The State of Our Union is 'Strong'

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:08 PM

President Bush tonight offered yet another excellent State of the Union address, perhaps his best. The address, the 215th of the United States, covered all of the important bases and offered common sense solutions to almost all of the major issues. While I have disagreed with some of the president's actions, it is hard to deny he is a go-getter who is committed to the goals he promises to aim for and, by and large, Americans want. In this address, the president continued to show his visionary leadership by proposing many short and long term goals both domestically and internationally. My highlights (off the top of my head as I watch the address for the second time) are below.

  • State of the Union: Yes, it is strong. While President Bush was faced with a recession at the end of the tech bubble when he came in, he is building up a better, more reliable economy.
  • USA PATRIOT Act: This was the lowest moment in the speech, so I guess it was good he got it out early. I'm hoping the parts that are set to sunset in 2005 will be allowed to terminate. The PATRIOT Act is the worst thing the administration has done thus far.
  • International Diplomacy: President Bush wisely pointed out the difference between negotiations with Libya and Iraq. The president's firm, unchanging policies have lead to improvements in Libya. Mr. Bush also emphasized the need to bring democracy to the “greater Middle East,” emphasizing that everyone has the God given desire for freedom. He emphasized the need for free people, free speech, and (interesting emphasis here, is this another attempt to take an issue away from democrats?) free labor unions.

    “America is a nation with a mission and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.” — President George W. Bush
  • Deficit and Budget: The president appears to be moving back to a strong, conservative budget with just a 4% growth this year. The president's budget would lead to a 50% reduction in the deficit in just 5 years. This is GREAT news. It's time to return to fiscal responsibility, and the president seems to be aiming for that goal.
  • Taxes: The president emphasized the need to end the death tax permanently, as well as the marriage tax. It's time that people are taxed once and taxed fairly. He, quite rightly, notes that congress failing to renew these tax cuts will really simply mean a tax hike. That's very true.
  • International Support: The president named the dozens of countries that have committed troops to the effort in Iraq. It is to the shame of the democrats that they keep talking about making it an international effort as thousands of international troops, monies and materials are assisting us. Let's not ignore our allies. More dittos to the president.
  • Empire Building: The president emphasized, as the included quote says, that we are not building an empire. The goal of the United States is to spread democracy, not to enlarge its holdings.
  • Education: “Jobs for the 21st Century” will help prepare people for the more complex jobs of today. The president also emphasized strengthening America's excellent network of community colleges.
  • Traditional Values: The president promoted traditional values in his speech as well. President Bush argued for increased funding of programs promoting abstinence, as well as insuring “activist judges” will not destroy the sanctity of Marriage. This shows the president is listening to the concerns of Americans.
  • Social Security: The president argued for the privatization of Social Security, giving people ownership of their retirement funds — to an extent. This is the way things should be!
  • Illegal Aliens: The president continued to promote his compromise plan that recognizes the difficulty of removing illegal aliens, while realizing full amnesty is not fair or right. While I wish this wasn't necessary, I think Jonah Goldberg is right when he asserts it is about the only practical solution at the moment.
  • Healthcare: Another touchy subject, but overall ok solutions. Medicare can be adjusted to whatever the needs of the individual are per the new Medicare bill the president was “proud” to sign. As I reflect on the bill more, I do think it this is again, a good compromise, if not perfect. The president stood firm on the seniors' right to choice as well. Association Health Plans were also emphasized to allow SMB organizations to be able to afford to provide healthcare. Mr. Bush also emphasized providing tax credits to help low income families pay for private insurance (good). Finally he made the much-needed comments on restricting frivolous lawsuits and the need NOT to go with a government healthcare program.

    “The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that his purposes are just and true.” — President George W. Bush
  • Athletes: They — like it or not — are young people's role models in this day and age. They should quit taking performance enhancing drugs, the president said. You're right, Mr. President.

    Overall, the President provided a good balance of offerings for everyone. He continued to follow his commitment to be a president for all Americans, not just the special interest groups that the Democrats so enjoy appealing to.

    If the president continues his determination to get done what he promises, we ought to have a great year this year. Go Dub-ya!

    Tags: Politics

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