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Would that mean that the federal government could, per clause 12, "raise and support Armies," and per the next clause also "provide and maintain a Navy," but not spend any money on the Army and Navy?

Yes. However, you have omitted an important point: Elections.

If the voters are paying for something via taxes, how would (to quote you) "the project as a whole must benefit the entire federation"? There would be a quick change of Congress at the next election if people were taxed but not getting what was promised when the money was spent elsewhere.

Remember what happened *in the courts* when money was diverted *from* the military to build walls? The transfers were deemed illegal as they were contrary to what Congress had ordered be done with the money. So who pays back the money to the military? When does the military get their money returned so they can build the facilities Congress ordered be built with the appropriated funds?
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