More fun facts to know and tell

McCain spent more on household help last year than the average American sends to buy a house.
And his household-help expense exceeded his charitable giving. Charity begins at homes.

John McCain spent more on household help last year than the average American family spends to buy a house.

Also more than he gave to charity: $273k for housekeeping services v. $210k in contributions, out of an income somewhere north of $5m. I guess charity begins at home(s).


One of Matt Yglesias’s commenters makes a useful point:

Bear in mind that all but one of their properties are high-service luxury condo facilities, so that most of the staff to maintain those places would be employed by the various condo associations and not the McCains. The cost of guards, pool staff, door staff, maintenance, even maid service would either be passed along to the residents as “common charges” or billed as services.

In other words, most of the staffing costs for keeping up the condo residences would never show up on an accounting of “household staff.”

It would be interesting to find out what actually goes into that $273K — but the bottom line is that this figure likely disguises as much as it reveals.

My bet is that most of this is spent at the Sedona Ranch alone, but that’s just a guess…

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: