The Universe Today has a great article: 8 Ridiculous Things Bigger Than NASA's Budget. Here is a snippet:
The most often-used argument against space exploration is that we should use that money to alleviate problems here on Earth. But that argument fails to realize that NASA doesn’t just pack millions of dollar bills into a rocket and blast them into space. The money NASA uses creates jobs, providing an opportunity for some of the world’s brightest minds to use their talents to, yes, actually benefit humanity.
Consider NASA FY2009 budget is $17.2B:
Annually, Americans spend about $88.8 billion on tobacco products and another $97 billion on alcohol.
Likewise, people in the US spend about $64 billion on illegal drugs, and $114.2 billion for health-related care of drug use.
Americans also spend $586.5 billion a year on gambling.
View the complete article here.
Then go here to learn of many wonderful and great advances we use everyday, thanks to NASA.