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When athletes score a touchdown or hit a home run, sportscasters often say, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
That’s good advice, especially for politicians like presidents and governors who are re-elected to office.
When being elected, there’s always a celebration for the official inauguration of a president or governor. That’s fine.
It’s history and a tradition for our state and/or nation. But what if you’ve been there before and you have already had a party to celebrate? Should you celebrate again, especially at the expense of taxpayers?
President Barack Obama began his second term in office Monday with an inauguration celebration estimated to cost about $170 million, and depending on the estimates, possibly even more.
Numerous media outlets have reported on the cost of the celebration, which is a technicality rather than a necessity since the president is already in office and performing his duties.
At a time when Americans are unemployed and the nation is suffering one of the worst financial crises it has seen since the Great Depression, it is senseless to spend the money to throw such a costly party.
Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee, attempted to justify to ABC why the government is spending so much money on Obama’s inauguration:
“The money is going toward providing events which we hope are going to connect people, make them feel like we are all in this together and reinforce the notion that when we pull together, we’re stronger. And we need to pull together to face the challenges that are before us today.”
We can’t say how much of this so-called connection of the people the inauguration provided for the United States, but it is clear that the money spent on the celebration could very well have benefited many Americans in a more significant way than to throw a party that most of us could not hope to attend in the first place.
President Obama, just as any other president, governor or other official, should have set a good example of fiscal responsibility and declined to have the celebration that carries a price tag our country cannot afford. America needs to pull together during these tough times, but spending millions of dollars on a second inauguration is not the way to make that happen.
Mr. President, you should have acted like you had been there before.