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Campaign Spending Made Easy

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I found myself wondering, “Just how far out of hand has political spending got?” 

Back in the late seventies, there was a book , “The Cosmic Mind Boggling Book” by Neil McAleer.  You can still get it though Amazon for a penny.  Its goal was to make the universe a little more comprehensible by comparing everyday objects.  Here are a couple:

  • If the planet Jupiter were the size of a dinner plate, then earth would be a quarter placed on that dinner plate.
  • A pin head of the matter from the sun would burn you from 50 miles away.

That sort of stuff always interests me.  And then there was the saying, “What if the schools were fully funded and the army have bake sales?”  Driving to work, I was wondering how I could combine these two approaches.  Here goes.

How much money was spent on campaign funding over the last 4 years.

  • Enough money to buy EVERY public school in the US 40 computers per year, EVERY year.  (Yes, 160 computers over 4 years for every public school in the US; high school, middle school, or elementary)
  • Enough money to provide Every public school in the US 1.13 teachers aide every year.

Okay, so most public schools would have trouble using 160 computers over 4 years.  Maybe we could just give them 40 computers one year.  Then we could move on to that teacher’s aide.

If you are interested in the actual numbers, well the reported numbers, here they are.

Political Campaign Spending per 4 years


Annual Spending


Number of Schools


Monies per School


Computer Price


Computers per School Annually


Teacher aide salary


Teacher’s Aides per School Annually


 I know it can’t happen, but I’d rather spend all that money on schools than have to listen to all the lying we hear.

One Comment

  1. Helpful info for perspective, but a bit–” yea, so what?”

    I liked the points you made in an email to me about the negative attack aspect of the $200 billion this year– what is the collective trauma to our national psyche? Could you add that here also?

    and the obvious next question, what needs to be done? you and Brian McGrory (Boston Globe columnist– Nov. 7th Wed., page B1) have some excellent ideas on taxing campaign spending, etc.

    thanks for good inspiration, Mr. Burns. Would be interested in pollnumbers on how many people liked the negative ads??? yet they are somewhat effective.

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