Federal agencies are spending stimulus money at the rate of $196 million an hour. And they will do so every hour for the next eight months until a September 30, 2010, deadline.
Grassley said he fears much of the money is going to some individuals and businesses that don't qualify for it and projects that do not serve taxpayers best interests. Judge for yourself:
-- $233,000 to the University of California at San Diego to study why Africans vote. Jobs created: 12, but seven of those are Africans in Africa.
-- In Nevada, $2 million in stimulus money built a new fire station, but because of budget cuts, the county can't afford to hire firefighters to work there.
-- Penn State University got $1.5 million to study plant fossils in Argentina. Of 5 jobs created, 2 belong to Argentines.
-- Researchers the State University of New York at Buffalo got $389,000 to pay 100 Buffalonians $45 each to record how much malt liquor they drink -- and how much pot smoke each day. Consumption is then reported via an automated phone hotline. Cost per job: almost $200,000.
-- The Obama administration is spending $5 billion to weatherize homes. But one Texas county spent $4 million to weatherize just 47 homes. That's $78,000 per house. Each retrofit is supposed to save homeowners $500 a year in energy costs. That means taxpayers will recoup their investment in 156 years, long after the home is probably torn down.
-- Two Arizona universities got almost $1 million dollars so 3 grad students can study how ants work. That's more than $300,000 per job.
-- Companies that raise tropical fish, shellfish, catfish, alligators and even turtles qualify for $50 million in tax money to buy fish food.
-- North Carolina public schools received $4.4 million to hire math and literacy coaches, not for students, but teachers. That's 64 people paid $70,000 each to teach teachers how to teach reading and math.