The Economic Case for Holding Elections Every Year

You want stimulus? How about some midterm stimulus. House and Senate campaign spending will break $2 billion this year -- or $4 million for every congressional seat -- according to the Public Campaign Action Fund. Throw in a few high-octane governor races, and you're talking about real money.

Dan Gross says forget about quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve. Let's have more quantitative electioneering. The case for elections every year (in a down economy, at least):

Meg Whitman is doing Bloomberg one better. In her bid to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger as California's governor, the former EBay CEO has already plowed $140 million into the Golden State's stricken economy. One can only hazard a guess as to how much higher California's unemployment rate (12.4 percent in September) would be without Whitman.

In Connecticut, where I live, another CEO is having an even greater proportional impact. Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon through mid-October had spent more than $41 million of her own money on a Senate campaign -- about $25 for every voting age adult in the state. McMahon is single-handedly boosting Connecticut's office and retail vacancy rates by renting out storefronts, and has saturated the airwaves with ads the way Starbucks has saturated Seattle.

This doesn't take into consideration the cooling effect that upcoming elections can have on major legislative action (note the dearth of stimulus bills, or congressional compromise, in the last six months), but it's entertaining nonetheless. Read the full story at Yahoo.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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