"The actual fact is that the overwhelming majority of scientific research in this country is funded by the private sector...finding support provided that there is some (often remote) tangible outcome to be acheived."
Yes but that is not basic research. Funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Insitutes of Health have funded most of the basic research that has lead to America’s technological edge.
Business can’t afford to do basic research. Bell Labs use to be a premier example but with the breakup of AT&T that is a luxury that a private business can’t afford.