Analysis has lately revealed that the current state of the satellites falls far short of what it should.
Satellite Crisis via PBS.org
The thing is, I knew that it would be this way. One indicator was economy. The other was the de-emphasis of the space program.
My thought on this was that a moon base partially solves the problem. A moon base can contain a larger number of instruments, is farther from the Earth and will not ever fall to Earth in our lifetime, can involve many collaborators and benefit all countries involved. I am convinced that weather monitoring will be as effective from the moon as from an orbital position, and that any working satellites could be more effective with data gathered from a moon base.
A moon base may have other offerings as well. A magnetic launch system from a low gravity object such as the moon would be very effective, and can accelerate modular objects used for space mining (which may even be assembled on the moon base itself by a human crew). This saves fuel to reach a planet for gravitational acceleration and can reach high speeds with low energy. So, inevitably, a moon base would save money on space mining operations.
A moon base may also be a good foundation for the theoretical space tourism industry. The moon may be a more popular destination if there is something there other than moon rocks.
So, economically speaking, the moon is a better option than dozens of satellites. It is more permanent, more versatile, generates less space junk, and is a stepping stone to projects in deeper space. So, let's go to the moon!