In case you were wondering why NIH (and the other federal agencies) chose to spend their stimulus package money the way they have, look no further than Congress who is already implementing strict oversight as to how the money has been spent, by whom, and to what extent this "stimulated" the economy.
Has anyone actually seen a dollar of this money yet? It's only April 1!
There are good and bad sides to this. It's good to see increased scrutiny for government debt that is going to keep our grandchildren's grandchildren in hock (to China, I believe). On the other hand, this forces the funding agencies into very restricted avenues for allocating the money (read: keeping the status quo).
Read more on this in today's Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090401/full/458556a.html