Speaker of the House John Boehner released a list of eight things that could have been accomplished since Senate Democrats passed a budget bill. The infographic shows some monumental tasks that may have happened in the time since April 29, 2009. Boehner is touting a bill before the House of Representatives that could threaten the paychecks of those in Congress if a normal budget bill isn't passed this spring. To make his point, he lists eight accomplishments without the costs involved.
* For 179 round trips to the moon with Apollo 11, the actual mission itself cost $355 million. The Artemis Project states several flights and tests leading up to manned mission cost more than $12 billion.
* Adjusted for inflation to 2013, the $12 billion figure is multiplied by 6.26. The cost of one Apollo 11 mission becomes more than $75 billion in today's dollars. Factor in 179 trips and NASA needs a budget of $1.34 trillion over four years, all paid for by taxpayers.
* Boehner touts two Keystone XL pipelines could be built. The Environmental News Service reveals the entire project costs around $5.3 billion. Two of them would mean $10.6 billion spent by TransCanada on around 9,000 jobs in the United States and another 2,200 in Canada. The pipeline can be built in two years, if current timetables are approved by the Obama administration.
* Driving from Key West, Fla., to Seattle, Wash., takes slightly more than two days of driving by Boehner's estimation. The Speaker claims someone can travel that distance 684 times in four years. The distance between the two places is roughly 3,500 miles.
* Assuming a vehicle gets 30 miles to the gallon on a 15-gallon tank, that makes 450 miles per tank of gas. It takes 7 3/4 tanks of gas to make the trip from Florida to Washington. Since the journey takes more than two days, two nights in a hotel can be $60 per night. The average price of gas is $3.27 per gallon. Six meals at $5 per meal equals $30 One trip would cost $530. The price tag for 684 of these journeys is $362,500.
* Boehner states anyone with financial savvy get a degree in accounting from the University of Chicago. Such a venture costs nearly $250,000. Current tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 school year at the institution average $62,425.
* The Speaker suggests the Pentagon office building could be constructed three times in four years. The entire cost of the project in the early 1940s was $85 million. Adjusting for inflation again, the same project costs 13.27 times as much today. Two Pentagons built in 2013 will cost taxpayers more than $2.26 billion.
* Boehner claims the Allies defeated the Axis powers in World War II faster than the Senate passed a budget bill from December 1941 to August 1945, the span of America's involvement in the war. Military costs alone were $296 billion for American taxpayers. Adjusted for inflation to 2010 dollars, the Congressional Research Service states the same war has a price tag of $4.104 trillion in modern times.
* Climbing Mount Everest costs $55,000 minimum, according to Time magazine. Boehner says someone can make that trip 292 times in four years. The cost is $16 million for one intrepid climber.
* A hot air balloon ride costs as much as $250 per hour. Over four years, and 73 trips around the world, a balloonist will spend $8.76 million in four years.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.
- Politics & Government