The money or the power?
I heard a rumour the other day about how much the president of the United States of America is paid versus the kind of money that is raised on the campaign trail in terms of the presidential elections. The amount I was told he earned was around R 3 000 000.00 a year. Impossible!! Why on earth would the “leader” of the free world, representing the largest capitalist economy in the world agree type of cash. Surely you would want to be paid a larger amount for all the stress you go through. I then googled the topic and the amounts varied, but the bench mark appeared to be around USD 400 000 (R 3 200 000.00).The amount I was told he spent on his campaign was USD 250 000 000.00
(R 1,925,000,000.00 almost R 2 billion). A quick search (my word do I love google) reveals Bush took in a record $360 million (R 2,772,000,000.00 almost R 3 billion)
for the 2004 election, easily exceeding the $193 million he raised four years earlier.
So I thought to myself let’s see what kind of money the candidates for the race are now spending.
Obama has raised $235 million in his campaign
Clinton has raised $182 million for her campaign
McCain has raised $ 77 million for his campaign
The other candidates (yip there are a further 19 candidates who have dropped out) account for a further $ 400 million, giving a total of around $800 million. Predictions are that the eventual winner will have raised and spent $ 500 million. This means that candidates for this election have the potential to raise over $ 1 800 million, reflected as a GDP figure this would make the campaign for US president the 159th largest country out of the 264 countries listed in terms of GDP.
During this race and if one could equate it to an economy the candidates would spend the GDP of Sierra Leone to get a job that pays about USD 400 000 a year.
Clearly there must be something else at stake, so I thought besides the power that goes with the candidate let’s see what they could earn when they have completed their term.
The Clinton’s since 2000, the former first couple took in nearly $110m, with more than $20m made in 2007. Now that’s more like it. Raise some cash make a name for yourself and then get some cash at the end – don’t you think capitalism is marvellous?!!?
I know that this may come across as a little cynical, but I am absolutely flabbergasted by these numbers. Clearly the drive to run this country and the power trip that goes with that is the only motivation.
Either that or the perks must be absolutely fantastic….