Historic event, historic price tag
After all, when they redecorate the White House it's not like they go to Target. They spend stupid sums on this stuff. If I was the president coming into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, I think I'd be saying "leave damned decor alone and don't spend the money".
Then I heard the price tag for the Inauguration. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, six times that of Bush's. Frak. Spend one third of that (which is still pretty damned decadent) and save a couple thousand mortgages.
Better yet, do like some other presidents have done. Roosevelt served chicken salad and plain pound cake at the White House.
Check out an article here with more details.
Security is going to be expensive enough. Did we really need to shell out for Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers?