Worst Economy Since Depression=Most Expensive Inauguration EVER


Seems like the price keeps going up (kinda like the Democrats’ Congress’ bailouts). Let’s see how long it takes for Obamabots to cut/paste out-dated propaganda from Media Matters…

What Recession? The $170 Million Inauguration
Obama’s Inauguration Has Been Financed Partially by Bailed-Out Wall Street Executives
ABC NEWS Business Unit
Jan. 19, 2009—

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 Douglas, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee. That’s more than the $42.3 million in private funds spent by President Bush’s committee in 2005 or the $33 million spent for Bill Clinton’s first inaugural in 1993. Douglas said that this will be the “most open and accessible inauguration in history,” with members of the general public able to participate on a greater scale than ever before. “The money is going toward providing events which we hope are going to connect people, make them feel like we are all in this together and reinforce the notion that when we pull together, we’re stronger,” Douglas said. “And we need to pull together to face the challenges that are before us today.”

Among the expenses: a Bruce Springsteen concert, the parade, large-screen TV rentals for all-free viewing on the national Mall, $700,000 to the Smithsonian Institution to stay open and, of course, the balls, including three that are being pitched as free or low cost for the public.

But there are plenty of rich donors willing to pick up the tab. “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.”

Best Seats in the House

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. “I don’t think that they’re going to get a whole lot of face time with the new president himself,” Ritsch said, “but they are certainly establishing themselves from day one as his biggest financial supporters. And if there’s something they need or to tell him down the road, they will have an easier time doing that than everyone else.”

Besides Wall Street firms, a large chunk of the money came from employees at companies such as Microsoft, Google and DreamWorks Animation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer and his wife, Connie, both gave $50,000. So did Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda.

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, both gave $50,000. Filmmaker and DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate, both also gave $50,000. And DreamWorks employees gave a total of $275,000. Billionaire investor George Soros and his family contributed $250,000 to the inauguration, and Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt each donated $25,000. Other big-name donors who gave $50,000 include filmmaker George Lucas, artist Dale Chihuly, Los Angeles Dodgers President Jamie McCourt. Citigroup managing director Raymond J. McGuire; Oracle President Charles E. Phillips Jr.; actresses Halle Berry and Sharon Stone; and Melvin Simon, co-founder of Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the United States.

Despite all the donations, Obama’s team has made donations much more restrictive than in the past.

Obama capped donations at $50,000 per person, which is still more than 10 times what individuals could give to his campaign, but a lot less than the $250,000 cap President Bush had at his last inauguration. Contributions from corporations, labor unions, political action committees and registered lobbyists are not being accepted by Obama.

The Real Money

For Bill Clinton’s second inaugural in 1997, contributions were capped to $100. But that committee had some leftover money from the previous inauguration and charged people up to $3,000 for inaugural tickets. “We have the broadest fundraising restrictions in inaugural history,” Douglas said. The inauguration team is also posting all donations of $200 or more on the Internet almost as quickly as they are coming in. The law only requires it to disclose the information 90 days after the actual swearing-in.

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Where is the outrage over the special access and perks that rich Obama contributors get over the average man in the street Obama supporter?

Umm, where is the outrage from the Left in this country???? Didn’t they go nutz over Bush’s money for his inauguration. Hypocrisy equals the Dems and Left in this country.

Obama Nation and Damnation celebrated.
Death of American Values and the next fight to get it back is waiting.

Going out to my berm to shoot, pray and prepare to defend American Values.

Old Trooper busy here but warm regards sent to All!
Staying off the icy roads, Mata. My bike can’t handle it.

Buffalo chili for dinner tonight with jalepeno cornbread and my Ladies twice baked potatoes and
a spinach vinagrette salad.

No Bama celebtration here but thanks for GWB having served us well!

Hey Gaffa, wear a condom.

It is time to do away with these self congratulatory parties.

You guys and you sniping. 89% of the country currently can find at least SOMETHING nice to say about the guy. But, on F-A, here’s all you get:


Substitute “Barack Obama” for “Marion Paroo,” and you’ll get the idea.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach

@Larry Weisenthal: So showing hypocrisy now is sniping. Man that is too rich.

So I guess people calling Bush hitler before he was even inaugurated was just disagreeing with him on policy.

I do recall people being upset about the way the Y2K election was decided. I rather imagine that, had “W” won the majority of the popular vote and had Gore prevailed in a recount, a great many Republicans would have been upset, also. For the life of me, I don’t recall any mainstream Democrats (and I consider you guys to be pretty mainstream Republicans) referring to Bush as “Hitler.” And, considering everything, Bush did get a pretty respectable honeymoon period:


I’m simply suggesting that something pretty historic is going on, and perhaps you might just wait until the guy actually fouls up on something substantive (which he surely will — they all do) before going into the feeding frenzy mode. Right at this time, you are frankly looking rather much like the little old ladies of River City, Iowa.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Here was an opportunity for Obama to step up and insist on a spending limit on the inauguration.

But, no. He could not disappoint. After all… what was the phrase “historic occassion”…

There is nothing wrong with pointing out the hypocrisy this man and the majority of his followers embody. In comparison to the left, the “upset” that the right has voiced is a whisper.

@Larry Weisenthal: So the people that bought the Democrat Party are not part of the Mainstream of the Left. The Daily Kos, Huffpo, Demcorat Underground.

Are anyof us calling Obama any names????? we are pointing out that the Left is Hypocritical.

Yes this is “Historical”, but do we need to spend all this money on it. We are in a Recession, or is that only for the Fly-over Country, since Liberal elitists from Hollywood and NE do not have to worry about the recession.

I am sickened by all the BS crap in all the Inaugurations. U thought Bush’s money spent was ridiculous also, but this pales in comparison. most people will never see that much money in their life times, but the People we just Bailed Out are giving to the Inauguration. I smell a rat. this is total BS and we should be up in arms over this. We have laid all the Bail Out on our grandchildren, and they are using it to get the best seats in the house.

I call Buulshit.

This is an abomination. No pun intended.

@Larry Weisenthal:

I’m simply suggesting that something pretty historic is going on, and perhaps you might just wait until the guy actually fouls up on something substantive

I agree with you, Larry. Republicans should not conduct themselves better than that.

But Bush’s honeymoon period was extremely short, if existent at all. I think mostly it was a piecrust affair- easily made, readily broken. In May of 2001, speaking on the Yale campus, liberal professors and college students were already doing what they do best to anyone with an “R” next to his name, irregardless of actual policy decision-making.

Reagan won both the popular and electoral in 1981 and 1984. Yet….

After criticism for his first inauguration in 1981, which cost $16.3 million for nine white-tie balls, President Ronald Reagan attempted to scale back the budget and have a more “for the people” celebration. However, the budget ballooned from $12 million to $20 million, and there were 10 balls instead of nine and two galas instead of one. Apparently, “scaling back” meant that the balls were black tie instead of white and the entertainment was less high-brow than at previous events, according to the Washington Post.

So forgive us if we feel like rubbing in the hypocrisy.

wordsmith/Bush Country

Having contributed $85 to the Obama campaign (in increments of $35, $25, and $25), I’m forever on their mass email donor list. Instead of asking me for more money, at this time, however, they are asking me to volunteer my services to America, for example in food banks. As a result, there is currently unprecedented volunteerism beginning to take place, e.g.


The Presidency is the world’s greatest Bully Pulpit. All people have strengths and weaknesses. As with FDR, a great strength of Obama is his speaking ability and ability to inspire. You don’t inspire by keeping a low profile. Advertising works. Marketing works. The pharmaceutical industry spends many more multiples of dollars on advertising and marketing than it spends on R&D. Capitalism thrives in large measure because of advertising and marketing.

Obama first marketed his candidacy. This brought him to where he is today. Now he’s marketing his Presidency by making it not just his Presidency, but America’s Presidency. This is why there will by 5,000,000 people standing out in the cold on Tuesday. The money spent on the inauguration is an investment not only in Obama’s future, but in America’s future. Only time will tell if this was a good or a poor investment.

I think that the money being spent on the inauguration is only a little more (and may be less; I don’t have the time to look it up) than was raised in the last month alone in Obama’s campaign. A couple of hours in Iraq. A microscopic quantity, compared to the bipartisan financial bailout which is supposed to give confidence back to the lending institutions and to the nation. The inauguration is a part and parcel of the process of restoring confidence.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

@Larry Weisenthal:

a great strength of Obama is his speaking ability and ability to inspire. You don’t inspire by keeping a low profile. Advertising works. Marketing works.

You’re right. With a media that won’t do the reportage for him, Bush’s humility in not seeking pats on the back for some of his good work is a great failing of his, and of his White House PR dept.

Obama is not only a good communicator, but will also have a fawning media eager to carry the message out there. The media for the last 8 years were disinterested in covering Bush’s positives.

If Obama can inspire and motivate people in a generalized way to think big, to dream big, to accomplish big, to aspire, to serve, then that’s a great thing.

Not all of us are haters.

Wordsmith/Bushifornia, USA

@Larry Weisenthal: So you are not pissed that $7 million of our Tax Dollars are paying for Bankers Seats in the Obamarama.

I still call BS on this. If this was Bush or McCain the Left would be up in arms. We should all be up in arms over this travesty.

I could careless if he is a good speaker, that still does not shows that still to this day you pay for access in the Inaugurations, and Obama was suppose to have an Open Inauguration, but I guess Animal farm still applies here, “everyone it the same, but the few”

@Larry Weisenthal:

a great strength of Obama is his speaking ability and ability to inspire

It’s just not his speaking ability; there’s something a bit off-putting and disturbing in the kind of adulation he’s received.

Larry, why does it take Obama, a man who hasn’t actually accomplished anything substantive to engender the kind of adoration he is enjoying, to make people like this suddenly find a reason to “do good, be good”? Why do they need Obama to make such a pledge?


What recession?????

I realize this is anecdotal but I was in a store here on Long Island this weekend…6th Avenue Electronics. Great store for getting TV’s, etc. We just bought our first flat-panel TV there on New Year’s Day. Anyway, the place was jumping. People were buying stuff hand over fist. I went in there for a VHS/DVD converter for less that $100 and I saw an LG home theater system for almost 50% off the Best Buy price. I scooped it up.

I’m just a working stiff and both my wife and I have to work to be able to live here on Long Island. Based on what I’ve seen in the stores lately, people are spending. They may be using credit but they’re buying stuff. BTW, 6th Avenue will give you there credit card and you don’t have to pay interest for a year. It’s a no-brainer. We’ll pay it off long before the end of the year.

I just read this commentary on the AOL website, under “question of the day: is the Obama inauguration worth $150 million?”

I post an extended excerpt. Note that it specifically quotes Flopping Aces, right up there with Fox News. Congratulations on the shout out but raspberries on the misrepresentation.

Here’s why using the $160 million number and comparing it with Bush’s 2005 costs represented a classic apples-and-oranges assessment: For years, the press routinely referred to the cost of presidential inaugurations by calculating how much money was spent on the swearing-in and the social activities surrounding that. The cost of the inauguration’s security was virtually never factored into the final tab, as reported by the press. For instance, here’s The Washington Post from January 20, 2005, addressing the Bush bash:

The $40 million does not include the cost of a web of security, including everything from 7,000 troops to volunteer police officers from far away, to some of the most sophisticated detection and protection equipment.

For decades, that represented the norm in terms of calculating inauguration costs: Federal dollars spent on security were not part of the commonly referred-to cost. (The cost of Obama’s inauguration, minus the security costs? Approximately $45 million.) What’s happening this year: The cost of the Obama inauguration and the cost of the security are being combined by some in order to come up with the much larger tab. Then, that number is being compared with the cost of the Bush inauguration in 2005, minus the money spent on security.

In other words, it’s the unsubstantiated Obama cost of $160 million (inauguration + security) compared with the Bush cost of 42 million (inauguration, excluding security). Those are two completely different calculations being compared side-by-side, by Fox & Friends, among others, to support the phony claim that Obama’s inauguration is $100 million more expensive than Bush’s.

That’s why the right-wing site Newsmax.com confidently reported that Obama’s swearing-in would cost “nearly four times what George Bush’s inauguration cost four years ago.” So did Flopping Aces, a shining light of the right-wing blogosphere:

President Barack Obama’s inauguration next week is set to be the most expensive ever, predicted to reach over $150m. This dwarfs the $42.3m spent on George Bush’s inauguration in 2005 and the $33m spent on Bill Clinton’s in 1993.

If portions of the press and the blogosphere want to now suggest that the cost of security should also be factored into the final tab for presidential inaugurations, they need to go back and recalculate the cost for Bush’s 2005 swearing-in in order to have an honest comparison. Because with security included, the 2005 inauguration cost a lot more than $42 million — just as with security factored in, Obama’s will also cost a lot more than $45 million. (The final tab, though, likely won’t be known for months.)

The question for the press then becomes: How much did the government spend on security for Bush’s 2005 inauguration? How much did it cost for the wartime administration’s unprecedented move to turn the nation’s capital into something akin to an armed fortress, with snipers on rooftops, planes flying overhead, Humvee-mounted anti-aircraft missiles dotting the city, and manholes cemented shut?

Back in January 2005, that figure was impossible to come by. “U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said last week that he was unable to estimate security costs for the inauguration,” The Washington Times reported. The cross-town Washington Post also had no luck in 2005 finding out the cost of security: “[Government] spokesmen said they could not provide an estimate of what the inauguration will cost the federal government.”

However, buried in a recent New York Times article published one week before the controversy erupted over the cost of Obama’s inauguration, the newspaper reported that in 2005, “the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers” [emphasis added].

You read that correctly. The federal government spent $115 million dollars for the 2005 inauguration. Keep in mind, that $115 million price tag was separate from the money Bush backers bundled to put on the inauguration festivities. For that, they raised $42 million. So the bottom line for Bush’s 2005 inauguration, including the cost of security? That’s right, $157 million.

Unless the Obama inauguration tab (including security) ends up costing $630 million, we can safely say it certainly won’t cost four times what the Bush bash did in 2005. And unless the Obama inauguration tab (including security) runs to $257 million, we can safely say the event won’t cost $100 million more than Bush’s, as Fox & Friends claimed.

So, for now, can the press and partisans please stop peddling this malignant myth?

Thanks Larry. You’ll notice I posted this in a new thread. I did so because it’s from ABC News which addresses the security talking point from Media Matters.

There’s something else though. If Bush’s second Inaug only had 300k, and Obama’s has 4-5x as many people….then seriously, something needs to be checked out re Bush’s and Obama’s. One was too expensive.

I find it VERY interesting that the Media Matters talking point has been cut/pasted on this thread and the other one that I started also on the subject of Inaug costs. Both of my posts left all the facts to the msm articles they linked to. They were not FA claims, or Republican talking points, or Scott claims. I don’t have time or interest to do the math. With no one working in this household for the past 5wks, I could give a rat’s ass about other people’s bills. The point I was trying to make is that the duplicity of the left’s rantings from the past 8yrs now flip, and it starts w their rantings about the Inaugs.

It’s also really interesting how fast Media Matters hit AOL. Interesting. Who influences/funds/controls Media Matters, and what’s done with the product it produces?

@Scott Malensek: Are we suppose to trust Media Matters??? They are owned by Soros and the rest of his merry men that are trying to bring us Socialism.

Newsmax is almost as bad on the other side also. So I do not really trust either.

So,@Larry Weisenthal: , you still have not explained the total hypocrisy on the Left. No matter what the cost is with or without the Security. Why is it that there is one standard for Bush and another for the Messiah??? Bush was detested for his inauguration, but since this is the One’s (The Lightbringer) he gets a pass?? That does not give. Not matter how ‘Historical” the inauguration is.

And to use Media Matters as a sourse is about as good as using the Daily News as a source. Both have a disreguard for the truth.

Tax money should not be allowed to be used for these parties. Not for security, entertainment,
or any of it. If you took the 160-170 or more million dollars and put it into the US school
system, just think what might become?

@Lori: Putting money into the school system only empowers the unions. It does not help kids.

The teachers unions are one thing. The school system is another. I am always appalled
at the gross spending our politicians seem to feel they are entitled to at our expence.

@Lori: The school system now is the Teacher’s unions.

I understand what you are saying,but the Unions own the schools and get a cut of all the money that goes to the school system. We first need to break the grip that the Teacher’s Unions have on our education system.

More money into education is definitely not indicative of more positive results.

The law of diminishing returns is very strong when it comes to the relationship between education funding and testing results, graduation rates, and any other measurement of success.

i AM A SENIOR CITIZEN AND WIFE OF A DECEASED VET. I am also a loyal supporter and contributor. I registered voters up until the last day. I even tried to get a little elderly, disabled friend in Witenberg, WI registered to vote. If you would please mail me 4 tickets to the swearing in ceremony and presidential galas; I would be ecstatic. My brother, son and daughter would luke to come with me. Can you also suggest a hotel? Thanks a whole bunch.

I on the contrary, will not request any ticket to go ,
the television will do just fine.
so how did the ability inspired you since than?
was all that money produce to elevate the prestige of AMERICA.
was he worth that much money as it now pass,