What Recession? The $170 Million Inauguration

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, each gave $50,000. Filmmaker and DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate, both also gave $50,000. And DreamWorks employees gave a total of $275,000.

Billionaire investor George Soros and his family contributed $250,000 to the inauguration, and Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt each donated $25,000.

Other big-name donors who gave $50,000 include filmmaker George Lucas, artist Dale Chihuly, Los Angeles Dodgers President Jamie McCourt. Citigroup managing director Raymond J. McGuire; Oracle President Charles E. Phillips Jr.; actresses Halle Berry and Sharon Stone; and Melvin Simon, co-founder of Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the United States.

Despite all the donations, Obama's team has made donations much more restrictive than in the past.

Obama capped donations at $50,000 per person, which is still more than 10 times what individuals could give to his campaign, but a lot less than the $250,000 cap President Bush had at his last inauguration. Contributions from corporations, labor unions, political action committees and registered lobbyists are not being accepted by Obama.

The Real Money

For Bill Clinton's second inaugural in 1997, contributions were capped to $100. But that committee had some leftover money from the previous inauguration and charged people up to $3,000 for inaugural tickets.

"We have the broadest fundraising restrictions in inaugural history," Douglas said.

The inauguration team is also posting all donations of $200 or more on the Internet almost as quickly as they are coming in. The law only requires it to disclose the information 90 days after the actual swearing-in.

"The transparency of this inaugural fundraising effort is unprecedented as far as we can remember," Ritsch said. "We see that as a positive step and hope it's an indication that President Obama will use technology to make government more responsive and transparent to people."

That's all the play money. The bulk of cash will actually be spent on security and logistics.

In a letter to members of Congress, the governors of Maryland and Virginia, and the mayor of Washington said that their combined costs could exceed $75 million. That's on top of the $49 million the federal government is spending, again mostly for security.

"The historical significance of inaugurating the first African-American president of the United States alone makes the event unprecedented," they wrote. "Given its political significance, we expect that the event will be attended by hundreds, if not thousands, of elected U.S. government officials and foreign dignitaries. Turnout by the general public for the swearing-in ceremony alone is likely to exceed 2 million. Transportation officials estimate that roughly 10,000 charter buses will enter the District with approximately 500,000 riders alone, a number which nearly matches the city's population."

The emergency managers for the three jurisdictions said they expect this to be the most complex and challenging inaugural in history.

"The mass of attendees expected will challenge fire, law enforcement, emergency medical and mass transit capabilities," the governors and mayor wrote. "Moreover, the high volume of buses/traffic, weather factor and other threats will create additional demands."

With reporting from ABC News' Nick Tucker.

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