Usually, inaugural speeches are an opportunity to lay out vast visions and the hopes for a lasting legacy by a president.
With rare exceptions (Lincoln being one), second inaugural speeches usually don't live up to that hype, and President Obama's speech Monday was no exception. There were no great phrases that will be on people's lips for years, no sweeping vistas of vision to inspire the American people.
Instead, it read a lot like your typical State of the Union address, which is coming up in a couple of weeks.
Of all the lofty goals the president laid out for his administration, two, we believe, are vital.
First, our nation's leaders must continue to restart the economy. It's still too fragile not to be monitored closely and given additional support -- especially for small businesses. The small-business survivors of the Great Recession are still hanging on by a thread. When it comes to business, Congress and the president need to take a bottom-up approach to the economy.
Second, the president and Congress have to pass a balanced budget. Heck, it would be a miracle if they'd just pass a budget, since most of the Obama administration has been run on continuing resolutions. But, if they'd actually manage to do their job, at a minimum, the budget should not increase the debt. Ideally, it will begin to slowly draw it down.
This plan to "pass a budget or Congress doesn't get paid" is so much window dressing. Most of the members (the vast majority) of Congress are millionaires, so not getting their $14,575 monthly paycheck isn't actually going to hurt them (plus, they still get all their perks).
We don't need window dressing. We need hard work and compromise between the Senate, the House and the White House. They've had years to debate and play all their silly games. Now, it's time to actually accomplish something.
-- Kelly Everitt