Hi 72 / Lo 56
|Volume 71, Issue 80,
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Bush confident in economy, war
President addresses competition, tax cuts and addiction to oil
by AMY WESTERGREN
On Tuesday, President George W. Bush, in accordance with law and tradition, gave the annual State of the Union Address.
Addressing the war in Iraq and U.S. military action across the Middle East, Bush said the United States would stay committed to freedom in the Middle East as a means of ending terrorism.
"Ultimately the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark visions of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change," Bush said.
"So the United States of America supports democratic reform across the broader Middle East," Bush said.
Bush said the return of troops from that region would be contingent on the Iraqis' ability to provide their own military protection.
"The road to victory is the road that will take our troops home," Bush said. "As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels, but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C."
Bush said the United States has a plan for victory in Iraq that includes reconstruction, building a democratic government and continuing to fight terrorist targets in Iraq.
Bush asked congress to make permanent the tax cuts he said were responsible, in part, for the economic success of the last four years.
"In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left $880 billion in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses and families, and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth," Bush said. "Because America needs more than a temporary expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. I urge the Congress to act responsibly and make the tax cuts permanent."
Bush said continued economic growth would be necessary for supporting the baby boomer generation as they retire and collect entitlements from the government. He asked for the formation of a committee to investigate the possible effects of baby boomer retirement on future budgets.
Bush also announced two new initiatives.
The first, in response to what Bush said was Americans' addiction to oil, is aimed at research and use of alternative fuels in homes and offices and in automobiles.
"So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative, a 22 percent increase in clean energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas," Bush said.
The second, The American Competitiveness Initiative, Bush said would help the United States stay a world power through technology combined with the abilities of Americans.
"We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity," Bush said.
Bush said he would like to increase funding to scientific research and in education in the sciences.
"We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations," Bush said.
To end his address, Bush said he was confident in the ability of the United States to recover from disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
"And so we move forward; optimistic about our country,
faithful to its cause and confident of victories to come," Bush said.
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