M. Green: Inaugurating on a shoestring budget

By Molly Green

It appears as though the presidential inauguration ceremony believes itself to be above this… It appears as though the presidential inauguration ceremony believes itself to be above this economic recession. I don’t know who it thinks it is, or why it thinks it’s important enough that the American taxpayers should spend $40 million dollars, the total estimated cost according to an Associated Press report, on what is clearly a second-rate Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The thought of dropping this much money on an unimportant event like a presidential inauguration is absolutely devastating, especially when the government could alternatively use that money to buy out something important. For instance, the now-bankrupt Steve ‘amp; Barry’s, a clothing chain cherished by Amanda Bynes fans everywhere. While the era of Steve ‘amp; Barry’s and its $10 jeans has tragically passed ‘mdash; we’ll never forget you! ‘mdash; it’s not too late to save some other floundering, probably-crappy-to-begin-with business. As such, I’ve devised a few ways to cut down on this so-called inauguration ‘celebration.’ According to the report, the inauguration ceremony has employed quite the staff, including 432 staff members of the elusive Presidential Inaugural Committee. The origins of this shadowy group are difficult to track down, though I suspect it’s largely comprised of rejected contestants from ‘The Bachelor’ who are desperately trying to relive the extravagance of their champagne and roses days. Only a former contestant of the ‘The Bachelor’ would realistically request not one, not two, not even five, but 10 inaugural balls. What’s more, this committee is completely unnecessary ‘mdash; no actual planning for this event is even needed, as President-elect Barack Obama could simply borrow all the necessary ideas and designs from the movie ‘The Wedding Planner.’ If it is good enough for J. Lo, it is good enough for our future president. The inauguration ceremony also calls for 8,000 District of Columbia police officers, 550 Metro transit police, 10,000 National Guardsmen and 58 law-enforcement and other agencies working on security. I had a good laugh when I read that, because, if it’s thinking smartly, theoretically the government doesn’t have to employ anyone. If we enslave the population of Ohio, we could not only save a tremendous amount of money but also pave the way for Pennsylvania to claim Cedar Point as its own. Sure, there are trust issues ‘mdash; after all, these people are from Ohio ‘mdash; but, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state does have a population of about 11.5 million people (something it’s very vocal and braggy about during election times), and this could cover not only the security staff, but the cooks, hotel staff, janitors, etc. There are other things that could use a cutback or two, as well. For example, the Metro is printing two million inauguration subway maps ‘mdash; ew. What a waste of money and paper. Clearly, this ceremony has no respect for this country’s current economic or environmental situation, with one grimy hand in the bank and the other one happily cutting down trees and killing dolphins. In general, the plans for this inauguration are just riddled with unnecessary luxuries: 112 streetlight bulbs, 4,100 portable toilets, 10,000 square feet of inauguration stage, 12,000 eggs. I’ve never heard crazy talk like this before. Food, electricity and toilets, while nice, are hardly necessary to have a pleasant inaugural experience. And while I see the importance of a nice big stage, why not instead employ Ohioan slave labor to build it free of charge? Finally, there is the issue of tickets. In what is no doubt some ploy for public image ‘mdash; perhaps by some rejected bachelorette angling for her own show ‘mdash; it has been decided that there will be 240,000 free tickets handed out to various members of the American public. And here I was thinking this was a country based on capitalism. We are in a recession, people. Instead of throwing another $40 million in the hole, the government could turn a profit on this event. In fact, not only should it charge admission to the actual event (and this includes Obama’s ticket, as well ‘mdash; no handouts!), the government should charge those watching it online or on television as well. Trust me, we’ll all be smoking $100 bills again in no time. Don’t worry, Molly is just joking. E-mail her at [email protected].