An estimated $6 billion was spent on national election campaigns. The result was the same president and only minor changes in the make-up of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Whether the amount of money spent was worth the result will be debated, but here’s a look at what else that $6 billion could have been spent on.
You know that 520 floating bridge that you’re having to pay tolls on now so that it can be replaced? The money spent on campaigns this year could have paid for that with nearly $2 billion to spare, according to figures from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Then there’s the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. That could have been paid for – nearly twice. WSDOT estimates the tunnel will cost $3.1 billion.
You could build at least 300 brand new high schools that are about 130,000 square-feet in size. You could build even more depending on the material used and whether you use union or non-union workers, according to estimates by Reed Construction Data.
That new Seattle Arena that has created so much debate in Seattle could have easily been paid for with enough left over to rebuild roads and redirect traffic in SODO – perhaps enough to make opponents of the arena’s location happy.
Remember all the debating over whether taxpayers should help foot the bill to renovate Husky Stadium and Martin Stadium in Pullman? That would have been just a drop in the bucket. Better yet, you could have built both schools brand new stadiums. CenturyLink Field cost $430 million when it was built ten years ago.
We love building ships and we love our military here in Western Washington. The $6 billion could have bought a new aircraft carrier and paid for half of another one, according to a June article from CNN Money.
The Washington state ferry system would have been set. Forty 144-car ferries could have been built, according to an estimate from the Kitsap Sun last year.
On the lighter side, Seattle Mariners fans would probably tell you that money would buy a winning team. You could also buy 28 lattes for every minute you are alive, if you live to be 100.