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Sen. McCain Cites Ant Study as Example of a Questionable Stimulus Package Project

Nearly a million dollars for Arizona's two major universities to study ants made U.S. Sen. John McCain's top 100 list of questionable projects in the federal government's $787 billion stimulus package, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

| December 10, 2009

Nearly a million dollars for Arizona's two major universities to study ants made U.S. Sen. John McCain's top 100 list of questionable projects in the federal government's $787 billion stimulus package, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

"Arizona Ants Work While Some Arizonans Remain Unemployed," reads project No. 50 on the list, released Tuesday. The spot was shared by a $450,000 University of Arizona study of the division of labor by turtle ants and a $500,000 project at Arizona State University that studies the genetic makeup of harvester ants.

In exchange for the $950,000, Arizona gets two jobs at ASU and 1.46 at the UA, according to a database of stimulus spending released at the end of October by the federal government.

The ant studies have the ignominious distinction of joining a $25,000 grant for socially conscious puppet shows, an $88,000 Georgia paving project for a street already recently repaved, and a $21,000 grant for "Bobber the Safety Dog" costumes to help kids understand the importance of wearing life vests.

"I had no idea that so much expertise concerning ants resided in the major universities of my state," McCain quipped at a news conference. "I must say, I say that with an element of pride — but I'm not sure that it is deserving of these taxpayer dollars."

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Source: Arizona Daily Star

 

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