Despite the recession, Barack Obama’s inauguration will be the most expensive ever and could approach $160 million — nearly four times what George Bush’s inauguration cost four years ago.
Slightly more than $42 million was spent on Bush’s inauguration in 2005, and Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993 cost $33 million.
The federal government has already budgeted more than those figures, $49 million, for the inauguration. But the District of Columbia has projected its tab at $47 million, Virginia estimates it will spend $16 million and Maryland is looking at a $12 million tab.
Obama has raised $45 million for the inauguration festivities.
Adding in the costs of privately funded balls during inauguration week brings the total to nearly $160 million, according to the New York Daily News.
In an extraordinary step, President Bush has declared a state of emergency in the District, which will allow the government to provide additional funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to The New York Times.
Bush spokesman Scott Stanzel said never before has an advance declaration of an emergency been used for a “non-disaster.”
An estimated 1.5 to 2 million people will be in Washington for the inauguration.
The bulk of the inauguration outlays will go for security. Transportation costs will add millions, as will the decision to open up the entire length of the National Mall and provide video and audio access to the swearing-in ceremony on JumboTrons.
If there is snow on inauguration day, the costs will be higher.
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