Here's how it works.
Legislators pass entitlements out to as much of the population as they can get away with, i.e., as close to 50% of the population as they can, so they that they are able to ensure themselves re-election. They are paid back by crony lobbyists, who provide them with soft-dollar payoffs for votes, and when the time is right, crony corporations provide revolving door opportunities outside of Congress (or dark cellar opportunities if they stay in Congress).
Which results in this. The crony military-industrial complex still exists, but it is quickly becoming second fiddle to the Entitlement-Crony Complex. From Social Security, to Medicare to food stamps and free cell phones, the voting public is being manipulated for its vote. At the same time the crony elitists have expanded well beyond the military, and include Big Pharma and crony insurance, among many others. And, of course, the banksters always collect their fees.