Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”     Benjamin Franklin,    Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

January 18, 2009

How Many of Your Tax Dollars Will Be Used to Pay for Obama’s Big Party?

by Stephen Gordon

MSM advice about Obama’s inauguration:

So you’re attending an inaugural ball saluting the historic election of Barack Obama in the worst economic climate in three generations. Can you get away with glitzing it up and still be appropriate, not to mention comfortable and financially viable?

To quote the man of the hour: Yes, you can. Veteran ballgoers say you should. And fashionistas insist that you must.

“This is a time to celebrate. This is a great moment. Do not dress down. Do not wear the Washington uniform,” said Tim Gunn, a native Washingtonian and Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc.

“Just because the economy is in a downturn, it doesn’t mean that style is going to be in a downturn,” agreed Ken Downing, fashion director for Neiman Marcus.

And if anyone does raise an eyebrow at those sequins, remind them that optimism is good for times like these. “Just say you’re doing it to help the economy,” chuckled good manners guru Letitia Baldridge.

Of course, inaugurations cost significantly more than is raised though voluntary means.  In this case, DC Councilmember Jim Graham uses the pages of the “conservative” Washington Times to beg for federal dollars to assist with party expenditures.  It shouldn’t be considered a surprise that President Bush was more then willing to help out.  He’s declared “a state of emergency” to help cover the tab.  Of course, it is the taxpayers who will really foot much of the bill for the nation’s most extravagant party.

In “Our permanent state of routine emergency,” Mark Steyn observes:

In just about his last act as president, George W. Bush has declared Washington, D.C., a federal disaster area.

No, seriously. I’m not setting up some lame-o punchline here, like we used to do a decade back in the good old Monica days: “President Clinton today declared his pants a federal disaster area,” etc. What happened last week was that the Bush administration formally declared a federal emergency in the District of Columbia.

So what was it? An ice storm? A hurricane?

No, it’s the inauguration of his successor. The inauguration is scheduled to make landfall on Tuesday and wreak havoc all night long, as Category Five conga lines buckle highways round town, and emergency busboy crews find themselves overwhelmed as they struggle to clear drained champagne flutes. So the mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, put in a request for more federal money, and, apparently, the easiest way to sluice the cash to him no questions asked was for the president to declare a state of emergency in the District and funnel however many extra gazillions he wants through FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

If Obama really wants to create the “change” he has so often promised, he could declare a state of Federal Budgetary Disaster and refuse to sign any spending bill which doesn’t immediately balance the federal budget.  Alternately, he could spend even more money on a silly party than his predecessor did.

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6 Comments

  1. e•mer•gen•cy n., pl. e•mer•gen•cies. 1. A serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action. 2. A condition of urgent need for action or assistance: a state of emergency; a voice full of emergency.

    Since most people I know fully expected to have an inauguration for President of The United States on January 20th this year, I’m assuming we’re going with definition 2.

    I’m not sure I understand what constitutes an urgent party. I’ll grant that many of us – including me – are fervently looking forward to the end of the current President’s tenure, but I wouldn’t classify my need for a party about it as “urgent”.

    Sadly, it doesn’t bode very well that the new office holder is flush on pretty words and other people’s money, and a bit slight on thrift. I wish I was more surprised about that.

    Comment by Akston — January 18, 2009 @ 10:25 pm
  2. well, I would spend 2 times as much to prosecute the war pigs and 4 times as much on the party when they are executed for violating the geneva conventions.

    after an 8 year nightmare, it’s worth every penny.

    Comment by prozacula — January 19, 2009 @ 7:55 am
  3. i think the more money they spend the better. it helps the economy out.

    Comment by rtc — January 19, 2009 @ 2:39 pm
  4. But who’s money? If it helped the economy out, would it be okay for me to spend your money on rock concerts of my choosing? When we’re helping the economy, should we spend our own money on the products, services, and events we choose, or should the federal government spend our money on them?

    I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to show support to President-Elect Obama by attending his inauguration, buying t-shirts, or any other voluntary exchange. People who create products and offer services for this event are indeed participating in the economy. I’d just like to see the money spent come from willing customers making their own choices.

    Comment by Akston — January 19, 2009 @ 5:39 pm
  5. “well, I would spend 2 times as much to prosecute the war pigs and 4 times as much on the party when they are executed for violating the geneva conventions.

    after an 8 year nightmare, it’s worth every penny.
    Comment by prozacula”

    I am going to organise this global party!

    Comment by execute them — January 20, 2009 @ 4:14 am
  6. [...] CNN. Why the hell didn’t they hold a small ceremony like this the first time so as to save us a rather large bucketful of tax dollars? Props. Share and [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » How Much Did Obama’s Second Inauguration Cost? — January 21, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

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