And if you look into technology that transitions from Defense into the civilian economy, you'll find quite a bit. Right now we have defense employees working on quantum teleportation, neural computing chips, all kinds of power and energy technologies and so on. Companies come in, or start up, and do good business making products and services off things the government paid for. ENIAC was an Army program to figure out artillery azimuths. GPS, the internet, etc. It still goes on all the time.
Your largess is stunning.
On another note, social security becomes a de facto retirement plan because the economy needs people to spend pretty much all their damn money to fuel the ever-upward corporate spiral. Then government raids the social security pot to pay for the other side of the ever-upward spiral. The problem is we can't settle for a sustainable reality. If you owned a company employing 10, 20 or 30 thousand people turning $500 million in profits with a solid outlook for that to continue -- but not grow -- for the next 50 years, Wall Street would ignore you. It's all about potential for growth, not actual performance. Then they tie executive pay to stock performance and boom! Stupidity is mandatory.
As I've noted elsewhere, it's complicated, much more complicated than you're representing it here. Nobody else researches specific areas that the military has to. Elsewhere I used the under-body explosion example, but there are many others. Let's say, RPGs. They hit a vehicle in a very specific way. Who is going to research materials and construction methods to best defend occupants against RPG strikes? Who is going to have a person on staff with a doctorate who is a, if not the, world expert on uniforms and how they interact with the human body, equipment, vehicles, etc.? Only the Army (with benefit to the other services, of course).
I'm not saying earmarks don't happen. It's not my area (I do public affairs for the Army RD&E command, not budget), so I couldn't say without doing some research that I'm not going to do on a Thursday night while on vacation. However, we have several systems set up to respond to requests from the field, requests from doctrine writers (who write how the Army should work, hence what capabilities it will need), and others. We even take troop designs and get them manufactured. We now have a shop in Afghanistan where soldiers can pull up and get things made for a specific purpose. And we have guys researching things that might be needed 10 or 20 years from now.