Sunday, January 11, 2009

How much do inaugurations cost?

How much do Presidential inaugurations cost?

I don't really have too many solid facts and figures on this. There's this Washington Times article from 2005, which it talks about President Bush receiving criticism for spending too much on his second inauguration, when he actually spent less than President Clinton did in 1997. Then there's this NY Times article from 1992 (cracks me up when they mention "change, hope, opportunity"). I found a bunch of other news articles and blog posts, but I don't consider them solid sources, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.

So from the info I could round up, here's what has been spent on inaugurations so far:

Bush 2005 $40 million
Bush 2001 $40 million
Clinton 1997 $42 million
Clinton 1993 $25 million
Bush 1989 $37 million
Reagan 1985 $20 million
Reagan 1981 $16 million
Carter 1977 $3.5 million
Kennedy 1961 $1 million

Interesting, huh? And it seems that all inaugurations are paid for by a combination of private money and taxpayer money. So the estimated $50 million that will be spent on Obama's coronation inauguration doesn't really seems so high now. Parenthetically, what strikes me as very lame is Obama's office's claim that his inauguration will cost more because they will make more events accessible to the public...that's just a bunch of crap. All recent inaugurations have held both public and private events. So honestly, if they keep it to $50 million, I won't blink, even though it is taking place in this horrible economy. I would hope that most of the costs come from private donations and not from the taxpayer's pocket. But let's see.

Let's see.

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