Lifestyles of the Rich and Heartless; A Look at Inauguration Week Festivities by Numbers
January 20, 2005
by Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin
with Nico Pitney and Mipe Okunseinde
A look at this week's festivities by the numbers:
$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.
$2,000: Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945…about $20,000 in today's dollars.
$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.
200: 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 inauguration.
$10,000: 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 cufflink walkie-talkies.
400: Pounds of lobster provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental hotel.
3,000: Number of "Laura Bush Cowboy cookies" provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the Mandarin hotel.
$1: 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.
22 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.
1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.
$15,000: 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 airport.
$200,500: Price of a room package at D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.
2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office
26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.
$290: Bonus that could go to each American solider serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used for that purpose.
$6.3 million: Amount contributed by the finance and investment industry, which works out to be 25 percent of all the money collected.
$17 million: Amount of money the White House is forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington, D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.
9: Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in 2004.
66: Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.