7 better uses for presidential ad money

Nearly $1 billion has poured into campaign ads for both sides. Here are some other ways to have spent that cash.

By Kim Peterson Nov 5, 2012 3:18PM
A politician counting money in front of the US Capitol Building -- Antenna, fStop, Getty ImagesAmericans of all political stripes can breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday as the torrent of presidential campaign ads finally fades away.

The onslaught of television and radio advertising has been relentless, and new numbers show that ad spending from the campaigns and external groups has totaled nearly $1 billion. A new study from NBC News and SMG Delta put the total at $968 million at last count.

Ad spending hit a new record in the last full week before the campaign, when $143 million poured into the airwaves and other sources.

It's pretty easy to guess which state is getting the most ad spending: Ohio, according to NBC. That's followed by Florida, Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina.

Mitt Romney's side has outspent President Obama's side $573.2 million to $394.4 million, NBC reports. About 85% of all the outside money has supported Romney.

Nearly $1 billion in campaign ad spending is a ridiculous amount. Voters are sick and tired of getting hammered over the head with commercials. Couldn't there have been better uses for all that money?

We found a few other things that $1 billion could been spent on. Things that matter (well, some of them, at least). Things that will have an impact long after the last annoying commercial has faded to black.
Image: Military Man (Stockbyte/SuperStock)
Here's what we'd like to see $1 billion spent on:

2 years of medical research for veterans
The Veterans Administration has reserved $583 million for medical and prosthetic research in its budget this year.

Assistance for Superstorm Sandy victims
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has only approved $158 million to help with housing and other needs related to the disaster.

Root beer floats
The presidential campaigns are spending the equivalent of $3 per U.S. resident. That's the going rate for a root beer float at some Dairy Queens. How about buying us all root beer floats instead?

Teaching future doctorsDoctor sitting in office with patient talking and smiling -- Paul Bradbury, OJO Images, Getty Images
That $1 billion could fund one year of operations at the teaching hospital at the medical center at the University of California, Davis. The center's emergency room sees 150 patients a day.

A new polar satellite

One of the weather satellites the U.S. relies heavily on -- one that helped forecasters track Superstorm Sandy -- has about three years left. Its replacement won't be launched until 2017, Time reports. A satellite costs about $1 billion over the course of its life.

Eyeglasses for kids

Some of the nation's neediest school districts have students who can't afford eyeglasses, coats, lunches or basic classroom materials. One group providing these items to 10 school districts in Washington, D.C. has a $1.4 million budget. All those campaign ads could fund 690 such groups.

A giant, honking pyramid
We need $1 billion in political ads about as much as we need a giant pyramid. In fact, that's how much it would cost to reproduce the Great Pyramid of Giza, CNN reports. The stone cost alone would cost $750 million. If Obama and Romney partnered on an awesome pyramid, I'd vote them both in as co-Pharaohs.

More from MSN Money
Nov 6, 2012 12:02PM
Sad that they could not re-direct some of that money and all that HOT AIR to help keep a lot of old folks warm this winter.
Nov 5, 2012 4:45PM

If you burned the money in a wood stove,it would be more useful.

 Pathetic.   Ah well...at least it was all done in the name of  truth,justice and the American way!  Ha!

Nov 5, 2012 4:21PM
"My lies cost more than your lies, but I won so it was worth it. Who cares about the lies, I got what I wanted!"

The presidential campaign in a nutshell. Any political campaign, really.

Nov 5, 2012 3:54PM
How about using it to sue the banks and Wall St. scamsters, then build some shelters for the homeless.
Nov 5, 2012 3:45PM

The same argument could be made for all of the money wasted bailing out investment banks that simply made bad trades with our money. Iraq and Afghanistan have cost generations of US taxpayers.




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