How many people could we feed?

17 Jan

That’s the question the Main Stream Media was asking in 2005 when the second Inauguration of George W. Bush cost around $40 million.

Bush Inaugural to Cost at Least $40 Million
The New York Times, January 13, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) — It will take President Bush less than a minute to take the oath of office next Thursday, but before the inaugural events are over some $40 million may be spent on parades, parties and pyrotechnics.

For Inauguration in Wartime, a Lingering Question of Tone
The New York Times, January 16, 2005

Some critics say spending so much on these parties seems ill-timed both because of the Iraq war and the tsunami catastrophe in Asia. Anthony D. Weiner, a Democratic congressman preparing to run for mayor of New York, sent President Bush a letter on Tuesday suggesting that the millions in inaugural funds be sent to the troops in Iraq. “Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted – if not canceled – in wartime,” Mr. Weiner wrote, noting that in 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt limited the celebration to a cold luncheon at the White House.

Giving Bush a pass — again
Salon.com, January 20, 2005

And it might have been helpful in the limited media debate that did take place about the inauguration’s costs to point out that if the $40 million to $50 million raised for the GOP’s parties had been donated to the war effort, as some have suggested, the money would have covered only about six hours of the U.S. military’s operations in Iraq. (Costs are running roughly $110,000 per minute there.) Also interesting but unnoted is that between the 2001 and 2005 inaugurations, Bush and his supporters have spent roughly $115 million total on parties and parades.

Inaugural price tag in line with history
The Washington Times, January 19, 2005

The Associated Press moved a story that asked, “With that kind of money, what could you buy?” The answer, the wire service said: “200 armored Humvees … vaccinations and preventive health care for 22 million children … and a down payment on the nation’s deficit.”

Okay, so fast forward to today?  Just for grins, go over to Google and search for the “Cost of the Obama Inaugural” without the quotes.  If you can find an American media outlet with the full story, I’d like to know.

Most likely you’ll have to go to the foreign press.

Bush declares a ‘state of emergency’ in Washington as cost of Obama’s swearing-in ceremony soars to £110m
Daily Mail, UK

The President-elect will take less than a minute to recite the oath of office in front of an estimated two million people in the US capital next week.  But by the time the final dance has been held at one of the many inaugural balls the costs for the day will be a staggering £110m.

£110m is roughly $150 million in American dollars.

Now, let’s compare to the 2005 Bush Inauguration, at a cost of around $40 million.  To get to the cost of the Obama celebration you’d have to add in the 2001 Bush Inauguration ($40 million) as well as Clinton 1997 ($42 million) and 1993 ($33 million) to get to that amount.

Where’s the public outcry?

How many people could that feed?  How many home foreclosures could that stop?  How much relief could it bring to the still suffering Louisiana Coast?

These are questions no one will ask.

At least until the next Republican Inauguration.

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