Election Spending Plunges
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
While we’re waiting for the polls to close let us just reflect on an astonishing fact that is emerging as the newspapers and other analysts tot up the amount of money spent on the election. The figures from which we are doing our calculations are from Advertising Age. It turns out that the value of the outlays in the election that is ending today is estimated to have plunged to only 5.7 million ounces of gold from the value of 8.2 million ounces of gold that was sunk into the contest four years earlier. It’s not just the turnout that seems to be dropping. Its the value that people are placing on the whole process.
Oh, we understand that in terms of United States Federal Reserve notes, the spending on this election has soared, to what Ad Age estimates at $9.840 billion. There may be other estimates around; that is AdAges’s. It is way up from the $6.981 billion that was spent four years earlier. The dollars that were sunk into the Obama-McCain contest, however, had a value of roughly twice the number of grains of gold as the dollars being lathered around in respect of the contest between President Obama and Governor Romney. One always has to keep this in mind. It’s not the spending on the election that is going up. It is the value of the dollar that is going down.
This is a point we have been making throughout the whole campaign. It applies to the gasoline that one buys at the pump, which has, despite its high price in federal scrip, been plunging when priced in specie, such as gold or silver. It’s not that the gasoline is any more valuable than it once was. It’s the dollar that’s less valuable than it used to be before President Obama came into office and Congress entered a new era of profligacy. The the value of the dollar also fell under President George W. Bush. It’s not yet clear what the voters this year will have made of this catastrophe. But it offers something on which to reflect.
For all the complaining on the Left about the Supreme Court’s decision in Cititzens United v. Federal Election Commission, allowing people to make big campaign contributions through their labor unions and corporations didn’t actually result in an increase in the nation’s wealth going into the election campaign. The wealth that has been sunk into this race decreased. We’re not suggesting that Citizen’s United caused that decrease. It may just be that with the high unemployment rate that has obtained through President Obama’s first term, people just didn’t have as much left to sink into the political game. The first step in turning that around would be a restoration of honest money.