Extravagant Inauguration: Does it send the wrong message?

News
January 20, 2009

Barack Obama is hosting the party of a lifetime, and it seems that there’s no penny pinching going on in spite of the recession.

US President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave during yesterday’s ‘We Are One’ concert, one of the events of Obama’s inauguration celebrations.

Estimates are that total costs for Obama’s inauguration celebration could reach, or even exceed, $160 million. Obama has raised an estimated $41 million to help cover the costs of things like the train ride from Philadelphia to Washington on Saturday, and the star studded concert featuring U2, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and others yesterday. There’s also the actual swearing in ceremony tomorrow with a price tag of $1.24 million and 10 official inaugural balls. Not to mention the cost of security and those 5,000 port-a-potties. Four years ago, Democrats warned President Bush about an extravagant inauguration calling it inappropriate during a time of war. Today, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue, the unemployment rate is the worst since 1945, consumer confidence is down along with the stock market and companies announce daily they are laying off people, closing stores or going out of business altogether. But not a peep from the Democrats about the costs of Obama’s inauguration. See, he’s one of theirs. And if you want to lose your appetite for dinner, consider this. The biggest donors for the inaugural festivities are recently bailed out Wall Streeters. Is this a great country or what? Here’s my question to you: In light of the sour economy, does an extravagant inauguration celebration send the wrong message?

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