The pomp surrounding the inauguration of the president of the United States can carry a hefty price tag, from the glitzy galas to all those inaugural balls.

Think of it this way: It can cost about the same as 150 Bentley cars, several dozen yachts or some $20 million shy of the cash needed for a Boeing 737.

But taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the fun stuff — the balls and other celebratory events — and this inauguration won’t be as big as the last one for President Barack Obama.

A solid chunk of the tab for the 57th inauguration next month will be picked up by loyal supporters and other private donors, as it has been for years. In 2009, Obama raised $53 million in private money for his inauguration, when a record 1.8 million people braved the winter chill to see him take his place in history as America’s first black president.

Continue reading →