re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
Except for the National Defense Highway System (the Interstates), the feds don't build a lot of roads. Most are state and local. Of course, that's beside the point, nowadays, since roads are out with bureaucrats and high-speed rail is all the rage. Here in Houston we spent $10,000 a foot (literally) on a 7 mile route that 'goes to' lots of places, but doesn't 'come from' anywhere near where people live. Metro exaggerates ridership (one person going on a ride that passes 7 stops is reported as 7 rides) to meet their ridership goals. But hey, it took about 300 cars off the road in its first year (by crashing into them). Typical gubmint project, but California is doing their best to make it look good...
Chris, bureaucracies sometimes start out doing OK, but essentially all will quickly devolve over time. Look at NASA. In 9 years we got to the Moon, but now we can't get a man into LEO without hitching a ride with the Russians. The next American rocket to get a man into orbit will be run by SpaceX.
Or consider Head Start; the government's own studies show that there is no discernible improvement after 3d grade, but we continue to throw almost $20,000,000,000 at it every year. Try and apply logic to that one.
Its not that no good comes from government, but certainly the way to bet is that giving the job to them isn't going to end well.