The party-planning committee tasked with putting together President Barack Obama's second inauguration event scrambled to raise an estimated $50 million in private donations, but the committee told the Los Angeles Times it's still short $8 million.
There were 60 donors added to the committee's list last week alone. With such heavy discussion of debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs hanging over the current administration and the Congress, some critics are upset about the high price tag of the inauguration – even if it is funded by private donors.
The turnout for this year's event is estimated between 600,000 and 800,000, down from the crowd that attended the 2009 inauguration in the Washington, D.C., National Mall, which was estimated at 1.8 million.
That year, the committee raised $53.2 million for the event, and the federal government spent only $1.2 million on the swearing-in ceremony itself. However, $20 million of federal funds were available to Virginia and Maryland for security needs relating to the ceremony, according to George Washington University.
The event will be held at the National Mall this year as well. Obama will be sworn in for his second term on Jan. 21.
Here's what people had to say about the costly event on Twitter.
In 2009, the fundraising limit was $50,000, but this year, the fundraising committee is accepting donations as high as $1 million. The inauguration planners are so desperate for funds, in fact, they've offered a $50,000 candlelight reception as part of like a "daily deal" to donors, with "only 25 packages available," Boston.com reports.
Tickets to the inauguration are supposed to be free, which is one reason the event is funded privately. ABC News reported an emerging black market for the swearing-in ceremony that spiked ticket prices to as much as $4,300 on eBay. Constituents are able to contact their district representatives to be entered into a lottery for the chance to attend, but it's a selective process that excludes a lot of participants.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.