The Bidens and the Obamas at the 2008 inauguration. Credit: AP
In a week we will once again "celebrate" the peaceful assumption of power of the President of the United States. That is the tradition of the inauguration.
The question is why are we spending millions of taxpayer dollars when every dollar matters?
The only part of the ceremony that is constitutionally mandated is the taking of the oath. There have been many times in American history where presidents have chosen to scale down or cancel almost all of the festivities surrounding the swearing in and speech that launches a new term in office.
Presidents Harding, Wilson, and FDR all scaled back or canceled extra events because of sensitivity to their times. Wouldn't it be fair in these difficult days for President Obama to do the same?
Imagine the leadership that would be demonstrated if Mr. Obama said we cannot afford to throw a party that we don't need to have right now. He should say that out of fairness to those Americans who are unemployed or hurting financially that he will simply take the oath, make the speech, and then get back to work.
That would be fair. And we know how much the President likes to talk about being fair.
So how much does Inauguration 2013 cost? The numbers are somewhat secretive but in 2009 the final public bill was north of 100 million dollars.
As reported by TheBlaze, private fundraising of Obama donors is more than 10 million dollars behind. That means the cost to you and me will be higher than if those goals were met.
To be fair, the full Monty will be 3 days instead of 4 and the total number of balls will be lower this time...but the party is still on. The president's leadership test would be to do the right thing and not spend money we don't have. Stop laughing.
The scheduled events will certainly help the local D.C. economy but if President Obama had announced this money would not be spent we all would be better served.
Or maybe it would have been more fair if we had the oath, the speech, and a parade so the marching bands with kids from around the country would have had their special day. What's a parade cost anyway? It's just another few million I'm sure.
Now if you think this second Obama wang-dang-doodle is appropriate, know that you can still help. Just pick up some swag from the official online store. There's the Inauguration Medallion Set for $7500 or tube socks for $15.
After all, you really should do something. I'm sure the president thinks it's only fair.