Each year the government spends almost half a million dollars maintaining the office of the former speaker of the house in spite of the fact that he is almost never there. This covers his phone bill, cable, and even payments on a leased car.
$1.49 million for toilets
In 2010 the government spent nearly 1.5 million dollars renovating 36 toilets in Denali National Park, Alaska. That translates to over $40,000 per toilet.
$100,000 for a “celebrity chef fruit promotion road show in Indonesia”
In one of the stranger acts of budget allocation history the federal government set aside $100,000 for a “celebrity chef fruit promotion road show in Indonesia”. After some careful research we are still not entirely sure what that even means.
$168,766 to study monkey poop
As you’ve already seen, the government spends a good amount of money doing research and over the past few years at least a portion of that has gone towards observing monkeys as they throw poop at each other. We eagerly anticipate the findings.
$4.2 million on duplicate shuttle services for federal employees
Every year government agencies spend over $4 million shuttling federal employees on near-empty busses running along overlapping routes through the streets of Washington DC. A recent report found that half of the existing routes could be eliminated with no change in service but unfortunately none of the agencies are willing to share.
$492,000 to determine whether or not tweets can be trusted
In yet another groundbreaking study the government spent almost half a million dollars trying to determine the trustworthiness of tweets. Half a million dollars.
$17.8 million in foreign aid to China
In 2011 the United States spent nearly $18 million on foreign aid programs to its biggest sovereign lender. This included 2.5 million for social services and 4.4 million to help improve its environment.
$120 million in benefit checks to deceased federal employees
Every year the government delivers over $120 million worth of benefit checks to deceased federal employees. It’s literally sending money to dead people.
It’s a matter of opinion
Although this isn’t a budget item it is an important point. Everyone has one, especially concerning how federal tax dollars should be spent whether its monkey poop, pancakes, or toilets. So, as funny as some of these can be, their importance is a matter of opinion and their slice of the federal debt is absolutely negligible, which leads us to number 1…
What do we really spend money on?
You’ll notice from the chart that almost 75% of the federal budget goes towards social security, medicare, interest payments, and defense. The other quarter gets divided up among the remaining departments of the government. So, at the end of the day a good chunk of your paycheck is paying for two things – insurance and guns.
David is the editor-in-chief of List25. He has a Masters degree in International Business from University of Florida. He loves to break dance, do flips, play guitar, and everything else that is fun. Follow him on Twitter @iamdpegg