and technology had already been worked out in military programs from the V-2 to the Redstone and Atlas boosters, as well as commercial efforts like the the AM transistor radio: Frankie Valli wailing "Sherry" over the first shirt-pocket transistor radios did more to promote the miniaturization of electronics than Sputnik ever did.
As for computers, the space program has lagged, rather than led the way. This is entirely appropriate, since you want reliable rather than flashy technology in outer space.
Although there were some basic science discoveries attributable to non-military space programs (the van Allen radiation belt, Hubble imaging, cosmic ray measurements etc.), most of this could arguably have been accomplished without ever putting anybody in orbit.
It seems, therefore, that the manned space program was vastly oversold in terms of its tangible benefits to the taxpaying public except for TANG, the convenient orange-flavored sugar beverage beloved of our heroic astronauts. (The fact that "tangible" begins with TANG will not be lost on conspiracy theorists.)
The real motives for the manned space program probably lie in secret military missions piggybacked on an ostensibly public program and convenient excuses to funnel ever more dollars into the military-industrial complex.
If some people enjoy the show while their pockets are picked, I suppose that's more pleasant than my depressing alternative. But I also believe that the truth will make you free, rendering truth all that more precious in an increasingly unfree world.