Very much agree.
Actually there IS
a way of reducing wasteful expenditure. But it would be at the expense of a lot of bureacracy.
Not SO long ago, government organisations at all levels had to present their proposed next-year budgets for approval in detail, project by project; and then stick to them. In the cases of Australia and Britain, this all fell apart after the 1973 oil crisis. Costs were rising so fast that budgets were being topped up quarter by quarter, or even month by month, by a percentage based on inflation during the period.
After the crisis had eased, cost inflation was reduced; but the principle stuck. Further, in the interests of 'reducing bureaucracy,' the practice developed of giving most departments an annual budget amount equal to what they'd spent the previous year, plus inflation. So long as they stuck within that figure, the money flowed. They only had to apply in detail for an increase if they wanted to spend more than their previous annual budget. I imagine that the USA also adopted a similar system.
So the government culture changed from 'projects in search of a budget' to 'a budget in search of projects.' It became a point of honour never
to underspend your budget, because that meant you'd have to make do with less for good.
Best example of this that I can think of is what we call here 'roads month.' For some weeks before the end of the financial year, there's an annoying rush of small road and drainage projects. This isn't because the roads have suddenly collapsed - it's simply and solely because the approved budgets would otherwise be underspent........
Two things a determined government could do about that. The first would be to cut out the automatic inflation increase - make the various departments make a case for it. The second would be to require detailed proposals for any individual projects above a given level of cost.
Might just help to put some sort of brake on ever-expanding government expenditure. At the cost though, as I've said, of more bureaucracy.