Total Eclipse, by John Brunner.
In 2020, an international space team, exploring Sigma Draconis, 19 light years from earth, discovers the remains of a highly advanced society that has left behind its most spectacular artifact; the largest telescope imaginable, carved & polished from a natural moon crater. Successive space crews determine that the native culture evolved & disappeared mysteriously after a mere 3000 years of existence. It's now 2028. Another mission reaches the planet with just one goal--to discover why the civilization disappeared--& with just one hope--that this knowledge will prevent the same thing from happening on earth.
I no longer have a copy, but I distinctly remember that line about going bankrupt.
If I recall correctly, the government didn't trust scientists and sent along a South American (?) army officer with a Stone Age mentality who continuously got in the way. After a chapter or two, however, he came round to seeing their point of view.