Apparently inspired by the proceedings, Rep. Doug LaMalfa issued a statement after Donald Trump’s inauguration pledging to work closely with the new president to improve the lives of all Americans.
LaMalfa, always willing to follow the Republican leadership in the House, said the new administration is serious about getting things done: “That all the typical extravagant inauguration festivities have been drastically scaled back compared to recent years is evidence that this administration will be focused on taking action.”
The congressman may have been referring to the relatively small crowd at the inauguration (the statement was issued before Press Secretary Sean Spicer laid out his “alternative facts”) or the B list entertainers the inaugural committee was able to book. (You know things are tough when a Bruce Springsteen tribute band turns you down.)
LaMalfa couldn’t have been referring to the money raised by the inaugural committee: $100 million, far surpassing the previous record of $53 raised for Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
Most of the money came from big corporations—many of whom do business with the government or are regulated by it—and wealthy individuals. Some of the biggest contributors stayed on the sidelines when Trump was raising money for his presidential campaign, so they probably felt the need to make amends. They know Trump’s the kind of guy who makes a list and checks it twice.
Trump has promised a massive tax overhaul that is expected to favor corporations and the wealthy. Whenever taxes are revised, somebody wins and somebody loses. Many corporations know that strategically placed contributions increase their chances of getting a seat at the table instead of a spot on the menu.
Inauguration committee officials have been silent about what they’re going to do with all of the money they didn’t spend. I’d be looking for new gold—not gold-plated, but gold—fixtures in The White House bathrooms. It fits the president’s less-than-austere lifestyle.