Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Optimistic Outlook - "He Cannot Not Succeed"

ABC NEWS Business Unit Jan. 19, 2009

The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn't stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama .

"We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more," said Linda Douglas, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee.

But there are plenty of rich donors willing to pick up the tab.
"They are not the $20 and $50 donors who helped propel Obama through Election Day," said Massie Ritsch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics. "These are people giving mostly $50,000 apiece. They tend to be corporate executives, celebrities, the elite of the elite."

The biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed-out Wall Street executives and employees.
"The finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles," Ritsch said. "Those who worked in finance still managed to pull together nearly $7 million for the inauguration."
Besides Wall Street firms, a large chunk of the money came from employees at companies such as Microsoft, Google and DreamWorks Animation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer and his wife, Connie, both gave $50,000. So did Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda.
DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, both gave $50,000. Filmmaker and DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate, both also gave $50,000. And DreamWorks employees gave a total of $275,000.
Billionaire investor George Soros and his family contributed $250,000 to the inauguration, and Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt each donated $25,000.
Other big-name donors who gave $50,000 include filmmaker George Lucas, artist Dale Chihuly, Los Angeles Dodgers President Jamie McCourt. Citigroup managing director Raymond J. McGuire; Oracle President Charles E. Phillips Jr.; actresses Halle Berry and Sharon Stone; and Melvin Simon, co-founder of Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the United States.

170 million here...170 million there...I'm just glad that there are so many Americans who are still wealthy enough to cover the majority of the costs of the Inauguration.
And besides

Barack Obama moves into the White House on Tuesday amid a surge of optimism that he can turn America's battered fortunes around.

Mr Obama has already scored his first big victory in Congress, winning Senate approval on Thursday to spend the second half of the Wall Street bailout fund.

According to a survey published last night, 71 per cent of Americans believe the economy will improve during the first year of the Obama presidency and 65 per cent said they think unemployment will drop.
Asked about cash-strapped Wall Street, 72 per cent said they thought the stock market would recover.
Some 63 per cent were confident that their personal financial situation would improve.
'He cannot not succeed. He has to succeed because the world really depends on him right now,' said Richard Kern, 51, who works in a home remodeling business in Bernalillo, New Mexico.
Optimism is the first step to change....and as they say, change is good.
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NancyF said...

That $170 million figure is unsubstantiated and misleading. Here's a well-documented debunking:

Belle de Ville said...

Look, I don't care how much it cost as long as it is being paid for by private donations.

miss cavendish said...

I'm excited for tomorrow . . .

Belle de Ville said...

Miss Cavendish, the whole world is excited for tomorrow!

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