What Would YOU Do With $50M

Okay, the guy won the election and deserves to have his inauguration and inaugural ball. That’s fine. But doesn’t anyone in his administration see ANYTHING wrong with spending over $50 million for this thing? I’ve been laying off ol’ Dubya for a bit now, although he has done nothing to make me feel any more comfortable with him winning in November. In fact, I’ve only seen more of the same and that scares me.

But this is just ludicrous. FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS. Think about it – this is the same administration that only committed $10 million to the Tsunami relief at first, but had $40 million ear-marked for a party for lobbyists, politicians and the well-connected (yes, I know that they have donated a bunch more – but impressions still count). I can think of a hundred things that it would be better spent on. Sure, go ahead and blow a cool million on your party – I still think that’s a bit much but if you are hosting dignataries from around the world, at least it is somewhat understandable. But $50M? What about our troops and their need for supplies? What about the cuts to funding for urban renewal projects? What about the budget shortfall of the Park Service? What about kicking some of that money into alternative fuel development research.

No, it’s obviously better spent providing entertainment and dinner to the people who supported the President in his bid to further screw up this country. But let’s just say MAYBE we had ear-marked it for something else. What else could $50 million have got us?

  • It could give the Forest Service the $12M they need to meet their budget, and still have enough to fund energy research to the tune of $38M
  • It could provide food and shelter for $1.78M homeless people in the U.S. (Lewin Group Report, 11/19/04)
  • It could buy more than 100,000 kevlar body armor vests for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (based on an estimated $500 per vest).
  • It could pay to hire 900 new police officers for cities around the country (based on average pay of $55,613 – U.S. Census Bureau, March 2003) or for 1,377 new firefighters at an average salary of $36,309 (source: Salary.com)
  • It could provide $1.67 to every poverty-level individual in the U.S. (source: U.S. Census)
  • It could pay for 75% of the additional fire-fighting equipment requested by the Forest Service to fight the wildfires it has seen increase every year since 2000.
  • It could give 600 Enron employees back their average losses ($83,300, according to IBEW.com) or give all of the 12,000 employees $4167 of lost money back. After all, how much of that money came from Kenneth Lay, Dubya’s #1 contributor for his first campaign?

Don’t those all sound like better causes than a big party for a moron?

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