Try: government funding has aided many technological and scientific advances (which, you know, is kind of needed to keep the nation competitive in such fields). There's not enough private sector capital to handle all of that -- period. Not every investment is going to be a rousing success. To expect otherwise is foolish (as is the notion some of you seem to have that the government is supposed to be perfect and never, ever be wrong). They're only human (and you can stuff the snarky/sarcastic retort to that).