Saturday, January 17, 2009

At Last!

Protein Wisdom has gotten around to repeating the inaccurate information being circulated by the 'liberal' media. You can follow the rumor back through their hat tip if you like, its been circulating awhile.

Of course, the MSM thought a bit differently about the $40 million 2004 inauguration

Don’t they know there is a war on? [...]

To many Democrats, images of Republicans in sequined gowns and designer tuxedos nibbling roast quail and twirling the Texas two-step in last week’s $40 million-plus inaugural extravaganza seemed inappropriate, unseemly, even unpatriotic, when American soldiers are dying in Iraq.

“Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted - if not cancelled - in wartime,” Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat from New York, chided in a letter to President Bush. Citing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s austere fourth inaugural in 1945, Mr. Weiner suggested that the money would have been better spent on armored Humvees and pay bonuses for the troops.

But for an incoming President with a $850 Billion stimulus package slush fund to reward political allies, what’s a mere $160 Million Party on the Mall?

Two errors. The stimulus package isn't paying for the inauguration, nor is the government. Almost all the money is being raised privately.

And the amount is wrong also, as Media Matters explains:

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.

For decades, that represented the norm in terms of calculating inauguration costs: Federal dollars spent on security were not part of the commonly referred-to cost. (The cost of Obama's inauguration, minus the security costs? Approximately $45 million.) What's happening this year: The cost of the Obama inauguration and the cost of the security are being combined by some in order to come up with the much larger tab. Then, that number is being compared with the cost of the Bush inauguration in 2005, minus the money spent on security.

In other words, it's the unsubstantiated Obama cost of $160 million (inauguration + security) compared with the Bush cost of 42 million (inauguration, excluding security). Those are two completely different calculations being compared side-by-side, by Fox & Friends, among others, to support the phony claim that Obama's inauguration is $100 million more expensive than Bush's.

That's why the right-wing site confidently reported that Obama's swearing-in would cost "nearly four times what George Bush's inauguration cost four years ago." So did Flopping Aces, a shining light of the right-wing blogosphere:

It may look like I quoted a whole post, but if you click through you'll see there's a lot more there.


Anonymous said...

"The stimulus package isn't paying for the inauguration, nor is the government."

Who said the stimilus package was paying for the inauguration?
Go back and re-read his last line.

Besides, since Obama's inauguration is being paid for with private money as you claim, wasn't GWB's 2004 inauguration ALSO paid for with private money too (excepting security)?

Burgess Laughlin said...

> "Two errors. The stimulus package isn't paying for the inauguration, nor is the government."

Who has claimed that the "stimulus package" is paying for the inauguration? Beware of strawman arguments. The article you cite doesn't say that the stimulus package would be used to pay for the coronation ceremonies. Instead it talks about the corruption of politicians who have that "stimulus" slush fund and have access to (other) tax funds for triumphalism.

> "Almost all the money is being raised privately."

You have proof that almost all of the money being spent on police protection, for example, is coming from private sources?

The way to hold an inauguration is to have a swearing-in ceremony attended by half a dozen people in a quiet room, and recorded on camera. That would cut expenses for the federal and city governments enormously. Both Bush and Obama are very free at spending the money they have forcibly taken from others. That is doubly unconscionable.

baumstuff said...

If it was unseemly and "unpatriotic" for Bush to spend $40 million on his 2004 inaugural, how it is o.k. for Obama to spend orders of magnitude more (who cares if it's two, three or four times more, it's still a lot more) when we are on the brink of a "depression" with job losses pushing unemployment to highs The One's youngest voters have never seen and retirement savings have vanished? Doesn't this logic dictate that it borders on the obscene for Obama's coronation to cost so much when so many people are losing their incomes? And aren't we still at war in Afganistan? Aren't we still in Iraq? Is "being at war" just something entirely different with a Dem president?

Publius Novum said...

Sorry David,
Sounds like you're the denier! now...

O! is your man, as are his activities, policies, and postures. Be a man and own it!...

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

Oh the inauguration is not a govt expense? So who is the private party paying all this money? Is the break up available somewhere?