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Thursday, September 02, 2004

George Bush's speech

The President gave his speech tonight (Transcript here.) I liked the speech, he hit on a lot of the points I wanted to hear about although not all of them and not in as much detail as I would like on some. He tied the entire speech, into one theme: Liberty. Liberty to make your own choices at home and liberty abroad. He started off with some standard feel good stuff and then a recounting of the domestic policies he had accomplished so far. Then he went into his future domestic plans, several new programs and some expansions of his existing ones along with a couple of new ideas.

My plan begins with providing the security and opportunity of a growing economy. We now compete in a global market that provides new buyers for our goods, but new competition for our workers. To create more jobs in America, America must be the best place in the world to do business. To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation and making tax relief permanent. To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy. To create jobs, we will expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe. And we must protect small business owners and workers from the explosion of frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America.
Glad to hear him mention reducing federal spending. Wish he had a better record on that. Reducing regulation, permanent tax relief, and expansion of free trade are all things I love. Making America less dependent on foreign Oil, while a noble goal, is difficult to achieve. What progress that can be made, is being made by private industry at what I believe is the best speed possible. Government cannot help here in my opinion. I also like getting rid of frivolous lawsuits but this is easier to say than do, and a lot of it rests upon the states. This part I really like:
Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess -- filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every year. The American people deserve -- and our economic future demands ---- a simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. In a new term, I will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code.
A bipartisan effort may be just a dream though. If Bush wins re-election the Democrats will go crazy (crazier?). Education:
Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take advantage of the expanding economy to find better, higher-paying jobs. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people served by our principal job training program and increase funding for community colleges. I know that with the right skills, American workers can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.
Nothing I really dislike here, although the rub is how to pay for it. Health Insurance:
As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.
I like these ideas, they make sense but I don't know if they will go far enough.
As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors, especially ob-gyn , who are being forced out of practice because of the high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now. And in all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
I have argued for a long time that this needs to be done. Balancing giving victims fair compensation without breaking the back of the medical industry is difficult but something must be done. There are a few other minor programs and ideas. After listing his domestic plans for the future Bush contrasts his ideas with Kerry's ideas. Nothing we really haven't heard before but well delivered. The last half of the President's speech was on foreign policy. He gives some remembrances of Sept. 11th and a history of what he has accomplished so far. On Iraq he had this to say.
In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the dictator disarm, or face serious consequences. Leaders in the Middle East urged him to comply. After more than a decade of diplomacy, we gave Saddam Hussein another chance, a final chance, to meet his responsibilities to the civilized world. He again refused, and I faced the kind of decision that comes only to the Oval Office -- a decision no president would ask for, but must be prepared to make. Do I forget the lessons of Sept. 11th and take the word of a madman, or do I take action to defend our country? Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time.
A strong, rational and accurate accounting. He also talked about the future of Iraq and Afghanistan:
Our nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when America gives its word, America must keep its word. As importantly, we are serving a vital and historic cause that will make our country safer. Free societies in the Middle East will be hopeful societies, which no longer feed resentments and breed violence for export. Free governments in the Middle East will fight terrorists instead of harboring them, and that helps us keep the peace. So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: We will help new leaders to train their armies, and move toward elections, and get on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.
He also had this to say, which struck a real cord with me.
Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others -- allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.
john Kerry, calling our allies coerced and bribed was perhaps the second most reprehensible thing he has ever said. The worst was said in the Senate hearing in 1971. Toward the end of his speech the President has several striking sections. They speak for themselves.
This moment in the life of our country will be remembered. Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our Nation, now depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me. ... The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose. We see America's character in our military, which finds a way or makes one. We see it in our veterans, who are supporting military families in their days of worry. We see it in our young people, who have found heroes once again. We see that character in workers and entrepreneurs, who are renewing our economy with their effort and optimism. And all of this has confirmed one belief beyond doubt: Having come this far, our tested and confident Nation can achieve anything. To everything we know there is a season -- a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century. By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America -- and tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed. Now we go forward -- grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth.


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