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Let’s at Least Stimulate Some Socially Unconscious Puppet Shows, Too!

December 9, 2009

Even a strong believer in Keynesian economics couldn’t be in favour of a second “stimulus” in light of how the money of the first “stimulus” is being spent:

Politico reports “$4.7 million for Lockheed Martin to study supersonic corporate jet travel,” more than “$210,000 for the National Institutes of Health to study the sex lives of college students,” and “roughly $233,000 for California college students to conduct exit polls in Africa about voting patterns.”

CBS Evening News adds “$221,000 for a study on why young men don’t like condoms, $5 million to provide geothermal heat for a Tennessee mall that’s all but empty, and $950,000 for studying ant behavior at two Arizona universities.”

The Hill notes that “at the top of the GOP list of wasteful projects is a $5 million grant from the Department of Energy to create a geothermal energy system for the Oak Ridge City Center shopping mall in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The main problem with the project, say Republicans, is the mall has been losing tenants for years and is mostly empty.” The senators “also noted that researchers at Penn State University received $1.57 million to search for fossils in Argentina and that a liberal-leaning theater in Minnesota, In the Heart of the Beast, named after a famous quote by leftist leader Che Guevara, received $100,000 for socially conscious puppet shows.” 

The Hill also reports that “nearly $6 million in stimulus money was paid to two firms run by Mark Penn, who was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s pollster in the 2008 presidential election.” Federal records “show that $5.97 million from the $787 billion stimulus helped preserve three jobs at Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations and communications firm headed by Penn.” Burson-Marsteller “won the contract to work on a public-relations campaign to advertise the national switch from analog to digital television.”

We could live in a world of Keynesian laws and yet the so-called Recovery Act would still be more of a waste than  sending taxpayer money into outer space because NASA jobs would probably come at a cheaper rate than Monsieur Penn’s three preserved jobs for $6 million. Of course, the big drawback would be that we might never learn why young men don’t like condoms. But Obama warned us that sacrifices would have to be made, right?

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