The key to American prosperity is a constant pursuit of efficiency and technology. The vast resources of North America were enough to found the fledgling republic, but in the 21st century it is not enough to merely to continue to prosper through a consumer economy.
There have been 3 industrial revolutions, all of which America has taken part in the past. Now there is likely to be a 4th industrial revolution and America again needs to be one of the main developers and innovators.
Many people feel that government investing in research and science is a waste of money. That is a short sighted approach to things. Science research leads to new technological potential. That new technology leads to new capacities, and that leads to an open ended economic prosperity and growth.