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Half a million Pell grants, 39 Biebers or one presidential campaign

Lisa Lake / Getty Images

Justin Bieber, seen here on Dec. 5, made $55 million this year. Multiply that 39 times and you've got the money spent on two presidential campaigns in 2012.

Two political party candidates running for the presidency of the United States cost -- give or take -- about $2.142 billion. 

That's the newest dollar amount on the campaign, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, showing that Barack Obama's campaign raised a total of $1.123 billion versus the Mitt Romney effort's $1.019 billion. 

The 10-digit figure comes after an election season in which both sides issued dire warnings of being outspent by the other. In a December 2011 pronouncement by Obama's campaign manager, the idea that the incumbent's re-election effort would hit a billion dollar fundraising total was roundly dismissed as "bulls****." 

For the benefit of campaign-weary voters -- especially those who endured endless e-mail appeals for dollars and wall-to-wall television advertising during the 2012 campaign -- here's a sampling of just what else $2.142 billion can get: 

-- 3,570 MINE-RESISTANT AMBUSH PROTECTED (MRAP) VEHICLES at an estimated cost of $600,000 per truck.

-- 577,202 PELL GRANTS at a value of the 2011-2012 average of $3,711 per recipient.

-- THE DALLAS COWBOYS (arguably the most valuable sports team in the world at $2.1 million, per Forbes.) 

-- 0.733 PERCENT OF THE DEFICIT ... for the first two months of fiscal year 2013, already at $292 billion.

-- DJIBOUTI (almost twice): The African nation's estimated gross domestic product in 2011 was $1.219 billion. 

-- 17 of EDVARD MUNCH'S 1895 PASTEL OF "THE SCREAM," which sold for $119.9 million at auction this May (okay, if there were 17 of them, it would have been cheaper, but you get the point.)  

-- ONE YEAR OF U.S. FOREIGN AID TO SUDAN, RWANDA, UGANDA, ETHIOPIA AND SOUTH AFRICA: Based on FY 2011 actual aid assistance funds.

-- 4.3 MILLION iPADs at a value of $499 each.

-- $17.60 FOR EVERY AMERICAN WHO VOTED FOR EITHER CANDIDATE, per The New York Time's most recent popular vote count.

-- 6 MILLION CHILDRENS' SCHOOL LUNCHES FOR ONE YEAR based on FY 2011 costs and recipients from the National School Lunch Program.

 -- THE ANNUAL SALARIES OF 73,456 BUS DRIVERSbased on a median pay of $29,160.

 -- THE ANNUAL SALARIES OF 11,333 FAMILY PRACTITIONERS OR PEDIATRICIANS, based on an average $189,000 annual base pay.

-- THE ANNUAL SALARIES OF 39 JUSTIN BIEBERS, who earned $55 million this year.