A Nice Reminder of How the Stimulus Is Working Out

In an effort to jump-start the nation's economy, the Democrat-controlled Congress, in February 2009, passed Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama's "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" (better known as the "Stimulus").  In fact, in order to get enough votes for passage, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) delayed the final vote until Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) returned from his mother's memorial services to cast the deciding vote.  Following its passage, Reid said (emphasis mine):

The plan we passed tonight will strengthen our economy by creating millions of good-paying jobs here at home; deliver tax relief for 95% of workers and invest in America's future by fixing our communities' roads and bridges, improving our children's education and making our country more energy independent.  Our plan also guarantees transparency and accountability to ensure that taxpayers' money is spent wisely.

The stimulus was supposed to create and/or save jobs, jobs, jobs.  It was supposed to, by 2011, create or save 3.5 million jobs.  Job-creation hit new lows, and the number of hours employees worked declined, after Obama signed the stimulus bill into law.  Therefore, Obama's claim that the stimulus "created or saved" jobs is not/has not been supported by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

As of the middle of 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that an increase of between 0.2 million and 1.5 million new jobs was created as a result of the stimulus.  So, using CBO numbers, at that point, each job created cost somewhere between $540,000 and $4.1 million.

With that introduction, let's examine two programs that the stimulus created, and the number of jobs these two programs created.  The University of Indiana (at Bloomington) received, as a result of the stimulus, $423,500 to study "Correct Condom Use."  Yes, you read that correctly: "Correct Condom Use."  And guess how many jobs that program created: zero!

In an effort to try to justify itself, the program's proposal said:

Sexually transmitted infections (STI), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), pose significant health risks.  Consistent and correct use of condoms can be a highly effective method of preventing the transmission of HIV and many STIs, yet studies show that problems with condom use are common.

Neither the program's results nor how it was conducted have been posted on the government website.  I know that we are all disappointed and breathlessly await study results.  And I somehow missed the studies that project was based upon.  I'll bet you did as well.

Meanwhile, a study entitled "Ethnic Differences In Responses To Painful Stimulus" received $712,000.  The University of Florida (at Gainsville) got that one.  In an effort to try to justify itself, the program's proposal said:

[The study] propose[s] to:

1) characterize ethnic differences in experimental pain sensitivity, endogenous pain inhibition, clinical pain and pain-related disability among older African Americans and non-Hispanic whites with knee osteoarthritis (OA);

2) to determine ethnic group differences in biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors and their contribution to pain sensitivity, pain inhibition, and clinical pain and disability among older African Americans and non-Hispanic whites with knee OA."

Do we taxpayers really need to possess that knowledge, and to spend $712,000 to obtain it?  And this project created exactly zero jobs as well.

So where are we now, with respect to these two projects?  Over $1.1 million spent, no jobs created, and "spent wisely" is, at best, questionable.  Where was Vice President Joe "Sheriff" Biden when we needed him?  I guess he was, as Michelle Malkin said, missing in action.

Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University.  He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making.  He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired.  Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years.  He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.