Friday, October 31, 2014

What Campaign Spending? Americans spend more on Halloween than on midterms

Campaign spending rose to nearly $4 billion this year, which is a new record for a midterm election. That is a lot – but not compared to what Americans spend on Halloween, according to an analysis from the Institute for Justice.

Americans’ Halloween spending on candy, costumes, and decorations is projected to hit $7.4 billion this year, or almost twice the campaign spending of all midterm races combined.

According to the National Retail Federation, that’s about $77 a person. That includes $2.8 billion on costumes (Americans actually spend more on adult costumes than kids’ costumes), $2.2 billion on candy; and almost as much on decorations that may or may not get taken down by Christmas.

Here are some other activities America spends more on than politics:

• Laundry detergent ($5.9 billion)

• Cosmetic surgery ($7 billion)

• Dolls and action figures ($4.1 billion)

• Pet grooming and boarding ($4.4 billion)

• Tea ($10 billion)

• One Zumwalt DDG-1000 Navy Destroyer ($7.3 billion)

• Surf- and skate- boards ($7.2 billion as of 2008)

• Pornography ($10-12 billion)

• Concerts ($4.3 billion)

Continue reading on


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Death spiral? Short-term health plans grow as cheap alternative to ObamaCare

A fast-growing, short-term alternative to ObamaCare that allows customers to get cheap, one-year policies could put the government-subsidized plan into a death spiral.

The plans, the only ones allowed for sale outside of ObamaCare exchanges, generally cost less than half of what similar ObamaCare policies cost, and are increasing in popularity as uninsured Americans grapple with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The catch -- that the policies only last for a year -- is not much of a deterrent, given that customers can sign up for ObamaCare during open-enrollment periods if their short-term coverage is not renewed.

“Applications rose 30 percent compared to last year,” Enrollment Specialist Carrie McLean told

Continue reading on

Labels: , ,