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Because the inauguration gives jobs to the 25 different policing agencies that are presently deployed in the capital. Contrast that to a CEO's private jet which requires maybe just a pilot and a repair tech to be employed.

Never mind that shifting a job to the securitat may be a squander of productive resources best employed elsewhere, but who other than methodological economists would care about that little snafu?

It's worse than that Pete. Where are all the Democrats/Lefties who screamed about the price tag for Bush's inauguration ("we're at war and the economy ain't so great") when we're still at war and the economy's worse?

Radley Balko gets it:

I think the response is that 2005 was an inauguration, this is a coronation which is different.

It's in the human DNA to want "rulers" to worship and to elevate them in grandeur and pageantry...even at great cost to themselves.

Just look at most of human history...

It's par for the course when seen in that prism.

Lord knows, it's been far worse.


Partisan politics and the double standard in judgment that comes with it should never be questioned...even rhetorically.

It is what it is and will continue to be so...sadly.

I believe the funds for the inauguration are privately donated (minus federal funds that are used to improve security... which seems like a basic function of government). As a libertarian i don't mind private citizens donating $150 million for the inauguration of their candidate. The funds are voluntarily donated so i don't think anyone should say much about it.

There is a double standard here... the press tends to lean left... no surprise there. Let his supporters have his day... when the federal deficit hits $2 trillion, there will be a backlash... let them enjoy it, they earned it.

You wouldn't be complaining if they spent the money on Jesus' inauguration...racist.

What do you mean? Four times more than the previous record - that must certainly be a change. I'm not so sure about it providing "hope" though...

I want to give a little bit more background on the breakdown and how cost's are handled for the inauguration and the parade. My father was in charge of Bush's first inaguration and I just got off the phone with him about how these cost break down and who pays for what. He said he believes the total budget is around $160 million for Obama's inaguration, but that at least when he was in charge there was never a firm number of the cost.

Security and the actual inaguration are funded by local, state, and federal government. Security is the biggest part of the federal spending. He said when he was in charge it was greater the 75% of the costs.

The parade is funded by the private parties that are involved in it. He has seen estimates of about $45-$50 million raised for the parade. The actual performers in the parade have to pay their own way. Alot of what has been raised privately goes to paying for the performers to get to DC and to stay here.

So the tax payer is footing about $100-$110 million of this inaguration. That is still a pretty good amount of money.

but there must be an inauguration. whats the alternative? no security?

i'm confused by the analogy being raised here. the CEOs are asking for a subsidy. the president must be sworn in, hence security must be ensured.

whats the connection?

Extravagance by political actors is forgiven, by private actors it is vilified.

That is all I am asking --- why?

Note the title --- Image --- we are supposedly in a crisis like none other since the GD. It is not like only private firms are in a crisis. As our President Elect continually states --- we have to get a government that works right in place. Yesterday he actually said the following is what he will deliver: a government that works right; that will help everyone get good jobs so they can pay their bills; provide opportunities to go to college for every child; and make sure everyone had quality health care. He then followed that up with the statement --- that is my job to provide that for you. And just remember part of the definition of a government that works right is fiscal responsibility.

In the Washington Post today, historians are quoted as saying that Obama is in a position to be one of the greatest presidents ever. Wow, he hasn't even been sworn in yet.

So the bottom line --- $100 million for a party at the time when you are also asking tax payers to fork over $850b to kick start an ailing economy has a certain sympolism. We were outraged by corporate parties in CA to reward successful sectors of a failing business --- Congressman Waxman actually had hearings where he scolded CEOs for such behavior.

So one alternative might be -- a somber day of the passing of political power and the imagine of rolling up the shirt sleves to get to work. Or an alternative might be to just declare that everything is ok now, we have achieved victory in war, we do not have an economic downturn, and it is time to celebrate. But it does seem strange to me that we simultaneously claim that these are the darkest days in contemporary history, with challenges unheard of before for a president and a nation, and yet we are throwing a party. Perhaps I am just a sour puss, but honestly I didn't vote for either party so it ain't that. And honestly, I was just asking about image issues --- why were the CEO's viewed as villians, whereas the politicians are viewed as heroic. Heck, I guess I could say that same thing about Barney Frank -- how can a man who has been caught doing some many "wrong" things --- including his role in our current economic problems, not to mention his abuse of personal position to pursue his private life options in rather unsavory manner --- still be in power and have such a tremendous amount of power. Most of us, if we were caught in similar circumstances would not only lose our job, but have our life ruined.

Lord Acton warned about the corrupting tendency of power, but there is also a protective tendency of power that reinforces the corruptive aspects.

If indeed it isn't, why isn't reputation as fragile in the political realm as it is in the market realm? Why do the images from one realm that so outrage us, in the other realm give us cause for celebration?

Well it seems like it's something like:

"Because CEO's, as we all know, are selfish, wealthy people wringing their customers and shareholders for obscene profits so they can sit around all day telling other people what to do. People like Obama, on the other hand, spend their time toiling endlessly so that we can have better lives, stronger communities, and a bright future for our children. And besides, Obama is the first African American president! He's the dream! He represents everything this country is supposed to be, and so what if we want to have a party about it?"

Now, if the question is why someone with even the most basic understanding of economics and political philosophy would be happy about this, then I've got nothing.

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