Stimulus & Ants

The jobs creation plan outlined yesterday by President Obama sure sounded a lot like the rollout of a second economic stimulus, as White House officials did all they could on Tuesday to avoid mentioning any kind of cost estimate for new jobs legislation in the Congress.

"He essentially announced a Stimulus Two plan," said Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) at a news conference in the Capitol where Republicans blasted the idea of another stimulus bill.

"You just can't spend money that we don't have and keep doing it," Cantor added.

The Obama speech at the Brookings Institute seemed clearly designed to lay the groundwork for a jobs creation measure, with additional tax cuts for small business, money for new roads & bridges and clean energy plans all part of the new White House plan.

The President used a good chunk of his speech to argue that it would be okay to use money from the Wall Street bailout to pay for a jobs initiative, as officials argued there could be as much as $200 billion available.

But when asked on a conference call about the cost of the Obama plans, several Senior Administration Officials simply ignored the question.

I can't imagine it will be another $787 billion or anything like that, but clearly it might get to $200 billion with all the different things being talked about by Democrats.

At the same time Mr. Obama was laying out his ideas, GOP Senators were mocking some of the spending that has been approved by federal bureaucrats as part of the original stimulus law, saying it proves their point that much of the money would be wasted.

The report from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) can be seen at

It details how federal agencies approved $950 million for Arizona State University and the University of Arizona to study the behaviorial traits of ant colonies.

Yep, you read that right.  Ants.

"I had no idea that so much expertise concerning ants resided at the major universities in my state," said a rather sarcastic McCain.

Other items in their report included a $221,355 study at Indiana University on why young men do not like to wear condoms.

There was $30,000 for researchers to determine if female rats get an "overpowering desire to have sex" if they use methamphetamines.

There was the $8,408 study at Florida Atlantic University to study "whether mice become disoriented when they consume alcohol."

$1.1 million went to fix up Sunset Strip, one of the most famous roadways in Hollywood, with "an emphasis on enhancing the pedestrian experience."

There was $187,632 to deal with carpet beetles at Michigan State University which are "nibbling away" at the insect collection of that school.

Remember, all of these examples were not approved by the Congress, but rather by federal agencies that got a chunk of stimulus money, and then dealt that out in grants.