First, this wastefulness is seen as inefficient only if one falsely assumes that its real objective is to combat Terrorist threats. That is not the purpose of what the U.S. Government does. As Daniel Weeks explains today, the Congress -- contrary to popular opinion -- is not "broken"; it is working perfectly for its actual owners. Or, as he puts it, "Washington isn't broken -- it’s fixed":
Our problem today is not a broken government but a beholden one: government is more beholden to special-interest shareholders who fund campaigns than it is to ordinary voters. Like any sound investor, the funders seek nothing more and nothing less than a handsome return -- deficits be darned -- in the form of tax breaks, subsidies and government contracts.
The LA Times, and most people who denounce these spending "inefficiencies," have the causation backwards: fighting Terrorism isn't the goal that security spending is supposed to fulfill; the security spending (and power vested by surveillance) is the goal itself, and Terrorism is the pretext for it. For that reason, whether the spending efficiently addresses a Terrorism threat is totally irrelevant.
Second, while the Security State has little to do with addressing ostensible Terrorist threats, it has much to do with targeting perceived domestic and political threats, especially threats brought about by social unrest from austerity and the growing wealth gap. This Alternet article by Sarah Jafee, entitled "How the Surveillance State Protects the Interests Of the Ultra-Rich," compiles much evidence -- including what I offered two weeks ago -- demonstrating that the prime aim of the growing Surveillance State is to impose domestic order, preserve prevailing economic prerogatives and stifle dissent and anticipated unrest.
Read the rest. Shorter: the government hates and fears us for our freedom.