There is a regular column in the Orange County [CA] Register titled OC Watchdog: Your Tax Dollars at Work. In the February 15 issue, the column describes a report by Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain listing 100 grants of stimulus money considered questionable at best. Here is a sample:
1. Study On Why Young Men Do Not Like Condoms ($221,355)
Indiana University professors received $221,355 in economic stimulus funds to study why young men do not like to wear condoms. The research will “advance our understanding of…the role of cognitive and affective processes and condom application skills in explaining problems with condom use in young, heterosexual adult men,” and to create “education strategies tailored to the needs of individuals who have trouble using condoms effectively.”
This must be a put-on. The government wouldn’t really pay $221,355 for such a study, would it?
2. Study on “Hookup” Behavior of Female College Coeds ($219,000)
The National Institute of Health (NIH) is using stimulus funds to pay for a year-long $219,000 study to follow female college students for a year to determine whether young women are more likely to “hookup” – the college equivalent of casual sex – after drinking alcohol. Researchers will recruit 500 female students prior to their first year of college and contact them monthly over the course of a year to document sexual hookups, noting when there is alcohol involved. It is part of the $7.4 billion the NIH received in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support “scientific research.”
Duh! Most young men (who may or may not use a condom) had this figured out years ago. Who needs “scientific research?”
3. Buffalo Residents Paid to Keep Daily Journal of Malt Liquor and Marijuana Use ($389,357)
Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo will receive nearly $390,000 to study young adults who drink malt liquor and smoke marijuana. Malt liquor consumption is an understudied topic, according to the researchers‘ application, making it an obvious choice for economic stimulus funding.
And a grossly over-funded topic.
The question is—and maybe someone could get a grant to study this: how do these studies enhance the lives of American citizens? They do certainly enhance the pocketbooks of the grantees.
You could think long and hard and rack your brain, but you could not make this stuff up.