"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government."
The sad thing is, I am not sure there is much that can be done about it as this point, any more than we can unwind our defense industry - it is so heavily entrenched politically. States play games with food stamp rules to make sure more of their citizens qualify (UPDATE: Maine has announced a new program forcing those receiving assistance to do some form of community service - maybe there is hope). And with government contractors administering more and more programs, well, now these programs will become really entrenched. Do you want to be the congressman who shuts down the welfare office and thus "cost us jobs!"?