Unfortunately they also pay for a buttload of useless waste.
I hear that a lot but I never see people being very precise about what they mean by it.
What do you mean by it? Personally I'm not jazzed about hundreds of billions of dollars going to drop bombs on foreign countries and pay war profiteers to run military bases, but other than that, most of the big-ticket expenditures are phenomenally useful things...
When I was stationed in Germany, a barracks was scheduled to be demolished. The barracks was ALSO scheduled to be repainted. So the crews came in and repainted everything, and then literally a week later the whole thing got demolished.
And the interesting thing is that the brilliant and efficient federal government BORROWED the money for this, at 5% interest (which was the interest rate on 10-year Treasurys at the time).