The $5 Billion Presidential Election
It seems every election threatens to be the most expensive in history. And almost every year, they’re right. 2016 is no different, with the whole shebang predicted to cost a whopping $5 billion. $5 billion in television ads, arena rentals, mailings, staff salaries, and more campaign swag than you can shake an embroidered hat at.
But how much money really is $5 billion? For starters, it’s more than double the $2 billion spent on the presidential election in 2012. And its enough to convince a lot of Americans that big money in elections has gone too far. With the majority of that $5 billion coming from wealthy, influential families (oligarchy, anyone?), we have a hard time believing that the voices of average working Americans are being heard.
To get a sense of the scale of this election’s spending, here are 10 absolutely insane things you could buy with that $5 billion:
Item number 1
Three Pints of Ben & Jerry’s for Every Person in America
Who wouldn’t want 3 pints to pack into their freezer for a rainy day? Even we wouldn’t say no to that and we’re surrounded by ice cream every day.
Item number 2
A Tesla Model S for Every Person in Your Hometown
We love our ice cream-delivering Tesla Model S. With $5 billion, you could buy one for everyone in your hometown, as long as your hometown has a population of about 76,000. Ice cream slinging modifications not included.
Item number 3
Housing for Every Homeless Person in the US for a Year
Imagine an America where everyone had a roof over their heads every night. Even just one year could put a lot of people on track for a bright future. That’s the kind of hope $5 billion could buy.
Item number 4
A Trip to the Moon for You and 2 Friends
. . . with $500 million left over for snacks and equipment. Want to meet the man in the moon? Walk in Neil Armstrong’s famed footsteps? Book your tickets today, but you’ll have to wait until 2020 to blast off.
Item number 5
Solar Panels for Every House in Our Home State
Harness the power of the sun and take one giant leap toward energy independence. $5 billion is enough to slap some solar panels on every house in our home state of Vermont.
Item number 6
A Cup of Coffee for Every College Student in the US Every School Day for a Whole Academic Year
We say a good cup of coffee is the perfect way to kick your morning into high gear (when a bowl of Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz isn’t an option, at least). $5 billion would give every college student a year of buzzed mornings.
Item number 7
A New-Release DVD for Every Person in America
What’s that DVD that you’ve been wanting to pick up? Have you been waiting for it to go on sale? Wait no longer – every American could have their pick with a $5 billion investment.
Item number 8
A Decently High-Quality Toaster for Every Kitchen in America
While we’re on the subject of breakfast, who doesn’t like some good toast? And not just any toast, toast from a pretty nice toaster. None of this warm-bread-or-black-hockey-puck nonsense.
Item number 9
A 50-Foot Yacht for Everyone in Your College Graduating Class
Fifty feet of buoyant luxury. You don’t even have to sail with the other 2,500 people from your college class if you don’t want to. But if you do want to sidle up to the starboard side of that cutie from chemistry class, anchors away, my friend.
Item number 10
Production of 12 Hollywood-Grade Movies
. . . complete with awesome special effects and A-list actors. What would you make 12 movies about? Your own life? The plight of the ice cream-obsessed? The wonder that is caramel? Maybe we’re projecting a bit . . .
Think your presidential election is worth $5 billion? We think there might be better ways to spend that many billions. And much better ways to dole out political influence. If you’re as irked as we are, sign the petition to tell your leaders to get the dough out of politics!