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National

What Else Could $6 Billion Buy?

The Italian-built Lamborghini Aventador costs nearly $400,000. The money spent on election 2012 — for TV ads and other things — could theoretically get you more than 15,000 of these V12 cars. But that's a lot more than <a href="http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/07/lamborghini-aventador-reaches-production-milestone.html#more-145476">have been built</a>.
The Italian-built Lamborghini Aventador costs nearly $400,000. The money spent on election 2012 — for TV ads and other things — could theoretically get you more than 15,000 of these V12 cars. But that's a lot more than <a href="http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/07/lamborghini-aventador-reaches-production-milestone.html#more-145476">have been built</a>.

The cost of the 2012 election will top a record $6 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. If you find it difficult to visualize that figure, here are a few other ways to think about what $6 billion could buy:

-- 30 million iPhone 5s;
-- 3,000 New York City subway cars;
-- 200 F-15 fighter jets;
-- 981 public elementary schools;
-- 15,503 Lamborghini Aventadors;
-- 451 small hospitals;
-- 545,454 1-carat Tiffany diamond engagement rings;
-- 18 million iPad minis;
-- 1 year of lunches for 11 million public school students;
-- 4 Burj Khalifa skyscrapers (the world's tallest building).

And one more way to look at it: $6 billion could pay off less than 1 percent (0.67 percent, actually) of the projected 2013 federal deficit.

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