The Corner

We Spent Soo Much Money on the Election . . . ?

The role of money in the 2012 election has long been decried. And new reports show the 2012 presidential campaign cost more than $2 billion. Overall campaign spending this year was a record-breaking $6 billion.

That sounds like big money — which got me curious. Turns out, Americans spend way more on other stuff. A few examples of yearly expenditures from the most recent Census data:

Americans spent $41.8 billion on amusement parks, campgrounds, and related recreational activities in a single year.

We also spent $10.4 billion going to the movies.

And we spent $32.7 billion on memberships to clubs or sports centers.

And that’s not even spending on vices. Americans spent $91.6 billion in a year going out for drinks, and we spent $109.3 billion gambling.

You’ll be interested to find that even this pales in comparison with the stimulus spending Obama wants to include in the debt deal — that’s $255 billion. And our election spending is way, way, way less than the $1 trillion-plus in deficit spending Obama has presided each of his years in office.

What do you think, readers? Are Americans overspending on presidential elections?

Jillian Kay Melchior — Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

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