Tue November 6, 2012
Planet Money

Here's One Number That Makes $6 Billion In Campaign Spending Seem Low

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:59 am

Today wraps up what is set to be the most expensive election in the history of the U.S. Total spending on federal campaigns will be about $6 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This includes both official campaign spending and spending by outside groups for the presidential, House, and Senate campaigns.

This, obviously, is a lot of money — as our colleagues at It's All Politics noted yesterday, it could buy you 30 million iPhones or a year of lunches for 11 million schoolkids.

But it's worth remembering that one of the things at stake in a federal election is control of the federal budget — which is about $3.5 trillion a year. Compared with that, $6 billion is just a rounding error.

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