Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin with Nico Pitney and Mipe Okunseinde – 2005-01-20 23:43:34
(January 20, 2005) — Due to $17 million worth of inaugural security — paid for by the city of Washington, DC — the Progress Report is unable to access its office. Never fear — it takes a lot more than that to keep us down. We put this list together for you ahead of time. Your regularly scheduled Progress Report returns tomorrow.
A look at this week’s festivities by the numbers:
• $40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs. (http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-uscost0118,0,4726940.story?coll=ny-nation-big-pix)
• $2,000: (http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0119/p03s01-uspo.html) 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. (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/washington_dc/overview/pressreleases/inaugural_amenities.html)
• 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. (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&u=/ap/20050114/ap_on_go_pr_wh/inaugural_price_tag_3&printer=1)
• $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: “Laura Bush Cowboy cookies” provided for “inaugural feeding frenzy” at the Mandarin hotel.
(http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0119/p03s01-uspo.html) Number of
• $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 DC’s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.
• 2,500: Number of US troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office
• 26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for US 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, DC, to pony up for inauguration security.
• 9: Percentage of DC residents who voted for Bush in 2004.
• 66: Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.