Inaugural Costs

Big bucks for Bush bash

The events surrounding President Bush's second inauguration are carrying a 40 million-dollar price tag. That's for the parades, parties and pyrotechnics. Toss in another few million for the most intense security operation in inaugural history. The partying is being paid for privately. The dozens of contributors include Bristol-Myers Squibb and Bank of America -- which receive perks such as meetings with political VIPs. But there are mutterings about the scale of the celebrations at a time of war and natural disaster. There's also unhappiness about the financial burden being imposed on the District of Columbia. Still, if you'd like to attend the big celebration, have deep pockets. Bleacher seats for the parade cost 15, 60 and 125 dollars apiece. A ticket to a ball runs 150 dollars. There is one ball that's free, but it's only for military personnel.