Thread: 2007 Sotu
01-25-2007, 12:58 AM #1
I think his speech was typical - everything is going great and we can spend even more money plus more government is the solution to our problems.
Here is my take on it:
President Bush delivered his annual State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill Tuesday. This was his first in a Majority Democratic Congress. The President mentioned the hard work he completed before making his courageous decision concerning Iraq. “The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour -- when decisions are hard and courage is needed,” the President said.
There was no applause given after his self congratulatory statement, but the chamber erupted when he mentioned the sacrifices of others. The President said each of us is guided by our own convictions, and then he complimented those “we have sent forth to defend us.” That sent the room into applause.
Now that many conservative Republicans have lost their seat in the last election, the President hopes to implement his domestic agenda. He also hopes that the new congress can bring spending back in line. “Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the federal government, and we can balance the federal budget,” the President said.
The last congress was able to slip earmarks into spending bills that were signed by the President. While the Republicans controlled both the Congress and Whitehouse “In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion”. Now that the Democrats control congress he hopes that this is the time “to end their [earmarks] practice,” the President added.
Without mentioning the staggering cost of the war in Iraq, the President said that it was time to work on keeping Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid “permanently sound”. He did not mention the borrowed money to finance the war in Iraq, but he said the failure to act on these social programs could “leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits.”
President Bush called for more federal funding of education. “We must increase funds for students who struggle and make sure these children get the special help they need,” he said. From the applause, it appears the congress will work with in on that part of his agenda.
The President is hoping that a standard tax deduction will prompt Americans without health care coverage to buy it. “Families with health insurance will pay no income on payroll tax or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income. With this reform, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills.”
The President is looking to provide more Federal funding for the states that come up “with innovative ways to cover the uninsured.” The new expenses incurred by the Feds will be called “Affordable Choices" grants. “These grants would give our nation's governors more money and more flexibility to get private health insurance to those most in need,” the President said.
Although the President did not mention ways to cut the federal budget, he did say that he favors legislation to protect “good doctors from junk lawsuits” by passing medical liability reform.
The president did say he wanted to spend more money on border security. “When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we're doubling the size of the Border Patrol, and funding new infrastructure and technology.” He did not mention where the money was going to come from for this.
The Democrat congress may work with Bush on the immigration problem, which some worry could be an amnesty program. “We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in, and that will leave Border Agents free to chase down drug smugglers and criminals and terrorists.”
The president may be considering legislation that sets a path for illegal immigrants to become legal. “We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty.” The plan may include a voluntary payment of back taxes and residency before an illegal immigrant is granted legal residency.
President Bush explained that the federal government needs to spend more taxpayer money on research into new electrical power generation systems and technologies. “We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes.”
The president is hoping to work with congress on mandates for the automakers. He plans to set “mandatory fuel standards to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017.” The purpose of these requirements is to help alleviate our dependence on foreign oil.
A recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) suggested that the war in Iraq could prompt more terror attacks against the United States. The President made mention of several attacks they were able to foil since the invasion including “an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast.” He went on to say “We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America.”
The war in Iraq has also caused concern for our allies. The Director General of the British intelligence agency MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, says that there is a growing threat against Britain due to the British foreign policy and a belief that Islam is under attack. She said these are the root motivations for the increased terror risk. The President made mention of one example. “Just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean.”
Although al-Qaeda is completely Sunni with absolutely no Shiia involvement, the President lumped the two groups together. “Whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East, and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.”
The President believes that waging war in Iraq brings us a step closer to preventing young Saudi men from committing terror attacks against the United States. “To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and to come and kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom.”
He admits that our free society has not brought the American people closer to his ideological view of war. “Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies, and most will choose a better way when they're given a chance.”
The President believes that the people of the Middle East will embrace democracy and that the American soldier will bring this about. “The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security, we must.”
His strategy in Afghanistan is close to failure, and the President admitted it. “In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces.” The Taliban has pushed to within a few miles of Kabul, the capital city in Afghanistan.
The situation in Afghanistan has become so unstable that NATO has done something they have never done before. The President said this was the “first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area.”
The problems in Iraq have become even more chaotic according to the President. “In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia -- and it succeeded.” Although the President did not mention the “C” word, the Shiites and Sunnis have become engaged in what can only be described as a civil war.
The utter chaos has made the majority of Americans question the President’s actions in Iraq. “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in. Every one of us wishes this war were over and won.” But like Presidents before him during the Vietnam War, he made excuses why the United States can not leave. “Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises un-kept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk.”
One of the President’s more controversial initiatives is the deployment of 20,000 more troops to Iraq. He told the audience that these soldiers will be serving under Iraqi authority. “With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads.”
Al-Qaeda was not a problem in Iraq until after the U.S. invasion. The terrorist group was not allowed in Iraq during Saddam’s non-secular reign. But the President admits they are a problem now. “We didn't drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.” The plan is to send an additional 4,000 Marines into al-Anbar province to help “clear them out.”
The President says that his decision to invade Iraq could have some horrible negative consequences for the region. “We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.”
To prevent this, the President says that this war could last for generations. “The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others.”
The war in Iraq has put a great burden on the US military. The President hopes to rectify that problem by shoveling more money at the problem. “Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years.” He also hopes that more Americans who support the war will volunteer their time and energy in what he calls a “Civilian Reserve Corps.”
The President didn’t mention the enormous cost in US dollars for his war in Iraq, but he has come up with more ideas on how to spend money. “We hear the call to take on the challenges of hunger and poverty and… we must continue to fight HIV/AIDS, especially on the continent of Africa… Because you funded our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the number of people receiving life-saving drugs has grown from 50,000 to more than 800,000 in three short years…. I ask you to provide $1.2 billion over five years so we can combat malaria in 15 African countries.”
Poverty has always been a problem both inside the United States and abroad, but the President believes he can solve the problem. “And let us continue to support the expanded trade and debt relief that are the best hope for lifting lives and eliminating poverty.”
Like Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt, President Bush believes government is the solution to our problems. He is hoping that he can convince those in congress and the American people. Bush also hopes that the US can start investing in "switch grass" technologies.Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."
01-25-2007, 11:53 AM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Las Vegas,Nevada
I think it is wonderful that you take the time to really pay attention to the issues and are apparently truely involved in everything that is happening, at least in the Capital. However, I get enough of the diatribe takes on what the individual politicans speeches are suppose to be abbout and what it is that they actually said from the garbeldegook media types. I', just not that interested in canned speeches written by some PR type for the person who should be writing his own material and telling it like it really is. Thanks for your take on the matter anyway.
01-26-2007, 09:31 AM #3
Thanks LV. I just loved the irony of how he now wants the Dems to reign in earmarks.
I thought it was his party that claimed to be fiscally responsible.Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."
01-26-2007, 09:40 AM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
There's not a whole lot of difference between the Demicans and Republicrats anymore. This country would be much better off if people would vote for PEOPLE and NOT the party. Everyone needs to take the blinders off and investigate other options...like those who are not "career politicians," but want to make things better for everyone rather than their own bank accounts.
The lesser of two evils is still EVIL.
01-26-2007, 11:23 AM #5
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