My partner's mother was pissed off last night after hearing how much the inauguration is going to cost.  The MSM is reporting that the 2009 inauguration costs will be around $160 million.  The Shrub's 2005 inauguration cost $42.3 million.

On face value it seems like a BIG increase.  Faux nuus keeps tossing those numbers out there and ohhh and ahhh about them…repeatedly.  Of course other MSM outlets love a story with spin, so on the mis-“information” keeps the news cycle going.

The problem is though that traditionally inaugural costs didn't include the cost of security.  The $160M includes the cost of security.  Via the Washington Monthly/Political Animal, I was directed to Erik Boehler's excellent piece at MediaMatters (source of below cited text). 

However, buried in a recent New York Times article published one week before the controversy erupted over the cost of Obama's inauguration, the newspaper reported that in 2005, “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” [emphasis added].

You read that correctly. The federal government spent $115 million dollars for the 2005 inauguration. Keep in mind, that $115 million price tag was separate from the money Bush backers bundled to put on the inauguration festivities. For that, they raised $42 million. So the bottom line for Bush's 2005 inauguration, including the cost of security? That's right, $157 million.

Hopefully knowing the correct numbers will let my mother out-of-law feel a bit better about the true cost of this year's inauguration compared to 2005.

I also encourage you to check out the first link to Washington Monthly.  Steve Benen is an excellent writer and often has content from Hilzoy, who also blogs at Obsidian Wings.



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