Free Markets, Free People
“Stimulus” an expensive bust
The so-called "stimulus", upon closer examination, looks like most government spending – excessive, poorly targeted, poorly monitored and not at all accomplishing what was intended.
Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain have issued a report that details some of the most dubious "stimulus" spending. That’s over and above the money that just disappeared after being sent to non-existent congressional districts and zip codes.
$700,000 for a researcher to study improvised music. For a project on interactive dance, 44 percent of the money goes to "overhead."
The $1.9 million spent to photograph ants in foreign countries has created two jobs created so far. That’s better than other ant research stimulus projects: $451,000 has created one job,
$276,000 spent on another created six one-hundredths of a job, and the $800,000 spent on a different one created no jobs.
The $144,000 spent to study the behavior of monkeys on cocaine created four-tenths of a job. To study why monkeys respond to unfairness cost $677,000 – and has created no jobs yet – except maybe for the monkeys.
And my guess is that they will find that monkeys react to cocaine much the same way humans do. Of course the White House claims, most likely through some model in which they plug in a factor (something like x number of jobs are created when y dollars are spent), that 3 million jobs have been "created or saved". But at what cost? Note the amounts spent above to "create" each job. And then there’s the ironic side of the story:
In the state of Washington, another stimulus project may be hurting those it was designed to help. Construction began one year ago today in front of the Archery Bistro Restaurant. The owner says it’s shut off business like a fly in a bowl of soup. He’s had to stop serving lunch, close two days a week and, ironically, lay off 12 workers.
The "stimulus" has been an expensive bust.
What positions have been “created” are temporary at best and will disappear when the tax dollars run out. Additionally, much of the money is consumed in bureaucratic overhead – certainly “saving” and perhaps expanding those non-productive jobs.
But as for “stimulating” the economy – well, look around. As my mom used to say, “the proof is in the pudding”.