The similarities between this State of the Union Speech and last year's seemed uncanny to me. Perhaps I am reading into things, and perhaps Nancy Pelosi will grow a brain. Doubt it on both counts.
The order of the items, I suppose, were in a different order, and that made it a whole new speech.
President Bush, after making a comment about being the first president to be able to say "Madam Speaker" to which Nancy Pelosi used an over the top form of body language by pumping her fists and mouthing the word, "Yes," dove right in to remind us that despite what the doom and gloom liberals pronounce, our economy is strong and growing. Job growth, low inflation and rising wages all made it into his speech. Congratulations, free enterprise, tax cuts and government getting off our backs has proven itself again to be a successful way to run an economy. This is news, of course, the Democrats deny acknowledgment of, declaring erroneously that we are heading for a recession and all is horrid on the economic front. I guess the liberals see a glass of water as half empty.
Balancing the budget without the need to raise taxes came up next, and it was nice seeing how facts (deficit cut in half 3 years ahead of schedule) shut the Democrats up, and had them sitting on their hands as the Republicans cheered and rose to their feet in loud applause. Bush proposed to submit a budget, now, that will eliminate the federal deficit in the next five years. Interesting. The deficit is dying by the hands of a Republican, and the Democrats have spent so many years blaming The Right for the deficit in the first place, declaring that it was not possible to eliminate it within the next couple generations. See, Democrats, what can be done when people quit complaining and get to work? The Left could care less about balancing the budget. They want Bush to fail, because rather than helping the growth of America, their primary agenda is simply to win the 2008 Presidential Election.
Special interest items called earmarks have been fitted for coffins, according to Bush, and this alone should free up a lot of money, which will assist greatly with the budget.
Bush also vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security, programs long abused by The Left (Democrats in the past have continuously borrowed from Social Security to fund programs, and passed that permanent disability be pulled from Social Security, allowing certain individuals to pull money out of their Social Security account than they put in).
The No Child Left Behind Act was mentioned. Bush loves this program, but I have problems when the federal government gets too entangled in education. I believe the way to fix education is to ensure funds are provided for special education (which he did propose) and that higher standards must be met by teachers in order to continue to provide education for our children.
Healthcare is an issue that Bush spoke on for quite a while, and he alluded many times that he supported regulation, but not government sponsored health care. This defiance to socialized health care was met by silence from The Left. Of course. Their Marxist agenda is the complete socialization of medical care, as well as the eventual socialization of our entire society.
The proposed tax incentives in regards to health care seems to be a stable strategy, while still placating The Left with assurances that the poor will also be provided with the opportunity to secure reliable coverage.
Bush's continued weak stance on immigration poked its ugly head into this speech, but he was surprisingly slightly stronger than in the past. However, I have a better plan. Build a wall along our southern border, enforce the law regarding not allowing illegals to cross, and ensure that immigrants follow the proper legal protocol before being allowed into this country. Why is it so hard for politicians to understand that you should not reward criminals for breaking the law? Breaking the law is exactly what the border jumpers are doing when they cross the line into our country.
Energy and technology go hand in hand. I agree that we need to divorce ourselves from the oil habit. This will provide for a cleaner environment and will ensure that our money stops landing in the sweating palms of nations that support terrorism. However, I believe that this can be best achieved in the private sector. Incentives ought to be offered, tax cuts for certain programs would be dandy, but the government should not provide straight out funding which opens Pandora's Box for abuse and misuse. The goals of reducing gasoline usage by 20 percent in the next 10 years is admirable and achievable, but the government cannot sponsor every part of that journey.
Our system of justice is like no other in the world, and Bush's comments and commitment to nominate justices that are servants of the law rather than legislators from the bench is commendable.
Iraq and the War on Terror dominated the speech, and I agree with the president one hundred percent. Our highest responsibility is to protect our country from danger. This protection occurs when we remain on the offense by taking the war to the terrorists. He explained that everything didn't go as planned (what war does) but that by standing up to these people who preach with threats we have made the world a safer place. We must finish what we started and win this war. We must not abandon the battlefield in the midst of war. Regardless of the reasons we entered Iraq, the fight we are in now requires that we stay in that region, keeping our promises, not abandoning our friends, and doing whatever we can to assist Iraq in reaching the goal of providing their own security.
The current battle for Baghdad may be the defining moment of whether or not Iraq is succeeding or failing.
Overall, I think that it was a strong speech, and one that addressed every issue Americans care about, even though it was a lot like the last speech a year ago.