Are you certain of that statement? What is the measure of "advance quickly?" How are you factoring in population growth? You statement was probably applicable at any past point in time. I could stand at 1900 and say 'at no time has science advanced as quicly as 1850-1900'
Whether the government has had a role in "scientific progress" is not really material to how science is funded nor what the appropriate mix of funding sources should be.
Also, please provide a reference for your NASA/DOD claim.