Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bush Sounds Like FDR or JFK Democrat In SOTU.

In case you missed anything, here is the full transcript of the president's State of the Union address. Don't forget to read the Democratic response. That was so pointless I won’t even comment on it other than say it was good for a few laughs.

This just may be the harshest criticizm I have ever given about President George W. Bush but it is well deserved.

Overall I was highly disappointed with the State of the Union address given by President George W. Bush last week. I felt that it had more of a FDR or JFK democrat theme to it rather than a conservative one. Of course this seems to be the theme that will define the Presidency of George W. Bush, more spending, more handouts, and more government dependency. After all, President Bush has spent more and expanded government faster than any other administration in history, including LBJ, and that is even after money spent on the Iraq war is taken out of the equation.

So where should I start? Well for starters the State of the UNION is suppose to be a report to congress on the how our country is doing, key word being union. President Bush spent the first half of his address talking about other parts of the world such as the war on terror in the Middle East and poverty and HIV in Africa instead of America. I agree that these are serious problems that need to be addressed but not during the State of the Union address. This is suppose to be an occasion to discuss what needs to be done here at home, not how we are going to rebuild Iraq or fight HIV in Africa. It wasn’t until the second half of the speech that President Bush started addressing the actual state of the union.

It is definitely no secret that I was looking for some strong words on tax reform. It just didn’t happen though. The current tax code in this country is leading us to a path of economical disaster by punishing the activities our economy needs.

In just the last 3 weeks we have been given several warning signs about where our economy is headed. Warren Buffet, world class investor, and definitely someone who knows something about economics, has said that our biggest threat to our economy is not high fuel prices or the federal deficit. He says the greatest danger to our economy is trade deficit. The only way to reduce the federal trade deficit is to reform the tax code. There is no other major economic power in the world that places the tax burden on its businesses and industries that the United States does which results in jobs going overseas to enjoy a lesser tax burden.

Another warning sign given is the recent news that our personal savings rate is at its lowest level since the great depression. Our tax code punishes us here as well. You have to pay taxes on the money you save and then you pay taxes on the interest you earn. So really there is no incentive to save.

So here we are facing issues of trade deficits, disappearing manufacturing jobs, and a low personal savings rate. Tax reform is the answer to all of these problems. It is definitely no secret that I favor the FairTax. It is the only tax reform proposal I've seen that will fix so many of the issues we are dealing with. It will create the biggest tax haven for businesses and industries in the world. You want to see jobs that have gone overseas come back to America and then some make the Fair Tax law. You want to promote personal savings by relieving people of the tax burden when they do save then pass the Fair Tax.

Of course, President Bush never mentioned anything about the Fair Tax instead he requested a new commission to tackle the problem. So ... with all the discussion there has been on tax reform over the past year, what did Bush recommend? Nothing more than making the current tax cuts permanent. That's it.

What about illegal immigration? The issue of illegal immigration concerns Americans greatly. Bush had no choice but to address the issue. Bush said "We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy…." I am not quite sure where he heard these claims, I haven't heard those claims. I've heard people say that illegal immigration was bad, not to mention dangerous; but I haven't heard people just saying that immigration is bad for the economy. In fact, I have heard people claim the exact opposite, that illegal immigration is a necessity for the economy. So, here we have George Bush trying to portray our concerns over illegal aliens as a general opposition to immigration. The President did state that we need stronger immigration enforcement and border protection.. but he tied that to a "guest worker program that rejects amnesty." Does this mean that everyone who is here now illegally will be rounded up and sent back? No, it means they'll be legitimized. They'll be rewarded and absolved of any criminal wrongdoing and allowed to stay. The reality is that Bush is pushing a guest worker program that includes amnesty and will only encourage more illegal immigration.

President George W Bush also talked about health care in his SOTU address. At one point he said; "Our government has a responsibility to help provide health care for the poor and the elderly." Is that so? Tell me, Mr. President, just what Article and Section of our Constitution sets forth that responsibility? The reality is that it is not the responsibility of the federal government, of any government, to provide that health care. Our founding fathers worked hard to place limits on the powers of federal government for a reason. All powers not specifically given to the federal government were reserved for the State, local, and more importantly the people.

Unfortunately it seems that is no longer the case. The American people today see no limit on the power the federal government should have.

George Will wrote an interesting column covering various aspects of the president's speech. You can read it here. In that column Will notes that there was once a time when Americans would actually question whether or not the federal government actually had the constitutional right to engage in various programs. Will says "That impulse is gone in a notion in which it seems quaint to suggest that some things are beyond the government's proper purview. Today's default position is: Washington should do it."

So instead of a "just do it" attitude we now just wait for government to do it for us. How will freedom ever survive?

Bush has been getting praise for his comments on oil dependency. The headline-grabber is that Bush said that "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." That's right...we're hooked on oil like a drug addict is hooked on crack, and it's our entire fault. Let’s forget about the administration's inability to begin drilling for oil in ANWR? What about our complete surrender to environmental groups who oppose any drilling for oil anywhere? What about the refusal of the President's brother to allow natural gas exploration off the precious Gulf coast of Florida? All of these solutions would add supply to an overly demanding market bringing down the price per barrel.

Instead, President Bush proposed a 22% increase in spending on the Department of Energy, to promote solar, wind, nuclear, ethanol and hydrogen energy. The president says we should reduce our imports of foreign oil by 75%....by the year 2025. So much for cutting spending.

The truth is there is nothing that resembles “small government” about President George W. Bush. The other hard truth is that the state of the union is not as strong as it used to be. The state of the union has been gradually growing weaker for decades as our nation continues to evolve from self reliant individuals to government dependent individuals and President Bush has proposed more government programs to continue the process of strengthening governments grasp on you and weakening your individual freedom, this making the strength of our union weaker.

As always, President Bush gets a high score with me on foreign policy and as Commander in Chief but he gets a C on domestic policies. Oh well, it could be worse I suppose, John Kerry could be President.

1 comment:

iwanski said...

Bush is no conservative. He is a borrow-and-spend liberal, which is slightly worse than a tax-and-spend liberal.