[T]he USA’s budget consists roughly of 1/3 defense, 1/3 mandatory payments (Social Security and Medicaid) and 1/3 discretionary payments (everything else).
We finance 1/3 (the military), and inflate it away. The world pays for our military through indirect taxation on the price of oil bought in dollars. This was the invention that the Nixon administration achieved with the Petro-Dollar and it was how we were able to run up the credit to defeat world communism under Reagan.
So technically speaking, 1/2 is discretionary, 1/2 is for redistribution, and the remainder – the military – is effectively free.
Possessing this knowledge radically alters your perception of the world.
It is why Iran wants nuclear weapons – to control oil, and to create a bourse, and to capture that ability to tax currency for itself.
Sophisticated people in the world are not stupid, nor necessarily selfish. They merely take advantage of stupid people.