There comes a point when considering the uber-wealthy where numbers simply cease to make sense, and the mind recoils in numb horror at the sheer scale of their financial holdings. To most people living most lives, the difference between someone worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and someone worth multiple billions of dollars, is functionally negligible; both feel like such egregious accumulations of wealth that the actual chasm between, say, a Mitt Romney (net worth: around $250 million) and a Mike Bloomberg (net worth: around $65 billion) hardly seems worth considering.
And yet, in light of new reports highlighting the astronomical sums of money Bloomberg has dished out in his months-old run for the Democratic presidential nomination, consider it we must. Because according to Bloomberg.com, its patron namesake has spent $409 million dollars on his candidacy just since November.
Please, feel free to take a moment check your own bank account and then scream into the abyss. I can wait.
Back? Great. Because it gets worse. More than half of Bloomberg's total spending — a sum nearly equal to Romney's entire fortune — came in January alone. And, just so we don't forget, Romney was absolutely pilloried during his failed presidential run for being the vampiric, ultra-rich, out-of-touch candidate who mocked the "47%" of Americans he claimed were "dependent upon government," while his wife fawned over her fancy dancing horse.
So, what does it mean that Bloomberg has spent almost double Romney's net worth over the past four months alone? Well, as The Daily Beast calculated using Bloomberg's FEC filings from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31 of this past year, Mayor Mike has been spending at a brain melting rate of about $38 per second. Per second! For months!
If you need to scream again, I understand.
Now let's keep going, shall we?
Say you're making 30 bucks an hour. To earn the sort of money Bloomberg has spent on his election campaign to date, you'd need to work nonstop for almost a millennium and a half. No sleep, no bathroom breaks, just work. Fun!
Or try this one: In just four months, Bloomberg has spent more money than was dished out during the entire 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
Or how about this: Fellow billionaire Democratic candidate Tom Steyer has only spent about a quarter of what Bloomberg has, and he's been running since this past July. (He's also only polling at an anemic 2% nationally, because evidently money can't buy everything.)
Okay, one last one: Instead of paying nearly half a billion dollars to be utterly destroyed on national television on Wednesday, Bloomberg could have paid for 6,000 kids to go to Harvard — including room, board, and fees — nearly doubling its undergraduate class.
You get the picture?
Perhaps most important of all is this: Bloomberg's $400 million expenditure over the past few months represents less than one-one hundredth of his total fortune — one which he seems to have no reservations about continuing to dip into in order to buy his way to the White House.
Okay, go ahead and let out one last scream.
There, doesn't that feel better?