During the first presidential debate, Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama squared off on the economy. One of the questions from moderator Jim Lehrer was how the two men would handle the country's federal deficit.
It's an important question that voters will have to consider when Election Day rolls around in November. Romney handled it by saying he would cut subsidies to various government programs. One of those cuts would be PBS -- home to one of Movoto Real Estate's favorite TV shows, Sesame Street.
According to a transcript of the debate by ABC, Romney said:
"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually [I] like you, too. But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That's number one."
We're all for figuring out how to cut the deficit, but his comments got us interested in how Romney's living situation stacks up with that of Big Bird.
What did we learn? It should come as no surprise that Big Bird's nest is quaint compared to Romney's living situation. In fact, we learned that Big Bird's nest would fit inside Romney's proposed La Jolla mansion a mere 495 times.
Here's How We Did It
To figure out how many times Big Bird's abode could be crammed inside Romney's mansion, we needed to know two things:
A Big Bird Needs a Big Nest
There is a lot of debate over what type of fowl Big Bird is. In the past he's called himself a condor. However, we believe our favorite Sesame Street denizen isn't quite mean enough to be a condor. Instead, we decided he was a canary. Also read: Our valuation of Sesame Street in the real world.
Once we knew what type of bird Big Bird was, it was relatively easy to calculate the size of his nest.
First, we figured out Big Bird's size (8 feet, 2 inches) compared to the typical size of a canary. Along with this, we learned the size of a typical canary nest (about 4 inches in diameter). This allowed us to calculate the ratio of Big Bird to the average canary, and Big Bird's nest to the average canary nest size.
After we sent the numbers to our resident math guru, he informed us that Big Bird lives in a modest 23-square-foot nest. Which makes sense, given that he's not known to throw his bling around.
Romneyize Big Bird
Once we calculated the size of Big Bird's digs, we turned to Romney's proposed mansion.
Earlier this year the Movoto blog team created a calculator to let people know how many times their home would fit in Romney's proposed mansion. (If you're curious, you can find the calculator here.)
For those too busy to click on the link, the Romneys' proposed beachfront mansion is expected to consist of 11,062 square feet of living space. For reference, 6.5 of the average American house would fit inside.
Editor's Note: Movoto blogger Kristin Crosier contributed to this post.
Follow David J. Cross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Movoto