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Balls on a Budget: Inaugural Festivities Feel Recession’s Bite

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There were no fireworks on the evening of President Obama's historic inauguration. The Presidential Inaugural Committee was forced to cut costs this year, according to USA Today. The inaugural budget is $45 million, says Linda Douglass, the committee's chief spokeswoman. While that's up from the $40 million spent four years ago on George W. Bush's second inaugural, she says the extra money was needed for services to handle the large crowds expected, including more portable toilets, tents and larger video systems. One way the inaugural economized? In the past, balls each had different décor themes, which raised design, labor and material costs, but this time, all balls shared one theme, "Renewing America's Promise."—BB

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