Check the stats on state institutions, the states have been removing support for close to 20 years now. Research institutions have to pander to the federal government for research money....but that too is drying up because apparently Washington believes research grows on trees, and fundamental research has all been done by now.
The consequence is that research institutions have made a mad scramble for star professors who can bring in enough to cover their salary. This puts pressure on the private institutions and raises the cost of education in general because with federal research money drying up, there isn't enough to go around.
Teaching institutions have also taken it in the neck from state legislatures. The legislatures figure students can get federal aid and/or loans, so why should the states ante up.
The problem for your basic bog-standard legislator is that s/he has no understanding of science. This means not only can they not understand why the U.S. should fund basic research, they cannot explain to their constituents why they should fund it.
Ah, but you say, the Defense Department, they still believe in basic research, they'll fund it. Nope, not anymore. DoD has been taken over by bean counters just like companies. They don't have science degrees, they have bean counting degrees.
There was several years ago an email spammed to just about everyone in DoD. It purported to solve the research problem. The solution was to simply cherry pick available research and use it. Soooo....after a few years when all we are doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the Research Titanic, the rest of the world will bound past the U.S. and Congress will blame everyone but themselves.