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Friday, October 24, 2008

Spending on "Apparel and Accessories"

For those of you who have been looking for an in-depth analysis of the Republican National Committee's intriguing expenditures on clothing for Sarah Palin, well, here it is.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does an annual Survey of Consumer Expenditures, which provided a great deal of detail on, well, consumer expenditures; the most recent data are from 2006. Way back then, the highest income group on which data are reported is the 20% of the families with the highest income, families earning more than $149,963 per year before taxes. Those families spent, in 2006, $3,548 on "Apparel and Accessories," or 2.36% of their income. For the Palin's, with a 2007 income of about $250,000, this would be, roughly $6,000. So an expenditure of $150,000 in a very short time period would be far above our expectations for such a family. Call it 25 times the average annual expenditures on clothing for a family in that income bracket.


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