Inauguration costs: how quickly Americans forget
Remember how Democratic politicians–understandably so–complained about the multi-million dollar cost of President Bush’s 2004 inauguration?
Representatives Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) wrote letters to Bush in 2005 asking him to be frugal in respect to the tough economic times then. They cited how President Roosevelt served “cold chicken salad” and “plain pound cake” at his 1945 inaugural. (It makes you wonder what types of inaugural festivities Roosevelt had in 1933 and 1937, when the nation was deep in the Great Depression instead of on the brink of ending World War II).
I wonder what they think of the estimated $109 million cost of Barack Obama’s inauguration.
AP writer Matt Apuzzo reports the inauguration will cost as much as estimated $150 million with Obama’s inaugural committee raising more than $41 million. That still leaves an estimated bill of $109 million, presumably to be paid by taxpayers.
According a Newsbusters.org article, Bush’s 2005 inauguration cost about $40 million while the AP is being encouraged now, despite the tougher economic times, to “For inaugural balls, go for glitz, forget economy.”
So much for objective journalism. Americans indeed have a very short memory.
Whether the economic times are good or bad or whether it’s a conservative or liberal in office, I think these celebrations should be subdued. Why not instead base the ceremonies entirely on the amount of private funds raised?