Events start in earnest on Saturday with the official arrival of the president-elect and vice president-elect with their families by train. There’s been talk about the cost of the inauguration, and I really don’t have a problem with private donations going to support this four day shindig, but the costs for security paid for by the government – specifically due to the shindig is what concerns some.
In Sunday’s New York Times, John Tierney examined the delicate balancing act administrations face when throwing a lavish inauguration celebration against the backdrop of unsettling world events.
Fooled you. That was from a January 2005 piece in Salon about the Bush inauguration events.
Look, inaugurals are damn expensive. Politicians are always up for a good party whether it’s dining at the home of the local mayor or hooting it up on the D.C. Metro on the way to a beaux arts-themed ball for an inaugural; and they spare no expense… ever.
You know why?
Cause we give them hundreds of millions of dollars every year to throw these elaborate events and keep some good friends – and friends of friends – on the payroll.
All completely legal mind you.
The media was pretty heavy on the Bush administration concerning the 2005 inaugural events and I’m not quite certain why people are not up-in-arms about the exploding cost of next weeks events.
Four years ago, the Associated Press and others in the press suggested it was in poor taste for Republicans to spend $40 million on President Bush’s inauguration. AP writer Will Lester calculated the impact that kind of money would have on armoring Humvees in Iraq, helping victims of the tsunami, or paying down the deficit. Lester thought the party should be cancelled: “The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?”
Fast forward to 2009. The nation is still at war (two wars, in fact), and now also faces the prospect of a severe recession and federal budget deficits topping $1 trillion as far as the eye can see. With Barack Obama’s inauguration estimated to cost $45 million (not counting the millions more that government will have to pay for security), is the Associated Press once again tsk-tsking the high dollar cost?
Move right along, nothing to see here.
The first numbers I heard were $40 million plus security, and you may see numbers like $150 million thrown about on the Internet. All I know for sure is that it’s going to cost more than the Jan. 2005 events and the media…
chirp-chirp, chirp-chirp, chirp-chirp, chirp-chirp …