President George Bush made his annual State of the Union address to the American people Tuesday night. With promises of alternate energy sources, stronger borders and more stringent immigration laws and an eventual end to the occupation in the Middle East, the president rallied Congress with a convincing plea for action.
President Bush began his speech address the Congressmen around him in a realistic and honest fashion.
“We’re not the first to come here with a government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences, and achieve big things for the American people,” the president said.
The president first promised to deliver a full report on the state of the American economy within the next week. He then went straight into the issue of balancing the federal budget.
“What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009, and met that goal three years ahead of schedule,” he said. “Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years.”
In regard to the budget, the president also addressed the importance of managing entitlements for the country. He intends to accomplish this goal using two steps: the first, a standard tax deduction for health insurance, similar to the tax deduction for dependents and the second, to assist the states that are coming up with innovative ways to cover the uninsured.
“With enough good sense and goodwill, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid — and save Social Security,” the president said. “When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children. And we will meet those responsibilities.”
SGA president Chris Whitaker was cynical about these statements because of recent opposing political actions.
“I don’t see how President Bush plans on continuing some of his new programs and keeping the taxcuts because the House just passed paygo rules,” he said.
Next, the president addressed the vital interest in diversifying America’s energy supply.
“We must continue changing the way America generates electric power, by even greater use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power. We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel,” he said. “We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes.”
After that, the president addressed the issue of border security and the instigation of a temporary worker program, in order to “establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis.”
“We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals. We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty,” he said.
President Bush continued his speech by addressing the primary issue on the minds of the majority of Americans, the conflict in the Middle East and the recent surge of 21,500 troops to Iraq.
“We’re carrying out a new strategy in Iraq — a plan that demands more from Iraq’s elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission,” said the president. “Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.”
With the ever increasing negative attitude toward the continual engagement in the conflict, the president was steadfast in his belief that pushing onward is still the only option for America.
“This war is more than a clash of arms — it is a decisive ideological struggle, and the security of our nation is in the balance. 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 said.
In regards to the president’s commentary on the war in Iraq, senior D.J. Pressley agreed with his opinions and was encouraged by the speech.
“As the power we are, America can not afford to back out of the war in Iraq. Despite any reason for going to war, failure is not an option, but neither is another Vietnam,” he said. “Therefore, I agree that we must do whatever is necessary to end the war as quickly as possible.”
The president also assured his audience that, although the war in the Middle East is a prime concern, America is acting elsewhere.
“Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we’re pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons,” he said.
The president concluded the speech on a positive note, commenting on the spirit and character of America.
“We’ve met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead. Yet we can go forward with confidence — because the State of our Union is strong, our cause in the world is right, and tonight that cause goes on,” he said.