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Obama inauguration - gigantic waste of money?
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turtle777
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Jan 17, 2009, 01:15 PM
 
Current estimation is at $ 150B.

Don't we have more important things to waste tax payer's money on ?

-t
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 17, 2009, 01:18 PM
 
Btw, saw $$$ on a TV Screen showing CNN. Maybe a mistake ?

-t
     
deedar
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Jan 17, 2009, 01:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Current estimation is at $ 150B.

Don't we have more important things to waste tax payer's money on ?

-t
$150M maybe, but not B.
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Current estimation is at $ 150B.

Don't we have more important things to waste tax payer's money on ?

-t
I think you might have a typo there. I have seen the figure $150Million bandied about but not in the Billions.

As for wasting taxpayers money? How much of that $150M cost is actually coming from government spending and how much is private spending? For example, most of the inaugural balls are paid for with private funds. Granted, the government will spend money paying security personnel to watch over these venues but they are not paying for the event itself to take place.

I've read many, many articles in the Washington Post about the expenses to be incurred by the DC government because of the inauguration. In fact, DC government's expenditure was supposed to hit about $50Million which is one of the reasons why Bush signed an emergency declaration last week regarding the upcoming inaugural. The declaration allows DC government ask for financial help from the federal government. And, while that is a lot of money to spend for one four-day event, I wonder how it will balance out against the increased tax revenue earned by the city for having a couple million extra people in the DC area spending money to celebrate the inauguration?

In other words, I have yet to see any reports on whether the inauguration will become a net financial gain or loss for the DC government. My guess is that it will be close to break-even or a slight loss, but not a $50Million loss.
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Jan 17, 2009, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Current estimation is at $ 150B.

Don't we have more important things to waste tax payer's money on ?

-t
How could any one singular event cost this much money???

Performances? What, you don't want to perform for free in front of billions of people for the inauguration of the first African American President of the US and become part of history? Okay. You don't want to cater for the inauguration of the first African American President of the US? Okay. You don't want to give us space, rentals, props, etc...? Fine, we'll find someone who does. I can imagine a lot of police presence and the like, but you gotta give me a friggin' break. People are forever throwing freebies at celebs, you don't think we could be a little more creative than throwing $150B dollars at an event during a time when our economy is being compared to the Great Depression?

C'mon. I don't get it. Can someone please break down the expenditures and show me where someone isn't being absolutely raped here and how this illustrates a nation in crisis™???
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Jan 17, 2009, 03:33 PM
 
it's all from private funds. And any money the DC government spends to provide security, etc... will be well offset by the massive boost it will bring to the local economy.

Still, they always seem pretty wasteful. This one especially. Times are too dire. Just get in there and start focusing on the task at hand. We don;t need all this pomp and circumstance.

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Jan 17, 2009, 03:42 PM
 
As I remember, there were those on the left who complained about the amount W spent ($42 million 2005, mostly private funds) , which is nothing compared to what BO is going to spend ($150+ million) Bill Clinton spent $33 million (also mostly private funds). My guess he is using left over funds from his election campaign. The public portion is security related
Barack Obama's inauguration set to be the most expensive in US history | World news | guardian.co.uk
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 03:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
it's all from private funds. And any money the DC government spends to provide security, etc... will be well offset by the massive boost it will bring to the local economy.

Still, they always seem pretty wasteful. This one especially. Times are too dire. Just get in there and start focusing on the task at hand. We don;t need all this pomp and circumstance.
Remember, when Billary was elected, that was "the worse economy in 50 years" and there was no complaints. When W was reelected, the Left complained because there was a war going on. We are in the midst of a real economic turn down, no complaints about cost from those on the left.
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 03:58 PM
 
Indeed, even if it is private funds from his campaign, financial excess is still excess, no matter how you spin it. Nobody needs to spend that much on an inauguration party.

Although it is a great example of the attitude our messiah president-elect has about finance and spending....
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 04:18 PM
 
You guys are funny.

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turtle777  (op)
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Jan 17, 2009, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
I think you might have a typo there. I have seen the figure $150Million bandied about but not in the Billions.
The $ 150B was NOT a typo on my part. That's what was up on the CNN screen at the airport when I was waiting for my luggage.

It must have been a typo on their (CNN) part, because yes, it just sounds like waaaayyyy too much.

-t
     
besson3c
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Jan 17, 2009, 05:17 PM
 
Why do cities bid for the olympic games if it isn't seen as a net gain for their economy? This is the same sort of thing...
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 17, 2009, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why do cities bid for the olympic games if it isn't seen as a net gain for their economy? This is the same sort of thing...
Well, in the case of China, to make a sh!itty government look good in the eyes of the world.

I guess you have a point there, Besson

-t
     
besson3c
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Jan 17, 2009, 05:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Well, in the case of China, to make a sh!itty government look good in the eyes of the world.

I guess you have a point there, Besson

-t

Thanks once again for such a positive contribution to this conversation.

I just wish that if you insist on crapping on conversations like this that you at least make an argument. If I wanted to read this sort of crap I would read YouTube comments or something.
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 05:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why do cities bid for the olympic games if it isn't seen as a net gain for their economy? This is the same sort of thing...
How do you figure?

I don't know about the Olympics, but if you look at something like the Super Bowl, cities are obsessed with winning the bid to host it, even though it can end up costing the city - and taxpayers - millions or billions of dollars.

Look at the Indianapolis Colts. The Hoosier/RCA Dome was completed about 25 years ago to hold our NFL team. It was never big enough to host a Super Bowl, so the decision was made to build an extremely extravagant new stadium that would be big enough to host the event. Sure enough, IIRC we've won the bid for the 1012 game.

But at what cost? Sales tax was raised to cover the cost of the RCA Dome. I can guarantee you Indy is going to see another tax increase (if they haven't already; I don't remember off the top of my head) to cover the city's contribution to build Lucas Oil Stadium.

Excess is excess, regardless of what the end result is. I'm guessing a big enough stadium could have been constructed for less than $720mil, but hey - they wanted a retractable roof, and we must give them what they want, right?

Obama's not really doing himself any favors by dumping so much money into what is essentially a "look at me" party. I don't think anyone would say that it's a good or honorable thing that headlines are telling us this will be the most expensive inauguration in history, or that it "dwarfs" Bush's party in 2004.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 17, 2009, 06:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Thanks once again for such a positive contribution to this conversation.

I just wish that if you insist on crapping on conversations like this that you at least make an argument. If I wanted to read this sort of crap I would read YouTube comments or something.
Dude, why so humor impaired ?

Maybe, if you wanted to be serious, you shouldn't start with comparing a Presidential inauguration with Olympic Games.

-t
     
shifuimam
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Jan 17, 2009, 06:05 PM
 
I did find a lot of irony in that comment, since besson is notorious for thread-crapping in the Lounge and the PWL (and the Feedback lounge, sometimes).
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 17, 2009, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I did find a lot of irony in that comment, since besson is notorious for thread-crapping in the Lounge and the PWL (and the Feedback lounge, sometimes).
Awareness of irony doesn't seemt to be Besson's strength as of lately...

-t
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 06:15 PM
 
A drop in the bucket compared to the waste that happens on a daily rate.

Much ado about nothing, more partisan complaining about the new guy.

I have two friends who are leaving tomorrow to get there, IMO it's a huge waste of time and a bit like standing in the cold in NY waiting for a stupid ball to drop. But whatever floats your boat.
     
besson3c
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Jan 18, 2009, 02:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
How do you figure?

I don't know about the Olympics, but if you look at something like the Super Bowl, cities are obsessed with winning the bid to host it, even though it can end up costing the city - and taxpayers - millions or billions of dollars.

Look at the Indianapolis Colts. The Hoosier/RCA Dome was completed about 25 years ago to hold our NFL team. It was never big enough to host a Super Bowl, so the decision was made to build an extremely extravagant new stadium that would be big enough to host the event. Sure enough, IIRC we've won the bid for the 1012 game.

But at what cost? Sales tax was raised to cover the cost of the RCA Dome. I can guarantee you Indy is going to see another tax increase (if they haven't already; I don't remember off the top of my head) to cover the city's contribution to build Lucas Oil Stadium.

Excess is excess, regardless of what the end result is. I'm guessing a big enough stadium could have been constructed for less than $720mil, but hey - they wanted a retractable roof, and we must give them what they want, right?

Obama's not really doing himself any favors by dumping so much money into what is essentially a "look at me" party. I don't think anyone would say that it's a good or honorable thing that headlines are telling us this will be the most expensive inauguration in history, or that it "dwarfs" Bush's party in 2004.

I don't know how the math works out, but it seems logical to think that cities that invest in things like stadiums and the olympics do so not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they obviously feel, rightly or wrongly, that this would be a good investment.

Regardless, you can't really make the argument about whether something like this is wasteful or not without looking at both the economic potential and risks.
     
besson3c
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Jan 18, 2009, 02:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Dude, why so humor impaired ?

Maybe, if you wanted to be serious, you shouldn't start with comparing a Presidential inauguration with Olympic Games.

-t
Sorry, I really saw no clues that that comment was supposed to be a joke.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 18, 2009, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Sorry, I really saw no clues that that comment was supposed to be a joke.
Well, it was irony, tailored at your weird comparison. But nevermind.

-t
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 03:08 PM
 
I think it's crazy that Bush had to declare a state of emergency in order to access additional (FEMA) funds to pay for this event.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 18, 2009, 04:08 PM
 
WTF ?

-t
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 04:11 PM
 
There's going to be some very disappointed folks in a couple years' time.
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Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
I think it's crazy that Bush had to declare a state of emergency in order to access additional (FEMA) funds to pay for this event.
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Jan 18, 2009, 05:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
There's going to be some very disappointed folks in a couple years' time.
Well, it's a good thing you're accepting your eventual disappointment now...
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Jan 18, 2009, 09:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
There's going to be some very disappointed folks in a couple years' time.
I'm already disappointed. Despite all the hype, all I'm seeing is yet another politician keeping it business as usual. Where is all this purported change I've heard so much about? The fact that $15,000,000 is not enough for the inauguration given the current economic climate is offensive to me. I would think it would be even more so to those that are suddenly finding themselves on the unemployment line.
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Jan 18, 2009, 09:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
There's going to be some very disappointed folks in a couple years' time.
At least that's a couple years longer than it took the previous occupant to disappoint.

Anyway, I have yet to see anyone substantiate the $150 million claim. The supposed $40 million cost of Bush's inauguration is a misleading figure:

Originally Posted by The NYTimes
In 2005, Mr. Bush raised $42.3 million from about 15,000 donors for festivities; the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers.
And that was for an inauguration roughly one fifth as large.

Seriously people, try to think for yourselves every once in a while.
( Last edited by itai195; Jan 18, 2009 at 09:33 PM. )
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 09:32 PM
 
I know I'm going to sound like an apologist, and I don't mean to... really... However, I also want to understand how needing money for more security is blame that should be attributed to Obama? Short of making the inauguration a private or ticketed event (has it ever been one?) I don't see how he can control the attendance of the event?
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThinkInsane View Post
I'm already disappointed. Despite all the hype, all I'm seeing is yet another politician keeping it business as usual. Where is all this purported change I've heard so much about? The fact that $15,000,000 is not enough for the inauguration given the current economic climate is offensive to me. I would think it would be even more so to those that are suddenly finding themselves on the unemployment line.
I know right... I mean, he's already been in charge for zero days and what has he accomplished? Nothing.

Pathetic.

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Jan 18, 2009, 10:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I know right... I mean, he's already been in charge for zero days and what has he accomplished? Nothing.

Pathetic.
my thoughts EXACTLY.

and how dare they spend money in these troubled times, what do they think they are doing? stimulating the economy????
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Jan 18, 2009, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by thechidz View Post
my thoughts EXACTLY.

and how dare they spend money in these troubled times, what do they think they are doing? stimulating the economy????
Oh see, you're confused. Republicans don't like seeing people paid. It's called trickle down economics, which is something they are firmly against.
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Jan 18, 2009, 11:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I know I'm going to sound like an apologist, and I don't mean to... really... However, I also want to understand how needing money for more security is blame that should be attributed to Obama? Short of making the inauguration a private or ticketed event (has it ever been one?) I don't see how he can control the attendance of the event?
I wouldn't say you sound apologist, but you do seem a bit defensive. There's no reason to assume this is some indictment against Obama. The remarks you see from those citing Obama are doing so on a precedent set by those who made the claims about Bush. This is a funny relationship, the Republicans get to listen to how refreshing it is they're hemorrhaging representation for a "change" and Democrats have to endure the scrutiny of power.

Personally, I'm not indicting Obama himself. It's not as if he's picking out the cake. I'm citing the irony of such expenditure in general. Not long, we will be approached on any possible number of additional bailout requests, our economy is repeatedly mentioned in context of dire times, and "crisis". The economy that is generated to cities is the new influx of people. Those in the area will have more work than they know what to do with. I think we could be a little more creative in expenditure considering everyone and their grandmother wants to be a part of this historical event.
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:14 AM
 
I'm trying to figure out what all the fuss is. From what I can gather, the direct expenditures of the federal and local governments is for the actual swearing in ceremony and parade. The other big expense is the security. So I suppose you can fault Obama for being so popular that there will be more people than ever in the Capitol for the inauguration. The inauguration parties are costing about $50 million but are paid for by private funds. The other parties and concerts are private as well.

Isn't all this spending good for the economy? Why is this a waste? Just more partisan whining if you ask me.
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Isn't all this spending good for the economy? Why is this a waste? Just more partisan whining if you ask me.
Because Republicans don't like when liberals spend their own private money to pay people to do jobs.
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:33 AM
 
Did anybody actually believe the $150B number? Like, there wasn't even enough doubt in your mind to Google for confirmation?
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Jan 19, 2009, 12:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Did anybody actually believe the $150B number? Like, there wasn't even enough doubt in your mind to Google for confirmation?
I assumed everyone realized it was a typo and figured he meant 150 million.
     
turtle777  (op)
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Jan 19, 2009, 02:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Did anybody actually believe the $150B number? Like, there wasn't even enough doubt in your mind to Google for confirmation?
I certainly thought it was odd, but then, it was on CNN.

Besides that, I was on the go while posting, didn't have exactly time to do an in-depth investigation.

However, the stunt that a "State of emergency" had to be declared to tap FEMA funds confirms that this is a waste of taxpayers money.

Why can't people watch it on their TV ? It would cost a fraction of the 150M if they didn't have to get all the logistics and security organized.

-t
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:02 AM
 
double post
( Last edited by Shaddim; Jan 19, 2009 at 06:10 AM. )
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
You guys are funny.
As funny as the Democrat shills 8 years ago?
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I have two friends who are leaving tomorrow to get there, IMO it's a huge waste of time and a bit like standing in the cold in NY waiting for a stupid ball to drop. But whatever floats your boat.
Oh, so they're all going to DC to see if Barry's balls will drop? Now it makes sense.
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Jan 19, 2009, 10:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I know right... I mean, he's already been in charge for zero days and what has he accomplished? Nothing.

Pathetic.
I'm not referring to any decisions he's made as President, as he hasn't taken office yet. I was instead referring to the appointments he's making. They are nothing but politics as usual. They guy he wants to run the treasury is either a crook or incompetent. That doesn't fill me with confidence. Don't even get me going about the Secretary of State.

And I do find it rather offensive that the government is going to spend such a ridiculous sum of money for this event. I saw a report that 21,000 people lost their jobs on Friday. Those people can take heart that while so many people in my state are applying for unemployment benefits that it has been crashing the system, that gov will be paying a ridiculous fee for this party.

So yeah, I'm disappointed already. What I am seeing doesn't fill me with confidence. You might see change, I don't. I see just another pol, keeping it business as usual. And this isn't partisan whining either, I am a registered independent. Neither party gets a free pass these days, regardless of how popular and charismatic the politician. I see this as wasteful, and given the current climate, I would rather see Obama set the example.
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Jan 19, 2009, 10:10 AM
 
Reasons its way more expensive than past events:

1. WAAAAAAY more people
2. Global event which will command a global audience like no presidential inaguration in history

Which leads to the obvious:

Security is going to be MASSIVE.

But conservative reactionaries can relax. That means that lots and lots of dirty government money is being refunded to taxpayers. You'll recognize many of them by the official uniforms they will be wearing during the event.
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Jan 19, 2009, 01:05 PM
 
Let's see people are losing their jobs and their homes; the poors are getting poorer. Also, aren't you in a war in 2 different countries from which young men are coming back in boxes or mutilated or totally traumatized. Didn't he make some promises like having them back in 3 months which became years and now whenever.

That it is 150 million or billion it is beside the point there is no need for such a big party.

If Obama were sincere he would have said I am going to be at work at 7:00 am and will swore in by the chief justice then go to work. But for many people he is getting crowned and people love to waste money on such stupidities.
     
Monique
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Jan 19, 2009, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThinkInsane View Post
I'm not referring to any decisions he's made as President, as he hasn't taken office yet. I was instead referring to the appointments he's making. They are nothing but politics as usual. They guy he wants to run the treasury is either a crook or incompetent. That doesn't fill me with confidence. Don't even get me going about the Secretary of State.

And I do find it rather offensive that the government is going to spend such a ridiculous sum of money for this event. I saw a report that 21,000 people lost their jobs on Friday. Those people can take heart that while so many people in my state are applying for unemployment benefits that it has been crashing the system, that gov will be paying a ridiculous fee for this party.

So yeah, I'm disappointed already. What I am seeing doesn't fill me with confidence. You might see change, I don't. I see just another pol, keeping it business as usual. And this isn't partisan whining either, I am a registered independent. Neither party gets a free pass these days, regardless of how popular and charismatic the politician. I see this as wasteful, and given the current climate, I would rather see Obama set the example.
I totally agree with you.
     
Doofy
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Jan 19, 2009, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Monique View Post
Let's see people are losing their jobs and their homes; the poors are getting poorer. Also, aren't you in a war in 2 different countries from which young men are coming back in boxes or mutilated or totally traumatized. Didn't he make some promises like having them back in 3 months which became years and now whenever.

That it is 150 million or billion it is beside the point there is no need for such a big party.

If Obama were sincere he would have said I am going to be at work at 7:00 am and will swore in by the chief justice then go to work. But for many people he is getting crowned and people love to waste money on such stupidities.
I agree.

Our own pigopolists exhibited similar behaviour just the other day - a £60,000 (£3,000 per head) dinner, paid for by the taxpayer, to discuss the credit crunch. Any politician with integrity would have said "no, I'll be fine with a Tesco frozen pizza and a couple of bottles of Bud".
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Jan 19, 2009, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Monique View Post
But for many people he is getting crowned and people love to waste money on such stupidities.
That's pretty much the bottom line. For many, it's not an inaugural of a president at all, it's the grand coronation of their exulted Emperor. And unfortunately, it's only the very beginning of the money that will be wasted on such stupidities.
     
Macrobat
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Jan 19, 2009, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by thunderous_funker View Post
Reasons its way more expensive than past events:

1. WAAAAAAY more people
2. Global event which will command a global audience like no presidential inaguration in history

Which leads to the obvious:

Security is going to be MASSIVE.

But conservative reactionaries can relax. That means that lots and lots of dirty government money is being refunded to taxpayers. You'll recognize many of them by the official uniforms they will be wearing during the event.

BS
How about the "Lincoln train ride" re-enactment? That's the only reason security was "massive." Actually, according to EVERY report I've seen, security is amongst the cheapest since NO ONE is being hired just for the event and would be drawing the same paycheck anyway.

The multi-day pre-coronation events are what is costing the most.

The port-a-potty bill is higher. Simple fact is there are still HUNDREDS of hotel rtooms available in the capital - the event is NOT going to be significantly larger than any other inauguration, despite the hype.

And ALL inaugurations are global events.

Nice try though (not).
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On the ISG: "The nation's capital hasn't seen such concentrated wisdom in one place since Paris Hilton dined alone at the Hooters on Connecticut Avenue." - John Podhoretz
     
Chongo
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Jan 19, 2009, 02:09 PM
 
I won't be surprised if the crowd isn't as large as they are expecting due to the 18° F temperature predicted for 01/20. I hope they have paramedics on standby to remove people frozen to porta potty seats.
     
 
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