Festivities surrounding Presidential Inauguration 2013 are underway. And, according to The Daily Beast, the cost of swearing in President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for another four years is approximately $170 million — 50% of which will reportedly be paid for by American taxpayers via the federal and local government (the other half is footed by private, and undisclosed, donors).
Unlike 2009, when then President-elect Obama insisted on transparency regarding the donors who financed his first inauguration, this time the generous backers who contributed with approximately $85 million to fund this weekend's inaugural festivities have so far remained anonymous (except corporate donors such as Microsoft and AT&T).
And, predictably, reform advocates are criticizing the financing of Obama’s second inauguration. Fred Wertheimer, president of advocacy group Democracy 21, said, "Obama recognized that it was wrong [to accept corporate donations] in 2008 … nothing has changed since then to make it right [...] there's no basis for going backwards here except for a triumph of expediency over the proper approach."