By Sen. John Thune
The 58th presidential inauguration, like others before it, was filled with the familiar traditions and pageantry that comes with the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. It’s an awesome event to witness in person, and it’s unlike anything else in the world. I’ve attended several inaugurations over the years for both Republican and Democrat presidents, and I’m always glad to see so many South Dakotans make the trip to Washington, D.C., to experience these historic moments, too.
Now that President Trump and Vice President Pence have taken the oath of office and assumed the enormous responsibility that comes with holding two of the most powerful positions on the face of the earth, the hard work truly begins. I’m particularly excited for the weeks and months ahead because with a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican in the White House, we have a good opportunity to help move the country in a new and hopefully more prosperous direction.
Eight years after it began, the Obama administration’s government-knows-best agenda has resulted in stagnant economic growth, mountains of costly federal regulations, and a weakened position on the world stage. We need to reverse this trend, which is why I look forward to working with the new administration and my colleagues in Congress to pursue pro-growth policies that strengthen the economy, create more good-paying jobs in South Dakota and across the country, and increase our national security.
We don’t need revolutionary ideas or to invent a new philosophy in governing in order to achieve these goals. A lot of this can be accomplished by simply returning some of the Washington decision-making back to states and local governments. Governors and state legislatures are often in a much better position to make more localized decisions on education, health care, and a wide range of other issues. We can help grow the economy by rolling back some the most costly and egregious regulations that businesses are forced to comply with in the United States. We can help farmers and ranchers by cutting red tape, too.
A new president is often judged, at least in part, by what he is able to accomplish in the first 100 or 200 days of his administration. There’s always a high bar, but that is because the American people always have high hopes for the future. As we begin our journey toward that future, I, too, have high hopes and can’t wait to help do my part to make it as great as we possibly can.