I was thinking about this recently, in AOTC we see that "Sifo Dyas" has ordered a clone army from the Geonosians for the Republic. Lucas says on the ROTS DVD commentary that Sifo Dyas is Palpatine, which is fine. My problem is that, even as chancellor, how the hell did Palpatine funnel such a large amount of funds away from the Republic to pay for the clones, the creation of their armor and weapons, and the ships they were using?
In our country, defense is 2/3s of a trillion dollars annually (although about 6% of that goes to retiree pay, which wouldn't affect a new military), that's 20% of our overall annual budget. If Palpatine siphoned off 20% of the Republic's budget, someone would likely have noticed, that's got to be a significant chunk of change. Even if Palps secretly used the credit card, that's so much credit that it'd show up in the system.
And keep in mind that Palpatine's startup costs were over a period of a decade all in secret, including development of clone soldiers, design and fabrication of arms and equipment, the massive undertaking of creating a fleet of starships and support craft, plus training for all of it.
Imagine if George Bush had siphoned off $6 trillion dollars over the course of a decade starting in '91 with no oversight or accountability or anything to show for it, don't you think someone would have said something? Of course they would have. I doubt any of us can even imagine what $6 trillion really would look like. And the Republic is thousands of times as big as the US.
Are we really to expect that the cloners of Kamino are going to extend a massive line of credit to a random guy claiming to be a Jedi without batting an eyelid? AND they had to do so in silence, no less. What about the shipyards, what about the materials needed to build giant ships to haul the clones around? They all had to be paid for the decade of work they did, and paid quietly so as not to draw attention to their activities.
So how does Chancellor Palpatine finance in secret this clone army? And how does this not faze someone, especially the Jedi who just accept this perfectly-timed thing created in their names?
I don't think he can, I think that's a plot hole in the movie and in the prequels in general, but it's the kind of plot hole expected of Star Wars.