In the US, a lot of it (Billions) goes to foreign countries to try and keep them from coming over here and blowing up stuff. Some of it goes to career politicians to buy votes for their re-election campaigns. And, a lot of it goes to entitlement programs like welfare, social security, medicare, medicaid, etc....
The welfare reform act by Bill Clinton has swept the welfare rolls. States are allowed to do whatever they wish with welfare dollars (12% federal budget), and the federal government fines each state $130 million dollars if they don't show a certain percentage of welfare recipients that have been segued into employment. In this recession, fully 1/3 -30% - of the middle class have lost their jobs and can't get another yet the federal government refuses to change the welfare laws even temporarily. So no, it's not going there.
The Department of Defense requires the biggest chunk of the federal budget at 24% (our taxes) where they have to make up bogus wars with WMD that don't exist in order to justify their continued mammoth existence. We are 15 times more powerful than the next country down. The 2nd largest budget item is the VA, which would be redundant if they'd fix the freakin' DoD.
So called 'entitlements' - have you checked your check stub lately? Those don't entirely come from taxes, we each pay a whopping amount every month into SS & Medicare - for life! Which your employer matches as well, by the way. My ex is retired and he pays Medicare premiums still. Social Security is solvent until 2037 except for the fact that the federal government keeps borrowing whatever doesn't go out each month and not paying it back.
You had to pass a civics course to graduate.....what happened?
Benefits to single parents, low paid, incapacity, (and there's a lot being paid that that shouldn't be) the NHS, all the public services, (Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Teachers, Nurses) and the big one these days PENSIONS pensions are ruining the economy of all countries as people live a lot longer these days.
You may not know that there is no mandatory PENSION in America. There is Social Security, which is hundreds taken from your check every month, matched by your employer and put into a trust fund. It costs the federal government NOTHING - in fact, they borrow from it every month. Federal government pensions, though, they account for 22%!
Welfare is 12% of the federal budget. Defense is 24% to protect us from those nations who still fight with Viet Nam war era weapons and do not attack us, we attack them. Al Qaida has attacked us, but that's about it since Pearl Harbor.
Education is 4%, protection (those public servants you mention) is 2%.
In my case, healthcare, pension, education, social services, etc.
Yeah, gotta have the best bombs even though we are 15 times more powerful already than the next nation down. Not to mention they openly say they won't attack us here because we all own personal guns.
I'd sure as heck like to have them stop spending all my tax money on defense and put a little more into those torn up roads and public services you talk about., There is NO corporate regulation so how much could that cost?
Steet lights trash pickup streets (pavement) sidewalks signal lights tree removal schools security (police) local, and state governments, a bunch of othwr stuff, catnip and noms