Hoosier lessons for Obama

January 20, 2009
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Some people went ballistic when $40 million was spent on George W. Bushâ??s inauguration in 2001, and now $120 million is going toward Barack Obamaâ??s inauguration festivities today â?? much of it donated, of course.

Few people would argue against celebrating the nationâ??s first black president. Still, is Obama sending the right message at a time when the country faces so many serious problems?

Earlier this month, Gov. Mitch Daniels downsized his inauguration in recognition the state is suffering from the recession and has serious work to accomplish.

And in 2004 Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora turned down her $150,000 inauguration and put the money toward scholarships for 25 high school students.

Should Obama have taken cues from these Hoosiers?
  • I have to ask, What is this money being spent on? Where is this money coming from? Where is the money going to? Granted, $120 Million is a lot, but if we don't know where it is coming from and where it is going to, then numbers mean nothing. Norm, can you give us the list of where the money is coming from and going to?
  • Sorry, Random, I don't have the numbers. It would be great information to know.
  • Are you kidding? But for the adverse public reaction, wasn't our governor planning to jet down to BSU's football game in Alabama a few weeks ago on the taxpayer's tab? He ultimately bailed entirely, citing bad weather. His TV campaign ads provided sufficient pomp and circumstance anyway.
  • No one would dare put a crimp in the Obama Immaculation!
  • so now we have a problem with how people donate or spend their money? it seems some have a problem with how much was donated relative to what was donated to someone else. with all the money the oil companies and haliburton made during bush's 8 yrs you would figure they could have pooped $120 million and not missed it.
  • Yeah, the economy sucks, but there are still A LOT of really wealthy people in this country. If they choose to donate a million bucks to Obama's inauguration, good for them! When is the last time we saw that kind of reverence for a leader in this country? It's refreshing.
  • I guess that even though we are not informed where the donations are coming from and where it is going to, I am not making a snap decision on spending regulations until we have more solid figures. If this is truely (as G$ says) donator paying for it, then good. Spend... Spend away. If it is at the hand of the tax payers (even a little bit), I say Tisk, Tisk.

    Don't get me wrong, I support Obama for what he is worth, but we, as the US Tax Payers, shall not forcibly pay for a few days of entertainment of a few when our economy is in dire need of repair. If you want to throw your money any which direction, it should be upto you (with legal reason). I just hope that the $120 mill is of donations and out of pocket of those who attend.

    On a different note, Jo Ann Gora did what she felt was right. It is a great idea, but we should not deny someone a party because the economy is in terrible shape (unless the money is tax money). Once there is a pool of donated money, who is it to say where it goes? If there is no legal binding contract, it is upto the one with the checkbook to the bank account of the donated money.
  • Cheap shot Norm. Unless you have the facts, as you stated you didn't, why even drop this article on your blog? Trying to stir up news where it really doesn't exist? Rich ladies buy $1000 boots all the time, is it our business? Rich guys buy Ferraris, is it our business? Of course not.

    Let me ask you this: What is the source of your $120m figure, and why would you make this into something when there really is no meat to the story?


    and the fact that berwickguy is against it, makes me FOR it. :lol: -
  • wow. been a while norm. evidently nothing to report on my questions?


    its ok, its just the IBJ..... ;)

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.