Fact is, the government is pretty damn good at developing technology. Where they fail is where they should fail: Commercial exploitation of the technology they develop. We don't want a government in competition with commercial entities. If the government is going to throw money at R&D, it damn well ought to be in areas that are not currently commercially viable.
What would be nice is the kind of technology investment we get when we go to war, but without the waste of actually fighting one. We need a 21st century space race.
We work together every damn day. --Jon Stewart