12/09/2009

"Pure waste" in Stimulus Package?

Stimulus funds are being used to pay for university retirements.

More than $43 million of federal stimulus money meant to save or create jobs is being spent on salaries and benefits for outgoing employees by Iowa’s three state universities.

The University of Iowa has directed $33.4 million in stimulus money to the salaries of employees taking early retirement or otherwise leaving the university by June 30. Iowa State University will use $5.9 million and the University of Northern Iowa $3.6 million on the salaries and benefits of employees who took early retirements.

University officials defended their use of the money, saying the one-time cash infusion is wisely spent on temporary costs, as opposed to ongoing expenses that would have to be somehow funded or cut in the future.

“The money truly is saving jobs,” University of Iowa vice president and treasurer Doug True said. “I know that. I believe it to the bottom of my feet.” . . .


The Hill Newspaper lists some questionable projects:

-- $1.57 million to search for fossils in Argentina
-- 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
-- Two million dollars in stimulus money went to build a replica railroad as a tourist attraction in Carson City, Nev.
-- A dinner cruise company based in Chicago received nearly $1 million in funds to combat terrorism.
-- Half a million dollars went to Arizona State University to study the genetic makeup of ants to determine distinctive roles in ant colonies
-- $450,000 went to the University of Arizona to study the division of labor in ant colonies.
-- The State University of New York at Buffalo won $390,000 to study young adults who drink malt liquor and smoke marijuana.
-- The National Institutes of Health got $219,000 in funds to study whether female college students are more likely to “hook up” after drinking alcohol.
-- The University of Hawaii collected $210,000 to study the learning patterns of honeybees
-- $700,000 went to help crab fishermen in Oregon recover lost crab pots.
-- $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.


From Fox News:

Mark Penn, who worked as Clinton's pollster during her 2008 presidential run, reportedly received $5.97 million from the $787 billion stimulus package so he could preserve three jobs at his public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller. . . .


Was this done to pay off Hillary Clinton's campaign debt?

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