Daniel J. Mitchell
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Two years ago, I posted a mildly inappropriate photo of an old guy protesting Obama’s faux stimulus.

I should have realized that no amount of satire can match the real-world stupidity of government. Here are some details, courtesy of an NBC station, about some squalid waste.

The NBC Investigative Unit has raised questions about two grants totaling nearly $1.5 million dollars distributed to the University of California San Francisco. The money was part of the federal stimulus program and went to studies into the erectile dysfunction of overweight middle aged men and the accurate reporting of someone’s sexual history. …According to the grant, a good portion of the study will “Improve the accuracy of responses to questions,” specifically questions about a person’s sexual behavior. …The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit discovered that for $1.2 million dollars, taxpayers funded a study that included 200 videotaped interviews at $6000 per interview. …Kovaleski then asked about jobs. “How many jobs did this $1.26 million dollars create?” “Well I can’t really say,” Sheehy said. “There were eleven researchers hired on the job, two consultants. Well I can’t say. This has not been evaluated for job creation.” The number Sheehy quoted during an interview with NBC Bay Area did not match information on recovery.gov, the government’s website for stimulus funds. According to the site, the grant produced 0.85 jobs. “It does make you scratch your head and wonder,” Amey said, “Wait a second taxpayer dollars went to a sex study that barely funded less than one person.”

I realize government spending is inherently wasteful, but even I’m shocked. Does it really cost $6,000 to interview someone?!?

Heck, I’ll interview overweight middle-aged men about erectile dysfunction and only charge $5,000 a pop. Actually, I don’t think I could do that without throwing up. Not because of the stories from the old guys, which probably wouldn’t be pleasant, but because I don’t believe in using the coercive power of government to steal from fellow Americans.

This may be even more absurd than the Social Security Administration giving disability payments to a 30-year old man because he wanted to wear diapers and live as an “adult baby.”

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Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.