Thursday, May 14, 2015

State Department's Top 50 Intriguing or Bizarre Expenses

See interactive graphic
I took a spin through $6,052,837,219 in State Department expenses and compiled a list of the 50 most intriguing or bizarre expenses.
The top expense was for office buildings, at $1,897,708,127. Further down the list was a category called "miscellaneous items." That totaled a whopping $57,035,138 - all expenses that were too trivial to describe.
The government spent $105,549,588 in household furniture - a nice little perk for our diplomats abroad. No big surprise there. But the top 50 I chose were offbeat or strange. They included such items as:
  • $5,939,630 for tableware
  • $2,924,003 for draperies, awnings and shades
  • $1,322,750 for intelligence services
  • $882,035 for perfume, toilet preparation and powder
  • $301,750 for bags and sacks
  • $278,000 for surveillance services
  • $249,400 for "motor charter for things," whatever the heck that means
  • $235,000 for camouflage and deception equipment
  • $198,000 for torpedo and gun boats
  • $186,000 for recreational and gymnastic equipment
  • $111,000 for screws
  • $98,000 for miscellaneous weapons
  • $39,000 for men's outerware
  • $33,500 for space vehicles (no kidding) and,
  • $8,000 for "launchers, torpedo and depth charge."
See interactive graphic of State Department spending by category.

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