President Bush’s State of The Union Speech was first half domestic issues, and second half his war in Iraq.Â Â The two big domestic issues were health care and his energy initiatives.Â On Health care Bush said, “Tonight, I propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance. First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income 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.
At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job. For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, my proposal would mean a substantial tax savings — $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year. And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach. Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making health care affordable for more Americans.”Â Â I can’tÂ see how the poor and uninsuredÂ that pay very little taxes anyway will benefit from this.Â The savings in taxes will not be anywhere close enough for them to purchase even “a basicÂ health insurance plan.”
On his energy intiatives, what I found interesting is that Bush admitted there is global warming, “Â America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment — and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.’Â Â He still wants us lessÂ dependent on foreign oil, decreaseÂ gas usage through alternative fuels.Â TheÂ technology is already there, butÂ the oil interest in this country is dragging us through this till the bitter end.Â Â We have had issues with being held hostageÂ by foreignÂ oil interests since at least the 1970’s, and yetÂ we have progressed very little.Â We all know what Brazil is doing, mostly with Ford madeÂ cars, and ethanol, a program they firstÂ started working on during the 1970’s, how ironic.Â Maybe if we didn’t let the Oil Industries write our Energy Bills???
The second half of Bush’s speech was about the Iraq War.Â He claims he has a new stratagy 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. 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.”Â Sounds like more of the same stuff to me.Â We were supposed to train them to protect themselves from themselves.Â Bush is ignoringÂ the will of the country,Â and as Senator JimÂ Webb said in the Democratic response,Â “The president took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the Army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command,”Â Â Senator Webb is a Vietnam vetern, and his son serves in Iraq, so he doesn’t take the subject of war lightly or without foreknowledge.Â I don’t think President Bush did anything to convince Congress to go along with his “new stategy”.Â And if he wants support Bush needs to really find aÂ new new stategy and quit dragging out the same ole dawg and pony show with a different name.Â The plan in Iraq now is aÂ mess.Â Â Forcing “Democracy”Â through the barrel of guns is not working, so maybe it is time to include some Diplomacy with those gun barrels.Â This BushÂ administration has acted like a spoiled little child when it comes to talking with “enemies” or foes.Â Â Bush also pleaded “America must not fail in Iraq.”
Â Â Â Â Defeat in Iraq, he said, would be “grievous and far-reaching” because the fighting in Iraq is part of a broader struggle against Islamic extremists across the Middle East and stretching to the farther reaches of the globe. But truthfully, we have already failed in Iraq, and now what is left is to clean up this mess with the best face we can put forward.Â Bush or his supporttors can’t admit this grievious mistake, and will not admit failure.Â They instead insist on contiuing this war with “surges” in troops and “new strategies”.Â MaybeÂ Bush can even drag us right into the next election with this war, and therefore; not be the President responsible for losing another war in a foreign country.Â Â It is all about Bush’s leagacy now.Â Â Â We don’t even really know why we started this fight, and now we don’t know how to get out.Â Thank you President Bush.
Last nights speech was just more of the same ole stuff.
Alan CosgroveÂ Â Â