When Alice and I returned last week from our travels to my birthplace (and where she grew up), Southern California, I was pleased to read an exposition on budgeting (Self-centered, ICO February 3, 2012) by Mary Mobert that mentioned me. I enjoy such discussions; Economics was my undergraduate minor and I was an Air Force Budget Officer for over ten years. However, her letter reminded me less of academic studies and more of the practical admonition to “compare apples to apples” and to “mind your decimal point.”
She noted that “Republicans spent a record $12.5 million in ads” in the Iowa caucus. However, adjusted for inflation, they spent the same in 2008. Interestingly, in 2008 Democrats spent $26 million for ads in the Iowa caucus, more than Republicans spent in 2008 and 2012 combined. Why isn’t this the record?
I had some trouble with her math until I put my computer in Democrat Math Simulator mode (DMS). Before, when I divided the $12.5 million the Republicans spent by the 122,000 Iowa voters who participated, I came up with $102.45 per voter. When I turned on the DMS, I got Mrs. Mobert’s $102,459 per voter. In another quote from her ICO letter: “Iowa campaign funds alone (the $12.5 million) would insure (sic) the salaries of 192,308 teachers, police, or firefighters (public employees) who earn an average of $65,000 a year.” When I turned off the DMS, the number became 192.3 public employees, or 192,115.7 less.
In 2008 Obama spent $730 million vs. McCain's $333 million. In 2012 Obama wants to spend $1 billion, which would pay for 15,384.6 public employees at $65,000 each (15,384,615 by DMS).
Now I see the Republican problem. We just can’t get as much out of a buck as Democrats can using their Democrat Math Simulator.