Nothing for nothing here, folks, but it doesn't seem right to me that with the entire country in an economic recession and people losing their jobs, their homes, their retirement plans, and everything else in between that over $160 million is being spent on Tuesday’s inauguration. What is wrong with this picture? Am I the only one who thinks this is complete and total craziness?
According to news sources, $35 million was raised by Obama for the inaugural committee - which normally pays for inaugural celebrations - but unless my math skills are even worse than they were in high school, that still leaves about $125 million for taxpayers to pick up the tab on. $125 million for an inauguration celebration in the midst of the worst economic crisis that I can ever remember.
Somehow this whole thing just leaves a really, really bad taste in my mouth and whether this inauguration is “historic” or not there should have been some restraint taken when it came to spending. I get the feeling that everyone is trying to make up for past transgressions where racial equality is concerned by throwing the biggest shindig America has ever seen but one gi-normous party is NOT going to make up for the years and years of inequality no matter who attends the event.
Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, told the New York Daily News:
"We're always very budget conscious. But we're sending a message to the entire world about our peaceful transition of power, and you don't want it to look like a schlock affair. It needs to be appropriate to the magnitude of events that it is."Excuse me?? Is that supposed to mean that past inaugurations were “schlock affairs”? Does that mean you can’t have a really nice inauguration for less than $160 million? Does that mean that we here in America really are all just about appearances? Or is this more of that “we’re going to treat the new First Family like Hollywood Royalty” mindset that we’ve all heard so much about? It seems to me that the real message we’re sending to the entire world is “hey, no matter how broke we are, there’s always money to spend on a good time!”
And some people wonder why other countries hate us … yeah, right …
Regardless of what it means or doesn't mean, though, I will be quite glad when all of the hoopla is said and done and our new President can finally get down to the real business at hand – running the country and maybe digging us a little bit out of the ever-widening hole that we’re in ... a hole that’s apparently NOT deep enough to cause worry when it comes to spending an AWFUL lot of money on a big ole' par-tay the likes of which Washington has never seen.