The Beginning Of The End
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Stimulus Waste

Back in February 2009, the U.S. Congress passed an $862 billion "economic stimulus" bill to help the struggling American economy recover from the horrible financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.  Right now, federal agencies are spending this stimulus money at the rate of approximately 196 million dollars an hour, and they will continue to spend it in staggering amounts up until the September 30, 2010 deadline.  Unfortunately, instead of being spent on useful projects that would revitalize U.S. industry and put American workers back to work, much of this money is being flushed directly down the toilet on some of the most wasteful projects imaginable.  The truth is that nobody is better at wasting money than the U.S. government.  In fact, some of the things that the U.S. government has been spending money on are absolutely mind blowing. 

The following are just some of the examples of "stimulus waste" that we have seen over the last 16 months....   

*Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida used $15,551 in stimulus money to pay two researchers to study how alcohol affects a mouse's motor functions.

*The U.S. government handed over a staggering $54 million in "stimulus cash" to Connecticut's politically-connected Mohegan Indian tribe, which runs one of the highest grossing casinos in the country.

*Syracuse professor of psychology Michael Carey received $219,000 in federal stimulus money for a study that examines the sex patterns of college women

*$1.15 million in stimulus funds was allocated for the installation of a new guard rail around the non-existent Optima Lake in Oklahoma.

*Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo received $389,000 to pay 100 residents of Buffalo $45 each to record how much malt liquor they drink and how much pot they smoke each day.  Instead of spending nearly $400,000, the U.S. government could have achieved the same goal by having a couple of scientists join a fraternity.

*$100,000 in federal stimulus funds were used for a martini bar and a brazilian steakhouse.

*A dinner cruise company in Chicago got nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to combat terrorism.

*$233,000 in stimulus money went to the University of California at San Diego to study why Africans vote.

*The Cactus Bug Project at the University Of Florida was allocated $325,394 in stimulus funds to study the mating decisions of cactus bugs.  According to the project proposal, one of the questions that will be answered by the study is this: "Whether males with large weapons are more or less attractive to females."

*One Denver developer received $13 million in tax credits to construct a senior housing complex despite that fact that the same developer is being sued as a slumlord for running rodent-infested apartment buildings in the city of San Francisco.

*Sheltering Arms Senior Services was awarded a contract worth $22.3 million in stimulus money to weatherize homes for poor families in Houston, Texas - but a new report from Texas Watchdog says that the weatherization work was performed so badly that 33 of the 53 homes will need to be completely redone.

*A liberal theater in Minnesota named "In the Heart of the Beast" (in reference to a well known quote by communist radical Che Guevara) received $100,000 for socially conscious puppet shows.

*California's inspector general found that $1 million in stimulus funds for a program to give summer jobs to young people was improperly used for overhead expenses such as rent and utility bills.

*Landon Cox, a Duke University assistant professor of computer science, was awarded $498,000 in stimulus money to study Facebook.

*The town of Union, New York is being urged to spend $578,000 in stimulus money that it did not request for a homelessness problem that it claims it does not have.

*Lastly, who could forget the $3.4 million "ecopassage" to help turtles cross a highway in Tallahassee, Florida?

Yes, the U.S. government sure knows how to waste money.

And the truth is that there is simply no way that the U.S. government would have been able to accumulate a debt of over $13 trillion dollars (and growing exponentially) without being incredibly skilled at wasting money.

In fact, the Pentagon says that there are literally trillions of dollars that it cannot account for.

Now how in the world do you lose track of trillions of dollars?

That takes some major league incompetence.

It is enough to make you want to pull your hair out.  We were once the wealthiest, most prosperous nation on the planet, but we have recklessly squandered our great wealth.  Over and over we kept voting for corrupt politicians who endlessly wasted our money on the most ridiculous things.

So now we will pay the price.

We are already being taxed brutally, but because of all the debt our "leaders" have gotten us into we are going to be taxed even more.  We did not demand accountability from our government, and so now we get to face the consequences.

But no amount of taxes will ever be enough for this government.  If we give them more money they just take that as a signal to get into even more debt.  As a nation we are on a path that can only be described as financial insanity.

So is there any hope that the U.S. government will stop wasting so much money?  Not with the current collection of Republicans and Democrats that currently inhabit Washington D.C. 

The truth is that both parties have been wasting our money for decades.  Many politicians will often talk about the need to "control spending", but when time comes to do it very few of them are ever willing to take action.

So until the American people decide to start sending a different kind of politician to Washington D.C. we are probably going to continue to see huge mountains of money being wasted. 

Wake up America. 

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  • de malfosse

    Tens of millions of “stimulus” dollars were allocated to Ft Drum, NY, projects.

    Yes, the Pentagon, America’s National Cathedral, not satisfied with the obscene amounts of money it already steals from the productive elements of society, dipped its’ beak into “stimulus” funds.

    End the Empire. Disband the Army.

  • DavidB

    And you didn’t even consider the military…..

  • http://www.interlock.yolasite.com Jean-C. Guenette

    Prosecute and jail the FAnnie and Freddie criminals. Barney FRank (our boy lolipop), Chris Dod, Bill Clinton et all involved in the “bad-mortgage for your vote” scandal.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com Gene

    So …….. are you implying we could have voted for the other guy & that person would have not been corrupt? See, the only choices we have had for years are those who are either corrupt or are corruptable. There are rarely any good choices to vote for. The only fix will be for things to completely crash & be rebuilt from ground zero.

    –Gene Ray

  • bloodworm

    After the midterm elections, Obama is going to tell the American people that he and Bernanke saved us from financial ruin. He is then going to say that the “bipartisan” deficit commission reports that extreme tax increases are needed to pay for his wonderful decisions.

    The middle class will end up bailing out the rich and poor who made bad decisions.

    Meanwhile, Obama and his socialists in congress will continue to have that blank look on their faces when trying to understand why we have a Tea Party movement.

  • inverse_agonist

    Know-nothing conservatives like to demagogue about “wasteful” scientific research every few years. I can see how they might have a point when it comes to social psychology research linking drinking 40s to smoking blunts in teenagers.

    BUT if the point of the stimulus funds is to stimulate the economy, funding scientific research does accomplish that. I’ll stick to biological research, which is what I’m familiar with.

    Somebody’s graduate student or postdoc has to genotype and observe those ants, and somebody’s graduate student or postdoc has to feed alcohol to those mice, possibly genotype them, do surgeries to implant electrodes or cause lesions, and record their behavior. Grad students and postdocs spend their (low) salaries on rent and groceries from local businesses. The research itself requires chemicals and lab supplies made by American science suppliers (e.g., med-associates.com or atsbio.com).

    Alcohol causes motor dysfunction through its effects in the cerebellum. Understanding how this works is relevant to understanding ataxia, which afflicts people for reasons other than drunkenness:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ataxia

    People with an anti-intellectual disposition might not see the value in understanding the evolution of social behavior, but it compares favorably with paying contractors in Afghanistan to bribe the Taliban:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/world/asia/07convoys.html

    It probably costs less money, too. At the end we even learn something we didn’t know before, and anybody that’s interested can read the results for themselves.

    There is bad research that peer review should’ve prevented, but the position taken here doesn’t make those sorts of distinctions. It’s not like somebody read up on our current understanding of motor function and decided this particular study wasn’t necessary because of a paper published in 1993. Somebody ignorant just said “drunk mice” and thought it was pointless because they don’t understand that the researchers have a slightly more sophisticated purpose than videotaping mice while they stumble.

    Leading the world in technological and medical innovation requires a lot of expensive experiments, many of which will not work. If we knew they would work, we wouldn’t need to do them in the first place. That’s either worth it to us as a society, or it’s not.

  • Spencer

    If we could somehow make it illegal for governments to borrow money…it would change everything….

  • lostinmissouri

    “But no amount of taxes will ever be enough for this government. If we give them more money they just take that as a signal to get into even more debt. As a nation we are on a path that can only be described as financial insanity.”

    Make that total financial implosion! This system will collapse on itself. How long will it take? Who knows?
    More Americans are waking up, and taking their wealth, outside the system, by buying Gold.

    Who’s John Galt?

  • jox

    As a foreigner, I wonder how Obama haters manage to blame him for everything, when it’s obvious that USA debt and financial policy is going on for decades.

  • http://Theeconomiccollapse Dang

    Best thing to do is the people of the united states declare the fed gov bankrupt. an wipeout the national debt. Thus making the gov credit rating trash. And no gov outside would loan us a dime. Making the gov live within it money it has year to year.Other wise the gov is just going to keep draining the economy an the wealth of the people till theres nothing left.

  • http://Theeconomiccollapse Dang

    U.S. Bankruptcy an i beleieve this day is coming soon since the gov is trying to find all the assets it can get its hands on. Most of the auto makers, 95% own all the mortagages fannie an freddie. And i beleieve there next major chess move in this game. They want all the wealth an production of BP.

  • http://survivaljoe.net/blog/ Survival Joe

    The government is so efficient at wasting money… that it makes me almost wish I was a government contractor with a friend high up. :-)

  • Kevin

    There no such thing as non-wasteful economic stimulus. Government spending diverts funds away from the private sector that would of been used for projects that had actual consumer demand. Government spending is pure consumption. ONLY the private sector can create jobs.

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