Senators Coburn and McCain today released a report entitled Summertime Blues: 100 Stimulus Projects that Give Taxpayers the Blues. The report highlights the wasteful spending by the federal government that has occurred as a direct result of the Obama stimulus package passed weeks after the inauguration last year. Hailed by the administration and congressional Democrats as the jump start our economy needed, the public must now come to terms with the fact that, eighteen months later, the money has been committed and the economy still struggles. Banks hesitate to lend, businesses continue to cut back rather than hire, and we as ordinary taxpayers will ultimately be paying the bill long after all who are responsible for the bill’s passage have left the political arena.
Among the “shovel ready” projects that will put this generation and the next into debt:
$1.9 million for documenting African ants
$677,000 to study how chimpanzees react to inequality
$144,000 to study the effect of cocaine on monkeys
$500,000 for microchip-embedded recycling bins
$1 million for bus station art
$181,000 to develop protocols for freezing rat sperm
These are only a few of the hundred projects analyzed in the report. I can only imagine how much better American society will be once we know how chimps react to being treated differently from one another, or once we’ve mastered the art of freezing rat sperm. (We’ll leave aside for the moment how scary it is that Big Brother will be tracking how often certain Ohio residents fill their recycling bins and drag them to the curb.) If these are the projects that actually received federal funding, one can only imagine the proposals that were considered but didn’t make the cut.