(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
Clark University in Worchester, Mass., received a $152,000 grant awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services to interview 50 lesbian couples before and after they became adoptive parents. The grant was awarded to the Trustees of Clark University to fund a research project, titled "Transition to Adoptive Parenthood," to study the potential strengths and challenges faced by lesbian parents three months after they adopted their children.
The university received funding as part of the 2009 "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" that was to allocate $833 billion to create jobs. But in many cases, stimulus dollars were awarded to fund research projects that haven't created a single new job.
Specifically, the goal of this research project is to "investigate the unique strengths and potential challenges of lesbian couples across the transition to adoptive parenthood; and the couples' adjustment to the parental role. There is evidence that lesbian couples possess certain strengths (e.g., a tendency to share domestic labor), but also face challenges (e.g., social stigma)."
The $152,000 awarded by stimulus funds was used to interview 45 to 55 lesbian couples and 45 to 55 heterosexual couples at least one month prior to adoption and three months after their adoptions, to study whether being lesbian "promotes resilience or creates vulnerabilities during the transition to parenthood." The project also notes that lesbians are increasingly more likely to adopt than in previous years.
Elizabeth Harrington, a reporter for CNS News, a division of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog organization, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that the public was led to believe that all $833 billion of the stimulus was going to be used to create new jobs for Americans who are unemployed. But instead, some of that money has gone to fund university research projects, similar to recent NIH grants, such as the $1.5 million grant to explore why a majority of lesbians are obese, or the grant that studied why lesbians are prone to drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
"For instance, one grant awarded from the stimulus was $434,812 that created .91 jobs, less than one job," Harrington said. "There are many others. These are just research grants, they already have staff in place and are not really shovel ready, as they are described."
A more than $400,000 grant was awarded to the University of Central Florida in 2010 to study the use of games to "build the skills that Latinas need to resist pressure to engage in intercourse when they are in middle school."
Harrington told CP that she wasn't able to find any published results from the Clark University research project that used stimulus dollars to fund their study on lesbian parents. She also said that her calls to the institution about the project went unanswered.
"People didn't have in mind that it would be going to these types of grants," she continued. "Especially with the Recovery Act, the stimulus was sold as something we needed to create jobs. It was very misleading for the way they sold it to the public."
Peter Suderman, senior editor of Reason, a libertarian magazine, spoke about the taxpayer dollars wasted in the $833 billion stimulus on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" on May 15, and said many of the businesses that took the stimulus funds to perform work didn't actually hire people who were unemployed.
"The attempts to measure the stimulus by the Congressional Budget Office, as the stimulus was being rolled out, tell us a lot less than people seem to think they tell us," Suderman said. "[The CBO's] highest estimate of jobs created is 3.5 million jobs or as few as 500,000 to 600,000 jobs on the low end." The CBO didn't count or track the number of jobs created by the stimulus, "but used the same economic model that they used to predict the stimulus would create jobs before it was passed and before the money was spent. And so all they did was plug in new spending numbers into the old model." Thus, the CBO wouldn't know if the outcome was different than their predicted estimates.
Suderman also noted that the $833 billion has been added to the federal debt. "It's money that will have to be paid back through taxes," he said. "The CBO said in its reports that the stimulus increased GDP by .3 percent and 1.9 percent." And in a decade, the debt left by the stimulus will create a "slowness in the growth of the economy."
To see how stimulus dollars are being spent in your state, click here.