Individuals and business owners around the country regularly make an effort to reduce spending, pay off debts, and save. But the federal government continuously fails to do the same.

The U.S. national debt is currently $17.2 trillion and growing.

Despite this, the federal government continues to waste your hard-earned tax dollars on programs like the ones below — whether you like it or not.

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look at some of the most ridiculous examples of government spending over the past few years.

Let’s hope the feds can reign in the spending next year! (I won’t hold my breath.)


$1 million annually to develop a “Mars Menu.”

There is no government plan or budget to colonize Mars, but $1 million is spent each year developing a “Mars menu”. It is an effort to come up with food humans could one day eat on the planet. Ya know, just in case.

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud.Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at

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  • S_Z

    You forgot the biggest one… the $634 million wasted to build a broken website.

  • rob

    TBH it’s a waste to do that, but these are individual molecules in a far larger lake of spending…

  • Matt Roach

    Let’s be more positive and try to find the dollar they spent well.

    • Bryce Benjamin Silver

      Even that is subjective.

      • Matt Roach

        No it’s not. It is sarcastic though.
        The best possible outcome for a dollar spent by the government is when they spend it exactly the way the person they stole it from would have. Everything else is damaging to the economy. So the best they can do is break even….
        That’s why they never do.

        • Casey Covello

          That’s a horrible philosophy. Individuals don’t build freeways for example…

          • Matt Roach

            “Who will build the roads?!” Classic troll.

          • Bryce Benjamin Silver

            MUH ROOOAAADDDS!!!

        • Bryce Benjamin Silver

          Yes, it is. Money spent on providing aid to Syria, in my opinion, is not a good way to spend money for us because of the volatility within that country and region. To others, we may need to spend that money to secure a future with whoever wins the civil war in Syria. I don’t see it that way, thus, I have provided a subjective opinion. Very subjective.

  • Drew R

    Time to wipe the slate clean and start over..

  • garbles

    I hate when people get up in arms because of funding for science. In order for science to work, researchers need to be able to explore ideas without someone deciding whether or not it is “important”. Most breakthroughs in science occur by accident. A scientist is curious about the mating habits of penguins and next thing you know we have a cure for cancer because of something found in penguin semen.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think the examples given in this article seem like a waste of money as well. But if we stymie the creativity of those people in our world curious enough to poke and prod at nature, then we stymie any progress we could ever make as humans.

    • BeVoluntaryist

      Plenty of companies invest in research.

      • knows his shit

        The vast majority of base level research is conducted at public universities, and then companies perform research in the application of the base level research in high level applications. With science unless you vastly revamp the creative property laws before you can hope to remove public funding. Public funding also more often translates to public good in science, instead of a shelved patent.

      • RedEyeJedi

        Let me quote an article from my local paper, that illustrates the buisiness-university research relationship; “We’re really trying to be kind of the guinea pig for the ag industry so that they don’t have to do their own experiments on their own farm that may cost them money and jeopardize their business.” ( That was said by Jennifer Ott, head of the High Desert Farming Initiative, a program; at a public university; that researches crops for arid enviroments.
        And the research about growing food on Mars is amazing; they have found, down to the nanometer, the perfect size of molecules for nutrient uptake, and furthered the field of using microbes to fight other microbes, in any medium, to prevent diseases in crops. Prefabricated greenhouses with aeroponic systems (a technology NASA is pioneer of) have a huge future, for industrial agriculture and for personal use.

    • Michael Blake

      that is not science that is a waste of money.

  • knows his shit

    Everybody who likes to bitch and moan about science grants isn’t a scientist themselves, and you dont realize how much seemingly menial research can come in handy. That mars menu for example sounds like a project to create rations in a very harsh environment that are still palpable, and could lead to developments that benefit us back home. Robotic limb and mobility development is a sleeping giant and getting young kids learning about that field is a good step towards filling the gap between the US and Japan in robotics. Lets put these in perspective, the same grant for animatronic animals at 1000 other schools would cost less than the presidents offices renovation, and lead to potentially 34000 students with hands on experience in animatronics, and a lot of engineering skills to developed. This is assuming that every school manages there money as terribly as SD did, but a well managed project could easily cost far less. More importantly, the stimulus in the field, and the economy down the line, would be enormous.

    You’re not a scientist or an engineer Tate, don’t act like you know whats money well spent in those fields.
    Also it Mar’s Menu…really?

    • Michael Blake

      we do not need government to do that by the way. let the corporation fund that crap.

      • RedEyeJedi

        Translation: “Let the someone else fund the future, I live in the now” Meaning “I’m greedy”

        • Brian Bradford

          Or translation

          “I’m tired of the government spending all my tax $$ on stupid shit like oval office renovations, football stadiums and hockey rinks and expensive science grants to find out why lesbians are fat and gay guys aren’t just to throw us in deeper debt”

          Imagine what $593,000 could for america, for our weak infrastructure, for our poor schools, for our military vets etc etc etc, but what did big brother spend it on?? why monkey throw shit…

          I guess 350,000 to do a study on GOLFERS putting makes sense and couldn’t have been better spent? Shouldn’t that be paid for by the MLG not the feds?

          I mean I know Obama’s new (and back up) office is MUCH more important then helping fix america with that 376 million.

          I can totally get why wanting somebody else besides the government to spend a crazy amount of money on things that really aren’t that important and defiantly not needed is greedy.

          I mean I guess I’m greedy as well, IO’m tired of the money i work hard for being devalued by our governments debt ontop of being taken from me each paycheck to pay for gaydar research and obamas new office =.=

          • RedEyeJedi

            Just because you don’t understand the science, doesn’t mean it will not have useful applications.
            I’m not disagreeing with angst pointed at the office renovations, since $378 million is a lot to spend on bunting.

          • Brian Bradford

            I assume then you understand the science to even be able to argue that it may have useful applications??
            I mean I could be wrong but I don’t see how studies into GayDar, how to help golfers putt better, or why monkeys toss their shit around are worth spending the money on with the state our country is in

            I can understand the logic behind the prom social interaction thing but cmon half a million for a FACEBOOK game?? I’m sure they could have done MUCH better for cheaper

            Also I highly doubt the students much benefited from that near 10K per student (the squirrel cost a few hundred to build) so where did all that money go? did it go towards their tuition to make it cheaper? perhaps it paid for some of their books? It’s one thing for them to “say” it benefited the students and a WHOLE different story to show how.

            In-case you haven’t noticed the government can’t keep track of where its money is going or even how it is being spent.

            So yea $300K+ for a program to build a robotic squirrel to do research on SQUIRREL BEHAVIOR (NOT robotics). So how if the robot only cost a few hundred did they they use the other 300K to support the few students they claim it did? Because they sure didn’t need 300K for research on how squirrels behave..

            I understand that sometimes scientific research and find something new and unexpected, but with our economy in the dirt, our education system failing, Our infrastructure being horribly outdated we can’t just be tossing money at things! Whats the purpose of throwing MILLIONS at education grants when our education system is so broke that when people get their college degrees sometimes they cant even find a job!!

          • Casey Covello

            An idiot can see the merits of some of these.
            I’ll do my best, but most of these are sociological/psychological studies, and I am a mech engineer, so I’m outside my element, but just being in the STEM group allows me to see many of the applications for these.
            1) It’s a study for the ISS and what the astronauts can feasibly eat. This should be obvious why it’s beneficial and worth the money.
            2) apparently this is one you understand
            3) how health effects don’t seem to be worthy research to you is beyond me. They do studies on all kinds of demographics…why is this one irking you?
            4) admittedly im unsure on this one, but studying our cousin’s methods of communication surely has applications for ourselves. Go ask someone within that field and they can probably give you an answer
            5) agreed, it looks silly
            6) human sexuality/habits/perception DRIVES THE ENTIRE SPECIES! Understanding it helps us understand much of our lives, as our lives at the end of the day are all about reproduction.
            7) if the oval office was never periodically updated, it wouldn’t have power outlets, phone lines, cable lines, internet, intercoms, etc. Don’t be an idiot…it gets upgraded every few presidents, and the president who is in office when it happens finds it an inconvenience, not a new cool office to get excited about.
            One of our most important buildings in the nation deserves to be well maintained and up-to-date, no?
            8) It’s a study on an application of psychology. Studies like this are how we prove just how effective morale is in a competitive game, how we can perform better by thinking differently (or unconventionally), etc. This should also be obvious in how it can be applied.

          • Daren Ferreira

            The merits of them have little/nothing to do with why I don’t want my tax dollars spent on them. Or will I see a capital return on that investment when some company strikes it rich on one of these gold mine technologies being funded by the tax payer? Cancer research company Advaxis has an HPV that has pretty much made Dogs in the trial immune to cancer. 8 our of 9 dogs vaccinated are still alive, all of which have been alive for over 500 days. Average life span for these dogs without this trial vaccine? less than 1 year. The money for this research is coming from investors, NOT the government. If the product has a place in society then investors will invest.

          • Casey Covello

            Not all things that have a place in society are profitable. That’s where government research comes in.
            Was it EVER a profitable endeavor to land on the moon? No. Why would any company invest in such? Especially given such massive expenditures required. Thus it is the responsibility of our governments to take on research and development into areas that are not necessarily profitable, but may still be beneficial.

          • raindance

            why don’t all of you send more of YOUR money to the govt then? r u greedy? sounds like it to me. Is it not indicative of greed when you want to keep your money but spend someone else’s?

          • Casey Covello

            “why don’t all of you send more of YOUR money to the govt then?”

            So you don’t want to chip in on the research that aids us all? Which one of us is greedy again?

            “Is it not indicative of greed when you want to keep your money but spend someone else’s?”
            See first quote…

          • RedEyeJedi

            I actually read the original articles, and not just the rose-tinted list.
            Golfing was about visualization, and had to do with helping disabled veterans.
            Until you read the original articles on their respective sites, I have nothing more to explain

          • Honeyfairy

            That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, LOL Thanks for the laugh! You made my day! hahahaha!

          • Brian Bradford

            Dumb to feel that some of this wasted money should be put towards Infrastructure that the US is way behind other developed nations?

            Dumb to feel our US vets are underpaid, not given proper/enough equipment over seas and not properly taken care of when they return home and that some of that wasted money could GREATLY benefit our troops?

            See I gotta thank YOU for the laugh, because anybody who thinks that that line of thinking is dumb is rather amusing for being so blind to the bigger picture :)

            BTW its easy to call people dumb hiding behind a anon name, why not use your real name to debate issues?

        • raindance

          why don’t all of you send more of YOUR money to the govt then? r u greedy? sounds like it to me. Is it not indicative of greed when you want to keep your money but spend someone else’s? Who advocates armed thugs to collect money from unwilling victims?

        • g.johnon

          you really don’t understand the scope and ramifications of 17.2 trillion in debt; do you?

          • RedEyeJedi

            I understand that debt is Manufactured everyday, and that debt will never really decrease.
            Do you understand military spending is almost a quarter ( of all known government spending? And that education is only four percent?

          • g.johnon

            yes I do. it is because the families that are running the circus are using u.s. military to conquer the world. lotta push power and smart people are hard to control and conquer.

          • RedEyeJedi

            We may not be on the same page, but we are in the same book.

          • g.johnon

            who could ask more?

      • Jay

        There isn’t reliable money to be made in these types of research programs so no private entity is going to invest in them. The only feasible way is through gov’t grants. All those studies add up to a total of ~5mil anyway, which is chump change to our defense budget.

        We should be mad about costing 376million to refurbish an office though.

        • raindance

          see my response to redeye, below

    • scribbles

      thank you for saying that. knowing why lesbians are obese can provide insight to the difference between male and female homosexuality, sexuality in general or even obesity as a whole. so many of the studies here were completely warranted, especially the mars menu. that is such a tough problem we likely wont be prepared for when we do touch down.

    • RedEyeJedi

      Benefits of NASA research
      The studying of food growth in microgravity, allowing for longer space station stays.
      The study of nutrient uptake in roots, finding perfect molecule size for nutrient uptake, making growth more efficient.
      Studying of aeroponic systems, the future of homegrown, or rooftop grown, or harsh enviroment-grown, food.

  • sirisunday

    you forgot the most important:

    xxxx hundreds of millions to collect taxes… which means they have to collect more taxes to collect the taxes that were meant to ‘build roads, schools and firestations’….

  • Casey Covello

    Anyone in a STEM field can see that almost all of these are great ways to spend our money. The robo-squirrel was the only one that seemed foolish, and the Obama thing? They’re renovating the West Wing, and the renovations won’t be done until he’s nearly done. In case you forgot, the White House is quite old, and is periodically renovated to ensure that it remains up to date with modern technologies, building codes, infrastructures, etc.

    I see a girl, trained by Fox affiliates, making a childish news article about why we’re wasting money on science with absolutely nothing positive, no advice, no suggestions, just criticism. Congratulations, a 12 year old can write papers that only criticize….

    • Bryce Benjamin Silver

      So can a majority of modern-day college students. It’s quite sad.

    • raindance

      How many articles did you publish that informed us on this kind of thing??? Where is your advise, suggestions? Now we are informed, we may at least let others knpow and possibly someone will change the way they vote. Did you help with that in your comment?

      • Casey Covello

        This article isn’t educational… I’m not sure what you think you learned, but it’s a non-scientist bitching about science budgets she doesn’t understand…

  • Casey Covello

    Can’t help but note that of the 8 links, 2 are related to homosexuality, one associates Obama with White House expenditures (on something he won’t even get to use most of the time), and most of the remaining are psychological/sociological research. It just seems so…republican cliche.
    (disclaimer: I’m independent of both major political parties, not some repub-bashing dem)

    • r3VOLution IS NOT republican

      Good eye. You can smell a REPUBLICAN 10 minutes before they enter a room, these days.

      • raindance

        a dog smells his own stink first (ancient polititcal saying)

        • r3VOLution IS NOT republican

          You can call me racist, crackpot, tinfoil hater, birther, tenther, truther, black helicopter watcher, livin-in-momma’s-basement, crank, Paulbot, Paultard, Paulista, Paulistinian, traitor, terrorist, wrecker, stupid, idiot, libtard plant, HuffPo plant, hater, lover…

          but NEVER, EVER, EVER… EVEN INSINUATE that I am a republican.

    • ‘Stuart Kahler

      And one was about golf, and the lead-in to the article was about whiskey.

    • Bryce Benjamin Silver

      I think ya’ll missed the point the article was trying to make which is the absurd ways our money is being spent. The whole homosexuality one was hardly an attack unless you have incredibly thin skin and the lack of Obama links is only because the author is talking about the government, not the president. I still think it’s a silly article, but America sure knows how to piss it’s money away.

    • Tony Plosczynski

      are you attempting to disassociate Obama with White House expenditures?? Do a little bit more research. It was his decision. you may not be a liberal but you use the same arguments they would, ones without merit specifically, that have to rely on semantics in lieu of reason. it sounds like, although you are aware there is no possible way to justify the spending laid out in this article, you are looking for a way to disagree with the article. So, if you’re not a Dem… they’d love to have you

  • mizhenrietta

    This comment was written by a slender lesbian in answer to a FOX News article:

    “It doesn’t take a million dollar grant to see why so many middle-aged and older lesbians are fat and unhealthy. And the fat epidemic has nothing whatsoever to do with men nor with any other left-over lesbian feminist hogwash from the 1970s.

    “There are myriad reasons for the majority of middle-aged lesbians being overweight, such as: depression, lack of self-respect, poor self-image, junk food diets, poor health habits, lack of exercise, etc.”

    Sure makes sense to me!

    • Tony Plosczynski

      And… that pretty much describes America! Who cares?? Not taxpayers responsibility to pay for those answers. for $20 I will be happy to pen a strongly worded memo that says “get your f****** ass off the couch and stop eating fast food!”

      • Hector R.

        What was that for?

  • Wayne D.

    Does $8.5 TRILLION, (taken directly from your paycheck because big banks and corporations pay no taxes, in fact they recieve tax subsidies) sound like a lot of money to you?
    That’s $8.5 TRILLION of the Pentagon budget they cannot account for.
    That’s HALF of the National Debt!
    On 9/10/2001 Donald Rumsfeld said it was $2.3 TRILLION the Pentagon could not account for.
    Anyone see a trend here?
    Am I the only one who thinks this is insane?
    Hello? Anybody home?

    • Casey Covello


      • Bryce Benjamin Silver

        In an article about overspending…you might need to go ahead and manually piece this one together.

        • Casey Covello

          I meant more as in what point is he trying to make. The article’s concerns are meaningless by comparison? Or it’s partially at fault? etc

  • JeanAnn Nyman

    Our government is pathetic and shameful. Since they anticipate saving 1 Billion by cutting expenses at the Pentagon, perhaps they should put that 1 Billion in the Social Security Fund to replace part of the 4 Billion they took out of the fund and haven’t paid back yet. The Social Security Fund was stable when Clinton left office and during Bush Administration they took 4 billion plus out of the fund and still have not paid it back. That money belongs to seniors who paid into that fund, not the government to take and use. SHAME ON THEM, even think of taking the Social Security Fund away from use and SHAME ON THEM FOR STEALING OUR MONEY AND NOT PUTTING IT BACK.
    Shillington, Pa. 19607

    • Hector R.

      They are not shameful they are SHAMELESS.

  • Mis Anthrope

    going to go with: a lot of obese women are not attractive to males so they just become “lesbians”

  • Honeyfairy

    First of all ~ Sexual preference has NOTHING to do with “weight”! LOL As far as our “debt” – There as been so much proof that during “the BUSH administration, 4 Billion $ was taken out of the Social Security Fund that WE the taxpayer’s paid into through our jobs! They NEVER PAID IT BACK! As far as President Obama… he is a real man who truly cares about helping OUR COUNTRY! All those tight asses BIGOT’S are doing & saying anything they want to just to put him down because he’s BLACK…plain & simple! It’s a disgrace! People need to do their homework and read all the good he had done fighting these BIGOT’S all the way. The Republican Party is now the American Communist Party! They have enormous tax cuts & send their jobs oversees to make bigger profits, putting our people out of work. Good honest people are losing their jobs and losing their homes, not because they’re lazy or feeding off the government – they have no choice! All these “punishment” tactic’s against the Middle Class is destroying our country. Do you want to start balancing the budget… start by making everyone pay taxes based on their income; stop giving Food Stamps, Welfare & Medicaid to NON-CITIZEN’S! Stop sending money to other country’s and take care of the US Citizen’s first… Charity starts at HOME! Stop importing from other country’s when we have our own utility resources to last generations. Break those ties with country’s who hate us & put our CITIZEN’S back to work. Make the minimum wage $11 hr. now, with no tax on the 1st 40hr. work week so people living on minimum wage don’t need to apply for government assistance to put food on the table… HAS ANY OF THIS OCCURED TO ANY OF YOU? Stop voting in these “palm greasing politician’s” who only care about big business & don’t have a clue what it’s like to work an honest day! Should I go on???