View Full Version : Obama Inauguration: $150 million

01-15-2009, 02:55 PM
Yep, that's right: $150million. Bush in 2005: $40 million (the most expensive to date).

Fox News Video (http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html) — The video is "Over the top?" (4th video as of writing).

News Busters blog (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2009/01/14/ap-slammed-bush-s-extravagant-inaugural-05-now-it-s-spend-baby-spend)

the Guardian (UK) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/14/barack-obama-inauguration-cost)

And a 2005 article from the BBC:

No expense spared at inauguration
By Kevin Anderson

With an estimated price tag of $40m, the three-day celebration that is President Bush’s second inauguration will be the most expensive ever.

The lavish dinners, parties and fireworks began on Tuesday and will continue through his swearing-in on Thursday, followed by a parade and nine official inaugural balls.

The cost will be paid by individual and corporate donations, while the city of Washington is being asked to pay for an estimated $17m in security costs.

Some have criticised the expense, questioning the propriety of a flashy celebration as US troops are dying in Iraq and South Asia still recovers from last month’s deadly tsunami.

The overt criticism of an inauguration is unusual, but a Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans would prefer a smaller, more subdued event…

While numerous, the number of balls is five shy of the record 14 balls held for Bill Clinton on the night of his second inauguration in 1997…

But with the recent tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the ongoing war in Iraq, some think the expensive inaugural is an inappropriate, ostentatious display.

"Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted - if not cancelled - in wartime," New York Democrat Representative Anthony Weiner said in a letter to President Bush.

He noted the money could be used to buy 690 Humvees and pay for a $290 bonus for each soldier serving in Iraq.

And city officials in Washington are complaining that for the first time the city and not the US government is being asked to foot the bill for the security operations…

Bill Clinton’s first inauguration cost $30m, which was comparable to the inaugural costs of George HW Bush in 1989. His second inauguration cost $23.6m.

But a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that two-thirds of Americans think inaugural festivities should be scaled back. That includes half of those who voted for President Bush and 80% of John Kerry’s supporters…

Here is the (obviously objective) question from the aforementioned WP/ABC News poll:

Officials say Bush’s inauguration ceremonies next week will cost about 40 million dollars, nearly all of it coming from private donations. Some people say that because the country is at war, it would be better to have a smaller and more subdued inauguration. Others favor continuing the country?s tradition of large inaugural celebrations. Which of these views comes closer to your own?

Better to have smaller, more subdued inauguration

Continue tradition of large inaugural celebrations

DK/No opinion

Source: A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted by telephone January 12 - 16, 2005 among 1,007 randomly selected adults nationwide. Margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus three percentage points. Fieldwork by TNS of Horsham, PA.