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Top 10 Most Ridiculous Uses of Stimulus Funds (Updated)

Morgen on December 28, 2009 at 11:50 am

Putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done“…

10.  A $427,824 research grant to design better video games for senior citizens based on their unique “game-play needs”.

9.  Funding of a Dartmouth College study involving “sexual arousal in anesthetized female rats” ($9,870).

8.  Funding of a $168,300 SBA loan to the Escape Massage parlor in Midlothian, VA.

7.  Funding a $447,492 Univ. of North Carolina study on the development and use of “African American English” amongst 70 adolescents.

6.  $10,346 for a heating and cooling company to provide “escort services” for other companies performing a laser scanning survey at a courthouse in Honolulu, Hawaii.

5.  An academic study comparing outcomes of the concurrent and separate use of malt liquor and marijuana ($389,357).

4.  A $225,000 study at Ohio State University on the relative and combined impacts of air pollution and a high fat diet on obesity development.

3.  A $712,883 research grant to develop “machine-generated humor“. Project will design artificially intelligent “comedic performance agents”, and will “deploy them both on and off-line for the enjoyment and illumination of everyday citizens”.

2.  A $54 million project to relocate one bridge for the Napa Valley Wine Train (!) in order to mitigate the possible impact of a “100 year storm event”.

And the number one most ridiculous use of stimulus funds…

1.  $9.3 million (!) to fund the design and development of a “coordinated colony of robotic bees“!

Our tax dollars hard at work, saving or creating jobs for mad scientists and masseurs everywhere. And I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface with these.

Update: Since a couple of commenters have inexplicably attempted to defend some of the items I highlighted on the basis that they have created jobs, let me add that a grand total of 19.79 jobs were reported to have been created as a result of this spending. That’s 19.79 jobs for $65.7 million in federal spending, or roughly $3.3 million per job. This calculation comes from the job totals reported to Recovery.gov by the recipients, although it does not include any possible jobs created from the SBA loan to the massage parlor (apparently SBA loan recipients aren’t required to report this). It also includes 2 jobs which were reported as having been created for the “escort” boondoggle to Hawaii, which were apparently generated by a grant of only $10K.

Also, if anyone heard about this post on the radio or TV I would appreciate you dropping a note in the comments and sharing where you heard about it. As the writer of a “hack blog no one reads” I like to keep track of this sort of thing.

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Category: Absurd & Outrageous |

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