Bush’s second inaugurationWith an estimated price tag of $40m, the three-day celebration that is President Bush's second inauguration will be the most expensive ever. The lavish dinners, parties and fireworks began on Tuesday and will continue through his swearing-in on Thursday, followed by a parade and nine official inaugural balls.
Some have criticised the expense, questioning the propriety of a flashy celebration as US troops are dying in Iraq and South Asia still recovers from last month's deadly tsunami. The overt criticism of an inauguration is unusual, but a Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans would prefer a smaller, more subdued event. The city of Washington DC has been asked to pay security costs
"Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted - if not cancelled - in wartime," New York Democrat Representative Anthony Weiner said in a letter to President Bush.
Weiner noted the money could be used to buy 690 Humvees and pay for a $290 bonus for each soldier serving in Iraq.(source)
Obama’s inaugurationIt is believed President-elect Obama's inauguration will be the costliest in history — around $50 million — despite the recession. President Bush has declared a state of emergency to free up federal funds to help the district cope with the soaring cost of the event.
There has been little outcry over the hefty price tag so far — unlike four years ago when the cost of President Bush's second inauguration provoked liberal outrage. Salon.com described the event, in an piece by Eric Boehlert on Jan. 20, 2005, as "Bush's overblown celebration," the think tank Center for American Progress called it "lifestyles of the rich and heartless," and an article in the London Guardian by Paul Harri on January 9, 2005, said it was "an unashamed celebration of red America's victory over blue America."
Inaugural planners are trying to create the most environmentally-friendly event to date. The Hill newspaper reports the committee plans to deploy 6,000 volunteers to pick up recycling along the parade route. The oath of office will be recited on a recycled carpet. And there are even plans to recycle the manure from horses walking in the parade. But Brian Darling of the conservative Heritage Foundation says, "you're going to have people flying in on their private jets, limousines and SUVs cruising around Washington... the recycled carpet and all of that probably makes everybody feel better and they can feel like they have a green inaugural ceremony, but in reality it's not." (source)