A report published on the website of Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, in conjunction with Arizona Senator John McCain, highlights the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on “questionable projects”. Here are some excerpts from that report, that shows hundreds of thousands of dollars being approved for studies on “stoned monkeys” and “insect trading cards”.
North Carolina universities are cited as guilty parties in submitting the nonsense proposals to request funding for research projects. UNC Charlotte received $762,372 to develop a computerized choreography program that would work similarly to You Tube. NC State received $770,856 to research the effect of video games on the health of the elderly. And Duke University received $498,176 to research options for improving the privacy and functionality of social-networking sites.
McCain and Coburn suggest that these represent a misuse and mismanagement of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. That may be so. But they are a little late. Apparently someone saw the validity of these research projects or they didn’t actually read the proposals and just approved based on some criteria other than the validity of the proposed benefits. Either way, the funds have already been allocated and probably spent so there is no point in looking back and trying to point fingers at university students for gaming the system.
It seems the “system” needs a good overhaul. You can’t be taken advantage of unless you place yourself in a position to be take advantage of. Instead of publishing reports about which state universities received government funds for stupid pet projects, this report should remain in-house and discussed in terms of who reviewed and approved these nonsensical proposals and carelessly wasted this money by releasing it to fund these projects.
These funds could have been used in other places where the need is much more apparent and immediate like homelessness, feeding the hungry, joblessness, etc. Instead the government allocated funds for projects and accepted proposals to use those funds. The government failed to conduct proper due diligence in reviewing each proposal to verify its validity. And the government wasted this money by carelessly allocating funds for nonsense. So as you point the finger at the students who requested and received funds for their schools; refocus you vision on the three fingers pointing back at you, the government that again just redirects the blame.