That’s Quite a Change, Alright.

$40-something million? How about $170 million:

The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn’t stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama.
The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million, according to Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
It’s the security, parties and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill.
The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.
And then there is the party bill.
“We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more,” said Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee.

The rich among the do-good left can always come up with money for the important stuff:

“They are not the $20 and $50 donors who helped propel Obama through Election Day,” said Massie Ritsch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics. “These are people giving mostly $50,000 apiece. They tend to be corporate executives, celebrities, the elite of the elite.”

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pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

Isn’t it great when you see these celebrities stand up and beg the American people to donate to their humanitarian cause of the day, but then they can donate $170M of their own money to something as silly as a coronation, sorry, I mean inauguration.
And I have heard that despite the big numbers, $10M of it is taxpayer money. I sure am glad that they didn’t have to do all this pomp on *only* $160M.

David
David
12 years ago

I voted for Obama and contributed approximately $500. I haven’t watched any of these proceedings and do not plan to. At some point I will listen to the Presidents address. I have always had a skepticism of government, my government particularly. Only because I know it better than some other. It is not that Obama is be better( probably) or worse than others, I simply plan on continuing to be skeptical of our government.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

I really have no problem if private citizens and companies want to sponsor Obama’s inaugural (unless of course, the sponsor is a recepient of the recent bailout funds, in which case they should just give that money back to the federal government).
It is, after all, the swearing in ceremony of the leader of the free world.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

I really have no problem if private citizens and companies want to sponsor Obama’s inaugural (unless of course, the sponsor is a recepient of the recent bailout funds, in which case they should just give that money back to the federal government).
It is, after all, the swearing in ceremony of the leader of the free world.

Ken
Ken
12 years ago

There would not be a need for all the security if people would just accept African-Americans.
However there will always be some that will nit-pick away or try to invoke white supremacy.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Thanks for the preview of arguments to come, Ken.
America’s got its bogeyman back. Guess the Islamists deserve a break.

pitcher
pitcher
12 years ago

>>There would not be a need for all the security if people would just accept African-Americans.
However there will always be some that will nit-pick away or try to invoke white supremacy.>>
Holy crap. Now there’s a strawman argument. I don’t see where anyone brought up race before Ken did with that post. And when people use it like Ken is, it’s probably at least as disgusting as when bigoted racists do it, if not moreso because they should know better.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Security around a President is always necessary.Obama may be in some more danger because of race,but just remember there were two attempts on Gerald Ford,a non-controversial Middle American Caucasian.The position itself attracts the unhinged to make threats or attempt things.
BTW I love the way that puke Mark Weiner and his wife contributed $100,000 to the merrymaking and then snared a multi million dollar exclusive right to produce inaugural memorabilia.
That little deal stinks like a fish on asphalt in July.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

Justin
Why do you care about how the wealthy spend their money when you are the one always saying that RI needs to retain the wealthy citizens instead of taxing them and causing them to flee.
Are you going to live blog this historic day?
Personally I will be celebrating not only the inauguration of Obama but the end of Bush’s presidency. It seemed to go on forever.

msteven
msteven
12 years ago

“The rich among the do-good left can always come up with money for the important stuff:”
Oh come on, that sounds like stuff from DailyKos. If this were McCain’s inaugural, there’d be plenty of hand wringing over how rich CEO’s are giving money for this while they put people out of work. The inauguration is entertainment. And it’s probably ‘helping’ the economy for the amount of money being spent and media coverage. No different than the money spent on the Super Bowl. Don’t politicize it.
Like I said, it’d be a good gesture if Obama would tone it down but only a political one. Politicizing the cost of this event is just partisan mud throwing.

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