The $150 million Inauguration

After a terrorist attack, a war, an economic crisis, and a series of mishaps, George Bush will leave office with the lowest approval rating since Jimmy Carter’s presidency. He may have “run this country into the ground,” as many say, so Obama is expected to clean up the mess and save the world. How does he start his own presidency? By hosting the most expensive inauguration in U.S. history. What a wonderful way to fuel the bad economy.

The gathering will need top notch security, but Obama doesn’t need to show up in a Custom Cadillac Limo. If Bush’s inauguration cost $43 million, Obama has no reason to triple that number for his own, and Bush shouldn’t have had to announce a state of emergency to make more money available for Obama’s inauguration. If Obama is going to promise better education, a stronger economy, and a better lifestyle for the less fortunate, he should be ashamed of how unnecessarily pricey his inauguration is, even if he isn’t in full control of the costs.


5 thoughts on “The $150 million Inauguration

  1. You’d prefer that our president didn’t have any security?

    The limo is more of a tank, just like Bush’s (it’s just newer, kind of like the up-armored vehicles our troops are getting in Iraq).

    Bush’s 2005 inauguration cost $157million — $42mil in privately-raised funds for celebrations and $115mil in taxpayer funds for security and other details.

    Obama’s 2009 inauguration is anticipated to cost $150-160million — $43mil in privately-raised funds for celebrations and $100-115 in taxpayer funds for security and other details.

    The lazy journalists repeating this myth about “the most expensive inauguration ever” aren’t actually basing their numbers on real data and are comparing Bush’s $42mil for celebrations to Obama’s $150-160mil for total costs.

    Journalism fail.

  2. LD wrote: “The gathering will need top notch security, but Obama doesn’t need to show up in a Custom Cadillac Limo. “

    The Secret Service commissioned “The Beast” — it’s literally a tank with a Cadillac logo on the front. It’s not just a “custom limo”. And Bush had a version of one for his road travels also.

    My quip about you prefer the prez not have security was sarcasm. Apologies if you found it over the top.

    NY Times and Media Matters have done research on 2005 Inauguration costs. About 19 paragraphs in this Jan. 6, 2009 story we get:

    “In 2005, Mr. Bush raised $42.3 million from about 15,000 donors for festivities; the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers.”

    $42.3 million + $115.5 million = $157.8 million total costs for the 2005 Bush Inauguration.

    The media, by and large, is lazy. That’s why you likely were having troubles finding those costs. Stories since the few days leading up to the Inaguration (an Assoc. Press article, which offers no sources for its data, seems to have started the kerfuffle) have been comparing just the $42mil Bush spent on parties to the total costs of Obama’s parties + security…

    It’s lazy.

  3. Thanks for the heads up. I still hold my views, but I appreciate listening to yours. The time now is different than it was in 2005. We were in a war, but not an economic crisis, so I still think it’s silly of any president to spend so much money on a party right now.

  4. To each their own. 😉

    FYI, some of the “parties” included the Commander-in-Chief Ball to which wounded vets, families of troops killed in action, and GIs who’ve completed tours in the war zones and another was the Youth Ball which brought kids together to involve them in this quadrennial part of our democracy.

    And, again, the Inaugural Balls were covered through private donations. If those donors don’t spend their money on such things, then money isn’t flowing through the marketplace and people can’t earn a paycheck.

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