Inauguration: Lifestyles of
the Rich and Heartless
Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin
with Nico Pitney and Mipe Okunseinde
A look at this week's festivities by the
million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball
festivities, not counting security costs.
Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945…about
$20,000 in today's dollars.
Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural
festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.
Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line
armor for troops in Iraq that could have been
purchased with the amount of money blown on the
Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont
Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom
Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and
two actors posing as "faux" Secret
Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and
Pounds of lobster provided for "inaugural
feeding frenzy" at the exclusive Mandarin
Number of "Laura Bush Cowboy cookies"
provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy"
at the Mandarin hotel.
Amount per guest President Carter spent on snacks
for guests at his inaugural parties. To stick to a
tight budget, he served pretzels, peanuts,
crackers and cheese and had cash bars.
million: Number of children in regions
devastated by the tsunami who could have received
vaccinations and preventive health care with the
amount of money spent on the inauguration.
Number of girls who could be sent to school for a
year in Afghanistan with the amount of money
lavished on the inauguration.
The down payment to rent a fur
coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want
the hassle of schlepping her own through the
Price of a room package at D.C.'s Mandarin
Oriental, including presidential suite,
chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman
Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as
President Bush takes his oath of office
Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq
and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40
Bonus that could go to each American solider
serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used
for that purpose.
million: Amount contributed by the finance and
investment industry, which works out to be 25
percent of all the money collected.
million: Amount of money the White House is
forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington,
D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.
Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in
Percentage of Americans who think this
over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled
© American Progress Action Fund