Cast your eyes back to 2005 and George W. Bush’s second inauguration. There was a hue and cry at the time from many regarding just how much it was costing, especially in light of everything facing the country at the time. Various news outlets and pundits were decrying the $50 Million price tag attached to the inauguration and its surrounding festivities. There were calls for things to be scaled back and questions as to how Bush could allow this to be done in the face of the mounting costs facing the country.
Now we come back now. It’s days before the inauguration of Barack Obama, our 44th President. Our country is facing what is, if you are to believe media sources, the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. One would think in the face of this and to back up his rhetoric, Obama would be pushing for a smaller, less costly inauguration. At the very least, one would think he would attempt to hold the costs to no more than those of Bush’s second inauguration.
You might think that.
Instead, we have a projected price tag of $150 Million or more (depending on the source you query).
Let that sink in for a moment. Obama is on record stating that we are in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Everywhere you look, the Government is trying to come up with money to bring the country out of it and running up the deficit even more in order to do it. No matter where you place the blame for the current economy, the fact remains it’s there and it is bad. And yet Obama has not come out to curtail the spending for the inauguration. He has not stood up and said “It is irresponsible for me as the President of the United States to allow this amount of money to be spent surrounding my taking the Oath of Office.”
I fully understand that this is a momentous occasion for the United States. After 220 years, the United States elected an Black man President of the United States. I understand the Democrats want to celebrate the fact they have complete control of two thirds of the US Government for the first time since 1994.
This does not change the very simple fact, however, that the Obama presidency is spending three times what George Bush did in 2005 for the festivities surrounding the inauguration and is doing so while spouting from the other side of their mouth how poorly the United States is doing economically. I could make all sorts of hyperbolic claims regarding the hypocrisy of this and what it shows us about the Democrats. Going into the land of hyperbole isn’t beneficial here, and the simple facts themselves are bad enough.
I realize that a few days before the inauguration we are unlikely to see a change in what is being spent. I simply find myself disappointed in the stark difference between the rhetoric coming from the soon to be President of the United States and what the facts are showing. With money as short as it is for the USA, that $150 million could be put to many better uses than funding a party for Obama’s election.
Unfortunately, it’s clear the powers that be in Washington do not feel this way, and it’s contributing to other factors to rob them of any moral high ground they may or may not have had. No amount of stirring speeches from Barack Obama will change the facts.