Inauguration Day is a tradition of importance, signifying the peaceful changing or sustaining of power within the US government. It has always been a big deal, being a time when some Presidents stick around, some arrive on scene, and others depart. It’s a day that gives cause to celebrate traditions that have endured for over two centuries. In past decades, Inauguration Day has turned into a high-budget production. Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration was the most expensive, breaking $125 million in taxpayer dollars, roughly $10 million more than what G. W. Bush spent in 2005. This coming Inauguration Day is projected to rise above $100 million, but will probably not break Bush’s $115.5 million mark:
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.
In addition to the inauguration ceremony itself, apparently the Obama team is likely to blow $45 million on the partying afterwards.
The President sure knows how to live large. Though, it probably doesn’t send the right message, considering the debt crisis that the US government is about to bumble its way into. (But …who’s counting, anyway?)