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Summertime Blues for the Taxpayer

Posted By Brian Darling On August 6, 2010 @ 11:04 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

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Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) have put out an excellent report on the 100 most wasteful projects funded in President Obama’s $862 billion Stimulus plan.  The report, Summertime Blues [2], is important for conservatives to read from cover to cover.  This report contains some of the most egregious and wasteful programs ever recorded.

One project that has been the subject of much discussion is a Wake Forest University Study on how Monkeys react under the influence of cocaine.  This project received $144,541 in Stimulus funds and produced only a fraction on a job created (0.43 according to Recovery.gov [3]).  The Coburn-McCain Report [2] stated the following about this project (Coburn-McCain Report [2] project 28):

Researchers at Wake Forest University think that, in at least one case, it is good to monkey around with your stimulus dollars. The Department of Health and Human Services has sent $144,541 to the Winston-Salem college to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine. The project, titled “Effect of Cocaine Self-Administration on Metabotropic Glutamate Systems,” would have the monkeys self-administer the drugs while researchers monitor and study their glutamate levels. When asked how studying drug-crazed primates would improve the national economy, a Wake Forest University Medical School Spokesman said, “It’s actually the continuation of a job that might not still be there if it hadn’t been for the stimulus funding. And it’s a good job.” He added, “It’s also very worthwhile research.”

The left is defending this project as important research on substance abuse, yet this seems to fall outside the category of what an average American would consider an essential element of an economic stimulus package.  This may turn out to be President Obama’s Bridge to Nowhere [4], because this program has not shown evidence of efficient and effective job creation.

This is not the only project that will provide a moment of levity and shock to those who follow how our federal government is spending our tax dollars.  There is a 1.9 million grant to the California Academy of Sciences to send researchers to the Southwest Indian Islands and east Africa to study Ants (Coburn-McCain Report [2] project 6) and a $141,002 grant to Montana State University to send students to China for the study of Dinosaur Eggs (Coburn-McCain Report [2] project 76).

The Coburn-McCain report also contains evidence of Stimulus moneys being used to promote the President’s agenda.  A Public Relations firm based in New York, Ketchum, Inc., received $25.8 million in Stimulus money from the Department of Health and Human Services to promote health information technology (Coburn-McCain Report [2] project 32).   Two Texas Universities, Rice University and the University of Texas at Dallas, received $193,956 in Stimulus funds  from the National Science Foundation to study voter’s perceptions of the Stimulus (Coburn-McCain Report [2] project 45).

This is merely 4 programs in the 100 documented by the Coburn-McCain report [2].  Americans should demand an explanation from elected officials on why they allowed tax money to be squandered on these projects that don’t save or create jobs.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/08/06/summertime-blues-for-the-taxpayer/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/Coke-Monkey.jpg

[2] Summertime Blues: http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=a7e82141-1a9e-4eec-b160-6a8e62427efb

[3] Recovery.gov: http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/pages/RecipientProjectSummary508.aspx?AwardIdSur=8352&AwardType=Grants

[4] Bridge to Nowhere: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2005/10/The-Bridge-to-Nowhere-A-National-Embarrassment

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