Have you ever played What If? You know, where you ask yourself what-if questions and then ponder your own answers? Like what if I'd been born a blond? What if I had a "skinny gene?"
What if the world really was flat? What if money really did grow on trees? What if I'd gone to college? What if TV had never been invented? What if men were not the controllers of the remote? What if chocolate tasted nasty? What if I could only own one pair of shoes?
I could go on all day. Don't get me wrong now. A lot of people would probably consider me a realist. Life is usually black and white and much too complicated and cluttered for fanciful day dreaming. But even levelheaded, down-to-earth, boring people such as myself need an escape hatch from time to time. I can't remember when was the last time I played this little game, but I read a news tidbit today that became my ejection seat, flinging me into the universe of what ifs.
Obama's inauguration is costing more than $150 million! I can't wrap my mind around that much money. We're talking a big forest full of money trees.
Over 15 mill will be spent on security. We wouldn't want our new American superhero to dash his foot upon a stone now would we? Of course not. The article doesn't say how much is going to be spent on porta-johns for the 1.5 to 3 million people expected to attend the event, but one has to wonder...
Around 45 million, give or take a dollar or two, will be spent to "create a dynamic inaugural experience." (Here I go flying out into the vast what-if expanse.) What if Abe L. (our hero's hero) would have had such a fan fair? Better yet, what if our new hero were as humble as Abe?
The spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is quoted in this article saying that they are very budget conscious. What if she had MY budget to work with? (If they are so budget conscious then why did President Bush have to declare an emergency in Washington D.C to get more money out of congress for security? What if Congress said NO?)
Ms. spokeswoman claims that the reason we're spending such a chunk is to send a message to the world about our peaceful transition of power. What if it really were a peaceful transition? We could have fewer security guards and more porta-johns.
What if the $150 + million could be used to help some American citizens who have recently lost their jobs make a few payments on their home loans, thus being a baby step in the long trip to repairing our broken economy? What would that action say to the world?
What if our new super-hero, who has raised some 35 million to help pay for this party, used his fundraising voodoo to raise money to care for our poor, our hungry, our overburdened oppressed tax payers?
What if we were more concerned about sending a message of real and lasting peace, hope and salvation to the world than we were about making life appear to be peaceful and hopeful?