Originally posted on March 10, 2010.
If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money I will not hesitate to call them out on it and put a stop to it. And I want everybody here to be on notice that if a local government does the same. I will call them out on it and use the full power of my office and our administration to stop it… We have asked for the unprecedented trust of the American people to deal boldly with the greatest economic crisis we’ve seen in decades and with that the privilege of investing unprecedented amounts of their hard earned money to address this crisis. With that comes unprecedented obligations to spend that money wisely, free from politics and free from personal agendas. On this I will not compromise or tolerate any shortcuts.
So have any wasteful, inefficient and politically driven projects been funded by the “stimulus?” All signs point to absolutely yes.
John W. Pope Civitas Institute released a report on The 10 Worst Federal Stimulus Projects in North Carolina, the top three wasteful projects on their list include studying the effects of cocaine on monkeys, a private dance theater and reducing hot flashes through yoga.
1. Study of monkeys using cocaine: $71,623
Wake Forest University was granted money to “study the effects of self-administering cocaine on the glutamate system on monkeys.” Well, at least the monkeys will be stimulated.
2. North Carolina Dance Theatre: $50,000
This grant is used to retain four professional dancers from the North Carolina Dance Theatre’s second company. Nice for them, but why are tax dollars financing what should be a privately-funded philanthropic organization?
3. Reducing hot flashes through yoga: $147,694
Funds granted to Wake Forest University to study “preliminary data on the efficacy of integral yoga for reducing menopausal hot flashes.” The President warned us that the stimulus plan was needed to avoid an economic ‘catastrophe.’ How does this study help revive the economy?
An article by the Sun Sentinel lists a multitude of strange projects that the “stimulus” is funding in Florida:
The cactus bug project at the University of Florida is more ambitious, spending $325,394 in stimulus money to determine how environment affects the mating decisions of females. According to the project proposal, it should also answer the question, ‘Whether males with large weapons are more or less attractive to females.’
In addition, Florida allocated almost a million taxpayer dollars to the study of lice:
$934,498 to UF for high-tech equipment to study the DNA of lice.
In Massachusetts, a notable portion of the “stimulus” money has gone to bee research.
9.3 million is headed to Harvard for a project called “Robobees,” to artificially mimic the behavior of a bee colony.
Reporter Kathy Curran asks an important question:
How does the study of bee pollen in northern Iceland during the Viking age create jobs and stimulate the local economy?
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report analyzing 100 wasteful stimulus projects. Included in his long list is a small Pennsylvania airport:
The John Murtha Airport in Johnstown/Cambria County will receive $800,000 in economic stimulus funds, despite the fact that virtually no one uses the airport.
Looking back, the intention of the “stimulus” was to “save or create about 3.5 million jobs while investing in priorities that create sustainable economic growth for the future.”
According to Nova Southeastern University economics professor Albert Williams:
There is no guarantee that these quirky projects will in fact create jobs.
During Obama’s speech urging local governments and federal agencies to use the “stimulus” money in a wise manner he correctly stated that “the American people are watching.”
In fact, the American people are watching and questioning why their hard-earned money is involuntarily funding odd research projects on lice DNA, historical bee pollen and drugged monkeys. In addition, Americans should wonder why Obama has yet to “call out” local governments for funding these projects that have failed to stimulate any job growth.