Cost of Campaigning: $5.8 Billion Better Spent

Cost of Campaigning The Cost of Campaigning, as reported by the Center for Responsive Politics[/caption]

In an attempt to earn the highest office of the United States of America, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have set records in spending, with the cost of campaigning skyrocketing daily.

As the presidential candidates talk about solutions, there is a void in policy making, replaced instead by campaign rhetoric, and above all, campaign fundraising. Projected by the Center for Responsive Politics, fundraising and campaign costs for the 2012 presidential race will top $2.5 billion.

That’s just the presidential race. Total, the Presidential and Congressional races, political party costs, and outside money will total a whopping $5.8 billion. CNBC did the math, and the projected cost of campaigning for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney equals a combined $26.86 every second this election cycle — that’s more than three times the federal minimum wage per hour, current set at $7.25.

In a time of economic recovery, the excessive waste associated with these costs is troubling. Putting these numbers into perspective, MDG Advertising has created an interactive infographic that begs that question: How else could that money have been spent?

The Dollars and Senselessness of Political Campaigning outlines the ways in which campaign cash could have been spent if resources were funneled towards one of six categories: small business, education, family living, health, housing, or fun. Lastly, their interactive infographic gives users the opportunity to decide where the 5.8 billion election dollars would be better spent.

Small Business

The $5.8 billion could have been spent on:

  • 139,178 people being hired.
  • The staff of at least 275 “small” businesses.
  • 193,333 small businesses being started from scratch – it would be equal to the first-round funding for 58,000 Googles, 23,200 Apples, and 11,600 Facebooks.

Education

The $5.8 billion could have been spent on:

  • 137,727 public school teachers being hired.
  • 278,377 students under the age of 30 paying back their college debt.
  • 6,444,444 college students buying textbooks for a year.
  • 2,357,723,577 Elementary school lunches – that’s twice the number of cars in the entire world, for some perspective.

Family Living

The $5.8 billion could have been spent on:

  • 946,320 households buying food for a year.
  • 8,285,714 American families buying Christmas presents.
  • 25,559 children could have been raised from birth to age 18 in a two-parent middle-class household.

Health

The $5.8 billion could have been spent on:

  • 1,343,837 employees paying for their healthcare contributions for a year.
  • With the campaign money raised, 678,838 cancer patients could pay for a year’s worth of doctor visits, medicines, lost wages, and travel to appointments.

And while the candidates debate about “Obamacare,”

With the money spent arguing over “Obamacare,” the presidential candidates could have already covered:

Individuals

61,052,631 people paying the minimum Obamacare tax in 2014

17,846,153 people paying the minimum Obamacare tax in 2015

8,345,323 people paying the minimum Obamacare tax in 2016

Families

20,350,877 families paying the minimum Obamacare tax in 2014

5,948,717 families paying the minimum Obamacare tax in 2015

2,781,774 families paying the minimum Obamacare tax in 2016

Housing

The $5.8 billion could have been spent on:

  • 30,785 families buying homes.
  • The monthly rent of 6,705,202 Americans, or nearly three months’ rent for every American who slipped below the poverty line last year.
  • 350,305 families paying their annual housing costs – this would cover every household in Washington, D.C., for a year.

Fun

The $5.8 billion could have been spent on:

  • Every unemployed American buying a ticket to the Coachella Music Festival.
  • The entire population of Texas going skydiving.
  • Each presidential candidate funding his own NASA Curiosity Rover Project and landing it on Mars.

Find more facts and decide how would you spend the $5.8 billion used to fund the 2012 Election at MDG Advertising and follow them on Twitter:

The Dollars and Senselessness of Political Campaigning [Interactive Infographic]
Interactive Infographic
by MDG Advertising