The issue: Monday’s presidential inauguration.
Our view: Meeting the challenges our country faces will require a team effort, and the president must pledge to be a part of that team over the next four years.
Barack Obama set the stage for a new beginning during his inaugural address in 2009.
“Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed,” he said four years ago. “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America.”
Obama was typically eloquent in his remarks. He brushed aside the assertion that the nation’s best days were behind it, and he called on Americans to join in the effort to build a brighter tomorrow.
Obama covered a lot of ground during the 18-and-a-half minutes he spoke, calling his inauguration as the nation’s first black president a moment to recall “that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.” He also paid tribute to those who “endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.”
Obama sent a message to the world that he planned a new day in American foreign policy.
“To the Muslim world,” Obama said, “we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
He warned “leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict” that they would be judged by what they built, not what they destroyed.
On the home front, he called for an end to “the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
And though we’d hoped Obama envisioned a new way of doing things, those grievances, recriminations and dogmas remain. They must be put aside if we are to address — finally — our unsustainable national debt.
Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress must work with Republicans to adjust Medicare spending and benefits so that it will continue to insure future generations of retirees. And the GOP must work with Democrats to cut spending on our national defense.
Without cutbacks in these two areas, we’ll never take control of our spiraling debt. To do anything less is just counting paper clips.
Obama faces enormous challenges in his second term, but most Americans seem to understand Washington can’t continue to spend money as it has during the president’s first term. They also need to understand, of course, that Obama won’t be able to do this job alone.
As Obama said in his last inaugural speech, meeting the challenges our country faces will require a team effort. He must pledge during Monday’s inauguration to be a part of that team over the next four years, and we must all roll up our sleeves and do our part.
The time for putting off unpleasant decisions concerning Medicare and defense has passed, indeed.
The issue: Monday’s presidential inauguration.
- Bailout was necessary In September 2008, Congress approved a $25 billion loan program for Detroit's Big Three. The money was offered to help U.S. automakers develop more fuel-efficient vehicles. Three months later, representatives from Chrysler, General Motors and Ford re
- Dec. 12, 2013: Letters to the editor 'Thanks to greed and ignorance' Large-scale wind turbine arrays, like the one near Windfall and those planned for Howard County, cause significant harm to wildlife, people and the environment. In return, because of wind's low density, intermittency a
- JEFFREY McCALL: TV news blunders diminish public support Network television news executives wanting to know why ratings continue to decline can find the ready answer in a growing string of professional blunders within their industry. Polls show public confidence in network television news is eroding. Audie
- JANE HARDISTY: Long live the soil Too often, it's treated like dirt. But last week our living and life-giving soil finally got some of the respect it deserves as the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization celebrated World Soil Day on Dec. 5 in Rome. Under the framework of
- 3-dog nights imperil dogs It could've been a concerned citizen. It could've been someone looking for a laugh. Little information was available concerning a would-be animal rescue in the tiny town of Center nearly six years ago. Emergency officials were dispatched just before
- Dec. 11, 2013: Letters to the editor Courts should rule in adherence to law A recent, troubling ruling by our local judiciary went against the City of Kokomo, which was trying to close a "gentlemen's club" for violation of a zoning law. The club operated in a building in which a wall di
House of Burgess: Amazon's flying delivery robots
In a Dec. 1 “60 Minutes” piece on CBS — charitably labeled an Amazon.com “infomercial” by Slate’s Konstantin Kakeas Dec. 2 — CEO Jeff Bezos gave Charlie Rose an exclusive look at what’s next for the company, which had $61 billion in revenue in 2012. “These are ‘octocopters,’” said Bezos near the end of the segment, as he showed a saucer-eyed Rose a table of “autonomous” black, toddler-sized contraptions.
- DAN COATS: America's major policy shift on Iran In a recent address to the nation, President Barack Obama acknow-ledged Iran "has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the interna-tional community." In the same speech the president vowed to "prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." But t
- A harbinger of frustration A move by the State Board of Education to adopt new rules for educator licensing illustrates just how little influence the state's schools superintendent, Glenda Ritz, has in slowing down the reforms of former schools chief Tony Bennett. The board's
- Dec. 10, 2013: Letters to the editor CRD members have 1 issue: themselves It took two letters to make two things apparent from the reaction to Ms. Rayl's recent letter: 1) Mr. Carney's biggest concern is that we should all uphold the law and; 2) The CRD (Citizens for Responsible Develop
- More Opinion Headlines