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Washington Examiner: Inauguration speech a fitting summary of Obama presidency

Published: January 23, 2013

The only actual spending cuts Obama did agree to in his first term were in response to so-called Republican hostage-taking. Even then, the cuts were modest and fell within the discretionary part of the budget. He has repeatedly declined to address the long-term challenge of reforming the nation's broken entitlement system.

Obama has talked of solving the deficit problem by making “modest adjustments” to entitlement programs while raising taxes only on the very rich. Yet any serious budget analysis shows that getting the debt under control will require either massive cuts to entitlement spending, huge additional tax increases on the middle class, or some combination of both.

When Obama first took the oath of office, the nation's total outstanding debt was $10.6 trillion. On Monday, it stood at $16.4 trillion. And even now he hasn't offered so much as a plan to tackle the problem.

This pattern of dithering over the nation's most pressing problem made the contradiction in Obama's speech Monday somewhat unsurprising. Within the same breath, he called for tough choices and then rejected the need for making them. If there is a more fitting summary of Obama's presidency, we do not know what it is.

— The Washington Examiner