The federal government should not be running programs, but I can see why it feels the urge.
Because the purpose of running a program is to artificially intervene in a marketplace that is supposed to be responsible for its performance, a government should instead define the marketplace constructs that institute a dynamic meritocracy based on the fundamentals of freedom. Hence the mere existence of a government program means the “free-market” has failed.
To put it in a sports analogy, the government establishes the game being played, the players, not the government, play the game.
The government’s role is to fine-tune the rules of the game, so its theory, in the words of Einstein, reflects what gameplay can be discovered.
The government is not doing its job, neither is the “free-market,” as it blatantly usurps freedom. I refer you to the Startup America program instituted by Barack Obama (no political inference intended), a program needed to stave off the negative outcome of the subpriming of innovation arbitrage by venture capitalists, operating on the pretense of a free-market. A government program that failed to produce any meaningful structural change to the mischief of the wicked, opportunistic, and vile-maxim operators present in any “free-market.”
The government’s role is to develop the theory that determines what can be discovered (Einstein). And what must be discovered is how the theory government designs, works to strengthen the renewal of humanity.
The reason why the “free market” fails so often and the government feels the need to intervene is that we have failed to define freedom as the relativity theory it is, and thus the outcome of a “free market” is quite the opposite of what it promises to produce.
Hence, we must reinvent the operating-systems for humanity to, for the first time, define the plurality of freedom that enables a dynamic meritocracy to flourish, with government intervention only used to adjust the fundamental rules of the game, so the desired outcome is achieved.