COMMENTARY | Obama’s inauguration cost is likely to exceed a record-setting cost of $170 million dollars. Second inaugurations are typically less expensive, and Obama’s first inauguration cost $170 million, but the actual swearing-in ceremony falling on a Sunday added one extra day of celebration. Coming at a time when financial austerity measures are necessary due to the upcoming Super Cliff composed of the national debt ceiling and automatic sequester, President Obama is currently attending an extravagant, three-day inauguration ceremony that has ignited the anger of citizens tired of wasteful government spending.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, President Obama’s inauguration was supposed to be a smaller affair than his first one to reflect the austere economic climate and other current events. One supposed example of the inauguration cost-cutting was supposed to be the number of balls taking place, but those are funded by donations from individuals, unions, and corporations. This year there will be just two balls, as opposed to 10 in 2009, but they will be big. 35,000 are expected to attend the larger of the two balls and 4,000 will show up at a ball honoring US troops. But while the White House is making claims of austerity in order to appease the populace, the numbers do not seem to match those claims.
Back near the beginning of December, The Inquisitr reported that Obama’s inauguration was projected to cost a very high $169 million. As comparison, for President Bush’s second inauguration the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million. According to ABC, the actual Obama’s inauguration cost is likely to exceed previous estimates, costing more than $170 million in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee, attempted to justify to ABC why the government is spending so much money on Obama’s inauguration:
“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. And we need to pull together to face the challenges that are before us today.”
UPI reports that actual costs are difficult to estimate at this moment due to security reasons, but they believe the final total combined cost will exceed $170 million even though some of the costs to taxpayers have actually gone down a little:
“Taxpayers foot the bill for the swearing-in ceremony and the congressional luncheon, with spending on those items controlled by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. This year, they have a budget of $1.237 million, down about $163,000 from four years ago.”
Considering that the small, private swearing-in ceremony of the actual inauguration only cost about $1.25 million, some say that in this time of economic turmoil that President Obama should have lead by example and cut the unnecessary public inauguration display that costs the government so much more money. What do you think about the cost of Obama’s inauguration?