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January 22, 2009

Cost of inauguration

President Obama’s inauguration is estimated to have cost more than $150 million. This seems extravagant and contrary to today’s economic conditions. This money could have been used for medical care for poor children and the unemployed, for body armor for our troops, medical care for our wounded heroes and to help relieve the pain so many our elderly are suffering in this recession.

This extravagance sends the wrong message about fixing our financial woes. Obama could have set the tone of concern about the seriousness of our need to be fiscally responsible with the money.

Remember, George W. Bush’s last inauguration cost $40 to $50 million, and the do-gooders and left-wingers had apoplexy and called it extravagant. Is there a double standard? Seems like the answer is yes.

Why are these people who were so loud four years ago silent now?

George Benjamin

I find it hard to believe the concern raised about the money being spent on President Obama’s inauguration activities. Where do people think the money being spent on such activities is going? It is not like we are sending the money out of the country or burying it in the backyard.

Security staffs get extra pay. National Guard soldiers get several days of duty pay. Carpenters get paid for building temporary facilities. Waiters and cooks are employed for the parties and events.

Local businesses provide a multitude of services and are well paid. Hotels are booked, and restaurants are busy.

Individuals who receive the money from the inauguration activities spend it. This spending greatly increases the economic impact of the original funding.

It was a great celebration to be enjoyed.

John Turner
Overland Park


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Hey, remember what the media and the American public did to Jimmy Carter in the beginning of his presidency and he cut White House expenditures wherever he could? Remember when he stopped serving alcohol at the White House and ran the household on a tight budget?


So no matter what a president does, it's never good enough.


What constitutes wasteful spending is also subjective.


Wasteful spending is wasteful spedning, regardless of all the self important justifications by each gang.
Obama should have lead by example and gone frugal. Now how many of the people that wasted money to go to Washington for an emotional masturbation session can not pay their mortgage this month? That too will be Bush's fault as usual.


....maybe you could have gone with "Still dislike Obama" for a name.....

Smarter Than You

Whispering: I guess if your corruption comes in smaller denominations it’s OK. You may want to look at the forest in spite of the trees. To wit:

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 biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed-out Wall Street executives and employees. "The finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles," Ritsch said. "Those who worked in finance still managed to pull together nearly $7 million for the inauguration." The donors will get some of the best seats in the house for the inauguration, as well as admittance to some of the best balls and other events. ABC

Among the contributions from Citibank executives is $50,000 from Ray McGuire, the bank’s co-head of global investment banking, and $50,000 from Louis Susman, the recently retired vice chairman of Citigroup, the Huffington Post reports.
Susman also bundled $300,000 in donations for the inaugural committee, according to Politico.com.

Nearly 80 percent of the $35 million raised by Obama’s inaugural committee has come from just 211 bundlers, according to Public Citizen.

Some change!!?

For Solomon: to be honest, after reading your missives the bar was set so low I felt more than comfortable with this moniker ;)


"The fact that large amounts of the money came from outside sources who just happen to have issues before this president and congress is above reproach."

I'm not going to waste five minutes out of my life to go look it up, but I'm pretty sure the Bush inaugural contributions were capped at $250,000/donor while the Obama crew restricted their donations to $50,000/donor.

The arrogance of hypocrisy. But, since you're "smarter" than anyone else it, you already knew that.


....someone needs a name change....

Smarter Than You

I quote from the book of Obama, Debate One, Issue One:

“’Those executives should be fired,’ Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama said at a debate with Sen. John McCain on Tuesday (referring to the AIG bailout).”

But he has NO problem with the most extravagant inauguration ever. EVER! Maybe the economy magically healed when he took the oath of office.

The fact that large amounts of the money came from outside sources who just happen to have issues before this president and congress is above reproach. Gondorff and Hooker couldn’t have pulled off a con that sweet.

It was the audacity of hope, now it’s the arrogance of hypocrisy.

Pub 17

I didn't get a "harumph" from that guy.




"And here I've heard for the past 8 years that criticizing the President during wartime is tantamount to smearing the troops, rooting against your country and giving aid and comfort to the enemy."

Then surely you also heard, from the other side of course, how wrong it was to limit crticism and compare agreement with patriotism.

It's funny how BOTH sides' "strong convictions" seem to be easily forgotten when the roles are reversed.


Kate, eng, etc:

Thanx for being the voice of reason. Not all here are deaf to it.

Sadly, it is no surprise that the same folks screaming, "Get over it" to anyone unhappy with GW's re-election are now glorying in their own unwillingness to get over this election. At the same time, it is the same folks who were calling anyone who disagreed with GW "unpatriotic" are now openly hoping for the failure of Obama (and there by hoping failure upon our nation).

Disagreeing with policy, attempting to influence policy in a direction you believe is better, is (IMO) deeply patriotic. But, like it or not, Obama is now OUR president. Rooting for him to succeed is rooting for our nation to succeed.


Perhaps, if I want to emulate some of my favorite Conservatives, I should just write off every criticism of Obama has "Obama Derangement Syndrome." That way everything, from wacky unsubstantiated rumors about birth certificates to substantive disagreements on taxes, can simply be characterized as equally ridiculous and waved away with the flick of a wrist. Plus it has the added benefit of making the critic seem crazy and unserious, thus ending any need on my part to engage them in discussion in any way.

Wow, this is going to be fun. I can see why this has been so popular for the last eight years! "Moonbat" is my new favorite word!


"So, obviously, those who offer their dissent about minor details must be the most diligent patriots."

That's odd. And here I've heard for the past 8 years that criticizing the President during wartime is tantamount to smearing the troops, rooting against your country and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Weird how dissent is suddenly back to being patriotic for some. Oh well.


In addition to the points outlined by Kate, Marc, Eng and the other voices of reason, the critics fail to recognize that the increase in business that local DC merchants experienced will inevitably result in an increase in tax revenue for both federal and local governments. 2M people dropping, say $100 each on food, transportation, etc. on a random day in January when they would normally be at work not spending anything translates to quite a few million dollars in incremental tax revenue. I'm sure that, as well as the incremental tax revenue realized from overtime pay for security, etc. was not netted out of the equation.


I agree with Engineer and Marctnts. Spending the private money is a nice boost for the local economy, and people who are celebrating need to be provided protection and public services. I feel that way because, even though I didn’t vote for him and I don’t think he’s qualified for the job, he is now “my guy”. Just like all the presidents in my lifetime have been “my guys”.

“There are much more important things Republicans could choose to call attention to. So far it's been oaths, bibles and phony distinctions in cost.”

As has been pointed out here numerous times, dissent is patriotic. So, obviously, those who offer their dissent about minor details must be the most diligent patriots.


Beaker, my post wasn't directed at you. It was a response to the letter writer.


Wasting taxpayer dollars is never acceptable, but I'm a lot more concerned about the billions of dollars that have gone missing in the reconstruction of Iraq and in the aftermath of Katrina.

Here's a link from 2005, when we had lost track of $9 billion in Iraq. Hmmm, maybe it's hanging out with those weapons of mass destruction...




I mis-read your comment. Sorry about that.

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