Saturday, January 17, 2009


$160 million. (Via DRJ at Patterico's.)


MediaMatters follows the money trail and finds apples and oranges.(Via commenter K.):

Here's why using the $160 million number and comparing it with Bush's 2005 costs represented a classic apples-and-oranges assessment: For years, the press routinely referred to the cost of presidential inaugurations by calculating how much money was spent on the swearing-in and the social activities surrounding that. The cost of the inauguration's security was virtually never factored into the final tab, as reported by the press. For instance, here's The Washington Post from January 20, 2005, addressing the Bush bash:

The $40 million does not include the cost of a web of security, including everything from 7,000 troops to volunteer police officers from far away, to some of the most sophisticated detection and protection equipment.

This explains a lot, but I'm still having trouble figuring out the breakdown of projected, or as MediaMatters puts it, unsubstantiated $160 million.

The federal government has budgeted $49 million for this year’s inauguration, more than triple what taxpayers spent at Bush’s first inauguration in 2001, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Earlier this year, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland and the Washington transit authority sent a request to federal lawmakers for more than $75 million to cover a variety of inaugural costs ranging from security to transportation.

I don't find anywhere that says, "that $49 million includes security." Now, the $75 million includes some security. So anyone who can break it down for me, please do. (I suspect, however, we won't know the answer until after the festivities--just like my wedding reception. Are the Obamas offering an open bar?)

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Blogger k said...

Here's a good fact-laden (although unfortunately also kinda grumpy-towards-conservative-blogosphere; I am sorry for that) response on that:

Skip down below the embedded video to get to the meat. Apparently the figure the press is using for the Bush inaugural does not include security, while Obama's does--if you add security to the Bush number they are comparable

11:11 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

That was a good article! I fully expect the upcoming inauguration to be more expensive than Bush's, and I'm not all that bothered by it, though sticklers might be.

Back then, we were losing a war, so a subdued inauguration was appropriate. And the Bush presidency isn't historic in the sense that the Obama presidency is.

6:28 PM  

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