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STATE OF THE UNION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 
 
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 04:31 pm
Let us discuss this topic and its implications:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html
Quote:
President Delivers "State of the Union"
The U.S. Capitol

9:01 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.

You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. During this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform domestic programs vital to our country; we have the opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible disease. We will work for a prosperity that is broadly shared, and we will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the American people. (Applause.)

In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, we can be confident. In a whirlwind of change and hope and peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is strong. (Applause.)

This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations. (Applause.) We will confront them with focus and clarity and courage.

During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of our public schools, we achieved historic education reform -- which must now be carried out in every school and in every classroom, so that every child in America can read and learn and succeed in life. (Applause.) To protect our country, we reorganized our government and created the Department of Homeland Security, which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era. To bring our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax relief in a generation. (Applause.) To insist on integrity in American business we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate criminals to account. (Applause.)

Some might call this a good record; I call it a good start. Tonight I ask the House and Senate to join me in the next bold steps to serve our fellow citizens.

Our first goal is clear: We must have an economy that grows fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a job. (Applause.) After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals and stock market declines, our economy is recovering -- yet it's not growing fast enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment rising, our nation needs more small businesses to open, more companies to invest and expand, more employers to put up the sign that says, "Help Wanted." (Applause.)

Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best and fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not to tax it away in the first place. (Applause.)

I am proposing that all the income tax reductions set for 2004 and 2006 be made permanent and effective this year. (Applause.) And under my plan, as soon as I sign the bill, this extra money will start showing up in workers' paychecks. Instead of gradually reducing the marriage penalty, we should do it now. (Applause.) Instead of slowly raising the child credit to $1,000, we should send the checks to American families now. (Applause.)

The tax relief is for everyone who pays income taxes -- and it will help our economy immediately: 92 million Americans will keep, this year, an average of almost $1,000 more of their own money. A family of four with an income of $40,000 would see their federal income taxes fall from $1,178 to $45 per year. (Applause.) Our plan will improve the bottom line for more than 23 million small businesses.

You, the Congress, have already passed all these reductions, and promised them for future years. If this tax relief is good for Americans three, or five, or seven years from now, it is even better for Americans today. (Applause.)

We should also strengthen the economy by treating investors equally in our tax laws. It's fair to tax a company's profits. It is not fair to again tax the shareholder on the same profits. (Applause.) To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million senior who receive dividend income, I ask you to end the unfair double taxation of dividends. (Applause.)

Lower taxes and greater investment will help this economy expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers, and higher revenues to our government. The best way to address the deficit and move toward a balanced budget is to encourage economic growth, and to show some spending discipline in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

We must work together to fund only our most important priorities. I will send you a budget that increases discretionary spending by 4 percent next year -- about as much as the average family's income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark for us. Federal spending should not rise any faster than the paychecks of American families. (Applause.)

A growing economy and a focus on essential priorities will also be crucial to the future of Social Security. As we continue to work together to keep Social Security sound and reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in retirement accounts that they will control and they will own. (Applause.)

Our second goal is high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. (Applause.) The American system of medicine is a model of skill and innovation, with a pace of discovery that is adding good years to our lives. Yet for many people, medical care costs too much -- and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and rations care. (Applause.)

Instead, we must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy, choose their own doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need. (Applause.) Instead of bureaucrats and trial lawyers and HMOs, we must put doctors and nurses and patients back in charge of American medicine. (Applause.)

Health care reform must begin with Medicare; Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. (Applause.) We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America.

Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be able to keep their coverage just the way it is. (Applause.) And just like you -- the members of Congress, and your staffs, and other federal employees -- all seniors should have the choice of a health care plan that provides prescription drugs. (Applause.)

My budget will commit an additional $400 billion over the next decade to reform and strengthen Medicare. Leaders of both political parties have talked for years about strengthening Medicare. I urge the members of this new Congress to act this year. (Applause.)

To improve our health care system, we must address one of the prime causes of higher cost, the constant threat that physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. (Applause.) Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care, and many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit. I urge the Congress to pass medical liability reform. (Applause.)

Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment. (Applause.) I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner technology, and to produce more energy at home. (Applause.) I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70-percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years. (Applause.) I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest. (Applause.)

I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our environment and our economy. (Applause.) Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined.

In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. (Applause.)

A single chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. (Applause.)

Join me in this important innovation to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.)

Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country -- the homeless and the fatherless, the addicted -- the need is great. Yet there's power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.

Americans are doing the work of compassion every day -- visiting prisoners, providing shelter for battered women, bringing companionship to lonely seniors. These good works deserve our praise; they deserve our personal support; and when appropriate, they deserve the assistance of the federal government. (Applause.)

I urge you to pass both my faith-based initiative and the Citizen Service Act, to encourage acts of compassion that can transform America, one heart and one soul at a time. (Applause.)

Last year, I called on my fellow citizens to participate in the USA Freedom Corps, which is enlisting tens of thousands of new volunteers across America. Tonight I ask Congress and the American people to focus the spirit of service and the resources of government on the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens -- boys and girls trying to grow up without guidance and attention, and children who have to go through a prison gate to be hugged by their mom or dad.

I propose a $450-million initiative to bring mentors to more than a million disadvantaged junior high students and children of prisoners. Government will support the training and recruiting of mentors; yet it is the men and women of America who will fill the need. One mentor, one person can change a life forever. And I urge you to be that one person. (Applause.)

Another cause of hopelessness is addiction to drugs. Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral conviction, and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by cutting off supplies and reducing demand through anti-drug education programs. Yet for those already addicted, the fight against drugs is a fight for their own lives. Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So tonight I propose a new $600-million program to help an additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next three years. (Applause.)

Our nation is blessed with recovery programs that do amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A man in the program said, "God does miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could be you." Tonight, let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this message of hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you. (Applause.)

By caring for children who need mentors, and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more welcoming society -- a culture that values every life. And in this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth abortion. (Applause.) And because no human life should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I ask you to set a high standard for humanity, and pass a law against all human cloning. (Applause.)

The qualities of courage and compassion that we strive for in America also determine our conduct abroad. The American flag stands for more than our power and our interests. Our founders dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity, the rights of every person, and the possibilities of every life. This conviction leads us into the world to help the afflicted, and defend the peace, and confound the designs of evil men.

In Afghanistan, we helped liberate an oppressed people. And we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild their society, and educate all their children -- boys and girls. (Applause.) In the Middle East, we will continue to seek peace between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine. (Applause.) Across the Earth, America is feeding the hungry -- more than 60 percent of international food aid comes as a gift from the people of the United States. As our nation moves troops and builds alliances to make our world safer, we must also remember our calling as a blessed country is to make this world better.

Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus -- including 3 million children under the age 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult population carries the infection. More than 4 million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, only 50,000 AIDS victims -- only 50,000 -- are receiving the medicine they need.

Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away. A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He says, "We have no medicines. Many hospitals tell people, you've got AIDS, we can't help you. Go home and die." In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to hear those words. (Applause.)

AIDS can be prevented. Anti-retroviral drugs can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has dropped from $12,000 a year to under $300 a year -- which places a tremendous possibility within our grasp. Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many.

We have confronted, and will continue to confront, HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent 7 million new AIDS infections, treat at least 2 million people with life-extending drugs, and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS, and for children orphaned by AIDS. (Applause.)

I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean. (Applause.)

This nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people from a plague of nature. And this nation is leading the world in confronting and defeating the man-made evil of international terrorism. (Applause.)

There are days when our fellow citizens do not hear news about the war on terror. There's never a day when I do not learn of another threat, or receive reports of operations in progress, or give an order in this global war against a scattered network of killers. The war goes on, and we are winning. (Applause.)

To date, we've arrested or otherwise dealt with many key commanders of al Qaeda. They include a man who directed logistics and funding for the September the 11th attacks; the chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf, who planned the bombings of our embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole; an al Qaeda operations chief from Southeast Asia; a former director of al Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan; a key al Qaeda operative in Europe; a major al Qaeda leader in Yemen. All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)

We are working closely with other nations to prevent further attacks. America and coalition countries have uncovered and stopped terrorist conspiracies targeting the American embassy in Yemen, the American embassy in Singapore, a Saudi military base, ships in the Straits of Hormuz and the Straits the Gibraltar. We've broken al Qaeda cells in Hamburg, Milan, Madrid, London, Paris, as well as, Buffalo, New York.

We have the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning of American justice. (Applause.)

As we fight this war, we will remember where it began -- here, in our own country. This government is taking unprecedented measures to protect our people and defend our homeland. We've intensified security at the borders and ports of entry, posted more than 50,000 newly-trained federal screeners in airports, begun inoculating troops and first responders against smallpox, and are deploying the nation's first early warning network of sensors to detect biological attack. And this year, for the first time, we are beginning to field a defense to protect this nation against ballistic missiles. (Applause.)

I thank the Congress for supporting these measures. I ask you tonight to add to our future security with a major research and production effort to guard our people against bioterrorism, called Project Bioshield. The budget I send you will propose almost $6 billion to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague. We must assume that our enemies would use these diseases as weapons, and we must act before the dangers are upon us. (Applause.)

Since September the 11th, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have worked more closely than ever to track and disrupt the terrorists. The FBI is improving its ability to analyze intelligence, and is transforming itself to meet new threats. Tonight, I am instructing the leaders of the FBI, the CIA, the Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, to merge and analyze all threat information in a single location. Our government must have the very best information possible, and we will use it to make sure the right people are in the right places to protect all our citizens. (Applause.)

Our war against terror is a contest of will in which perseverance is power. In the ruins of two towers, at the western wall of the Pentagon, on a field in Pennsylvania, this nation made a pledge, and we renew that pledge tonight: Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men -- free people will set the course of history. (Applause.)

Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror, the gravest danger facing America and the world, is outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation.

This threat is new; America's duty is familiar. Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism, and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States of America. (Applause.)

Now, in this century, the ideology of power and domination has appeared again, and seeks to gain the ultimate weapons of terror. Once again, this nation and all our friends are all that stand between a world at peace, and a world of chaos and constant alarm. Once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility. (Applause.)

America is making a broad and determined effort to confront these dangers. We have called on the United Nations to fulfill its charter and stand by its demand that Iraq disarm. We're strongly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency in its mission to track and control nuclear materials around the world. We're working with other governments to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union, and to strengthen global treaties banning the production and shipment of missile technologies and weapons of mass destruction.

In all these efforts, however, America's purpose is more than to follow a process -- it is to achieve a result: the end of terrible threats to the civilized world. All free nations have a stake in preventing sudden and catastrophic attacks. And we're asking them to join us, and many are doing so. Yet the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others. (Applause.) Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and security of the American people. (Applause.)

Different threats require different strategies. In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny -- and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom. (Applause.)

On the Korean Peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed. (Applause.)

America is working with the countries of the region -- South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia -- to find a peaceful solution, and to show the North Korean government that nuclear weapons will bring only isolation, economic stagnation, and continued hardship. (Applause.) The North Korean regime will find respect in the world and revival for its people only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions. (Applause.)

Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth, will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States. (Applause.)

Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons -- not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.

Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct -- were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses.

Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance flights requested by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say. Intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has ordered that scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors in disarming Iraq will be killed, along with their families.

Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)

The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.

We will consult. But let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him. (Applause.)

Tonight I have a message for the men and women who will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many of you are assembling in or near the Middle East, and some crucial hours may lay ahead. In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe in America, and America believes in you. (Applause.)

Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a President can make. The technologies of war have changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning that always come.

We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means -- sparing, in every way we can, the innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the United States military -- and we will prevail. (Applause.)

And as we and our coalition partners are doing in Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi people food and medicines and supplies -- and freedom. (Applause.)

Many challenges, abroad and at home, have arrived in a single season. In two years, America has gone from a sense of invulnerability to an awareness of peril; from bitter division in small matters to calm unity in great causes. And we go forward with confidence, because this call of history has come to the right country.

Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers.

Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity. (Applause.)

We Americans have faith in ourselves, but not in ourselves alone. We do not know -- we do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.

May He guide us now. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

END 10:08 P.M. EST

Please discuss only this subject and what posters post about this subject, and do not discuss the posters themselves. Thank you!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 5,370 • Replies: 183
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ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 05:30 pm
The USA must persevere in Iraq for the same reasons it must persevere in Afghanistan.

The Vietnam war, the Bosnia war, and the Kuwait war were attempts by the USA to prevent independent states from being conquered by other independent states. The present wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have a different objective. The objective of these wars is to prevent Afghanistan and Iraq from being safe havens for terrorist groups to plot and initiate mass murders of civilians in the USA and other countries.

The USA must persevere until that objective is achieved.

Al-Qaeda declared war on the USA in 1996, 1998, and 2004.

The USA responded with:
Quote:
Joint Resolution of Congress, Passed September 14, 2001, To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/terroristattack/joint-resolution_9-14.html


October 20, 2001 the USA in a coalition with other nations invaded Afghanistan.


Subsequently the USA responded with:
Quote:
Public Law 107-243 107th Congress Joint Resolution Oct. 16, 2002, To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

www.c-span.org/resources/pdf/hjres114.pdf

In this joint resolution, Congress declared two reasons for invading Iraq that have been proven to be independent, true, valid and individually sufficient reasons for invading Iraq. The first of these two reasons, after substituting the country Afghanistan for the country Iraq, is identical to the reason for invading Afghanistan. (The boldface numbers in the following quote were added by me).

Congress wrote:

...
(10) Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

(11) Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;
...


March 20, 2003 the USA in a coalition with other nations invaded Iraq.

The USA and the new Iraq government's solution for achieving their objective is to establish a democracy in Iraq secured by the Iraqis themselves. Iraq and the USA have completed five of eight steps toward their solution:
(1) Select an initial Iraq government to hold a first election.
(2) Establish and begin training an Iraq self-defense military.
(3) Hold a democratic election of an interim government whose primary function is to write a proposed constitution for a new Iraq democratic government.
(4) Submit that proposed constitution to Iraq voters for approval or disapproval.
(5) After approval by Iraq voters of an Iraq democratic government constitution, hold under that constitution a first election of the members of that government.

(6) Organize the newly elected Iraq government.
(7) Train, as specified by the new Iraq government, an Iraq military to secure that Iraq government.
(8) Remove the USA military from Iraq in a phased withdrawal.

The USA will withdraw from Iraq in phases in harmony with the evolution of Iraq's self-governance. As a consequence, both Iraqis and Americans will in their mutual self-interest achieve the following goals:
(A) Stop the terrorists and Saddamists from threatening Iraq's democracy;
(B) Enable Iraqi security forces to protect their own people;
(C) Prevent Iraq from becoming a potential safe haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the USA and other countries.
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ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 05:43 pm
I disagree with President Bush's solution for making the USA independent of middle eastern oil.

I think it unrealistic to expect an oil substitute will be developed in less than 30 years that will exist in sufficient quantities to meet the USA's energy requirements without middle eastern oil.

I recommend that the USA become independent of middle eastern oil much sooner by rapidly developing the USA's domestic oil reserves to the maximum practical extent. This approach can make the USA independent of middle eastern oil in less than 10 years. For example, I'd begin by opening 19,100 of the 19,100,000 acres of ANWAR to oil exploration, drilling and production.
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ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 09:50 pm
Whoops!

I MISTAKENLY FIRST POSTED THE PRESIDENT'S 2003 STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH. I MEANT TO POST THE 2003 SPEECH NEXT.

Oh well!


THE PRESIDENT'S 2006 STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH FOLLOWS.

I recommend reading them both.
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ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 09:54 pm
The President wrote:


January 31, 2006


STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
9:12 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court and diplomatic corps, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream. Tonight we are comforted by the hope of a glad reunion with the husband who was taken so long ago, and we are grateful for the good life of Coretta Scott King. (Applause.)

Every time I'm invited to this rostrum, I'm humbled by the privilege, and mindful of the history we've seen together. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and national achievement. We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history -- and it has been my honor to serve with you.

In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of goodwill and respect for one another -- and I will do my part. Tonight the state of our Union is strong -- and together we will make it stronger. (Applause.)

In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom -- or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy -- or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting -- yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people, the only way to secure the peace, the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership -- so the United States of America will continue to lead. (Applause.)

Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction. Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror. Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer -- so we will act boldly in freedom's cause. (Applause.)

Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time. In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies in the world. Today, there are 122. And we're writing a new chapter in the story of self-government -- with women lining up to vote in Afghanistan, and millions of Iraqis marking their liberty with purple ink, and men and women from Lebanon to Egypt debating the rights of individuals and the necessity of freedom. At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in democratic nations. And we do not forget the other half -- in places like Syria and Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran -- because the demands of justice, and the peace of this world, require their freedom, as well. (Applause.)

No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it. And one of the main sources of reaction and opposition is radical Islam -- the perversion by a few of a noble faith into an ideology of terror and death. Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder -- and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously. They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder.

Their aim is to seize power in Iraq, and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world. Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear. When they murder children at a school in Beslan, or blow up commuters in London, or behead a bound captive, the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth. But they have miscalculated: We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it. (Applause.)

In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores. There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat. By allowing radical Islam to work its will -- by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself -- we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals, or even in our own courage. But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil. (Applause.)

America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed and move this world toward peace. We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders -- and for the others, their day will come.

We remain on the offensive in Afghanistan, where a fine President and a National Assembly are fighting terror while building the institutions of a new democracy. We're on the offensive in Iraq, with a clear plan for victory. First, we're helping Iraqis build an inclusive government, so that old resentments will be eased and the insurgency will be marginalized.

Second, we're continuing reconstruction efforts, and helping the Iraqi government to fight corruption and build a modern economy, so all Iraqis can experience the benefits of freedom. And, third, we're striking terrorist targets while we train Iraqi forces that are increasingly capable of defeating the enemy. Iraqis are showing their courage every day, and we are proud to be their allies in the cause of freedom. (Applause.)

Our work in Iraq is difficult because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, the nation has gone from dictatorship to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections. At the same time, our coalition has been relentless in shutting off terrorist infiltration, clearing out insurgent strongholds, and turning over territory to Iraqi security forces. I am confident in our plan for victory; I am confident in the will of the Iraqi people; I am confident in the skill and spirit of our military. Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning. (Applause.)

The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. 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. (Applause.)

Our coalition has learned from our experience in Iraq. We've adjusted our military tactics and changed our approach to reconstruction. Along the way, we have benefitted from responsible criticism and counsel offered by members of Congress of both parties. In the coming year, I will continue to reach out and seek your good advice. Yet, there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. (Applause.) Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy. (Applause.)

With so much in the balance, those of us in public office have a duty to speak with candor. A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison, would put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country, and show that a pledge from America means little. Members of Congress, however we feel about the decisions and debates of the past, our nation has only one option: We must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in this vital mission. (Applause.)

Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices -- and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear. They know what it's like to fight house to house in a maze of streets, to wear heavy gear in the desert heat, to see a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. And those who know the costs also know the stakes. Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. … It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to…. Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."

Staff Sergeant Dan Clay's wife, Lisa, and his mom and dad, Sara Jo and Bud, are with us this evening. Welcome. (Applause.)

Our nation is grateful to the fallen, who live in the memory of our country. We're grateful to all who volunteer to wear our nation's uniform -- and as we honor our brave troops, let us never forget the sacrifices of America's military families. (Applause.)

Our offensive against terror involves more than military action. Ultimately, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change. So the United States of America supports democratic reform across the broader Middle East. Elections are vital, but they are only the beginning. Raising up a democracy requires the rule of law, and protection of minorities, and strong, accountable institutions that last longer than a single vote.

The great people of Egypt have voted in a multi-party presidential election -- and now their government should open paths of peaceful opposition that will reduce the appeal of radicalism. The Palestinian people have voted in elections. And now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace. (Applause.) Saudi Arabia has taken the first steps of reform -- now it can offer its people a better future by pressing forward with those efforts. Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity. (Applause.)

The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people. The regime in that country sponsors terrorists in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon -- and that must come to an end. (Applause.) The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. (Applause.) America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.

Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran. (Applause.)

To overcome dangers in our world, we must also take the offensive by encouraging economic progress, and fighting disease, and spreading hope in hopeless lands. Isolationism would not only tie our hands in fighting enemies, it would keep us from helping our friends in desperate need. We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS, or an infant with malaria, or a refugee fleeing genocide, or a young girl sold into slavery. We also show compassion abroad because regions overwhelmed by poverty, corruption, and despair are sources of terrorism, and organized crime, and human trafficking, and the drug trade.

In recent years, you and I have taken unprecedented action to fight AIDS and malaria, expand the education of girls, and reward developing nations that are moving forward with economic and political reform. For people everywhere, the United States is a partner for a better life. Short-changing these efforts would increase the suffering and chaos of our world, undercut our long-term security, and dull the conscience of our country. I urge members of Congress to serve the interests of America by showing the compassion of America.

Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home. The enemy has not lost the desire or capability to attack us. Fortunately, this nation has superb professionals in law enforcement, intelligence, the military, and homeland security. These men and women are dedicating their lives, protecting us all, and they deserve our support and our thanks. (Applause.) They also deserve the same tools they already use to fight drug trafficking and organized crime -- so I ask you to reauthorize the Patriot Act. (Applause.)

It is said that prior to the attacks of September the 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late. So to prevent another attack –- based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute -- I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous Presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again. (Applause.)

In all these areas -- from the disruption of terror networks, to victory in Iraq, to the spread of freedom and hope in troubled regions -- we need the support of our friends and allies. To draw that support, we must always be clear in our principles and willing to act. The only alternative to American leadership is a dramatically more dangerous and anxious world. Yet we also choose to lead because it is a privilege to serve the values that gave us birth. American leaders -- from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan -- rejected isolation and retreat, because they knew that America is always more secure when freedom is on the march.

Our own generation is in a long war against a determined enemy -- a war that will be fought by Presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress. And tonight I ask for yours. Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom. (Applause.)

Here at home, America also has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.


Our economy is healthy and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs -- more than Japan and the European Union combined. (Applause.) Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.

The American economy is preeminent, but we cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors, like China and India, and this creates uncertainty, which makes it easier to feed people's fears. So we're seeing some old temptations return. Protectionists want to escape competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy. Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy -- even though this economy could not function without them. (Applause.) All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction -- toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.


Tonight I will set out a better path: an agenda for a nation that competes with confidence; an agenda that will raise standards of living and generate new jobs. Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it.

Keeping America competitive begins with keeping our economy growing. And our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to spend, save, and invest. 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. (Applause.) Yet the tax relief is set to expire in the next few years. If we do nothing, American families will face a massive tax increase they do not expect and will not welcome.

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. (Applause.)

Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars. Every year of my presidency, we've reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending, and last year you passed bills that cut this spending. This year my budget will cut it again, and reduce or eliminate more than 140 programs that are performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities. By passing these reforms, we will save the American taxpayer another $14 billion next year, and stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. (Applause.)

I am pleased that members of Congress are working on earmark reform, because the federal budget has too many special interest projects. (Applause.) And we can tackle this problem together, if you pass the line-item veto. (Applause.)

We must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending, or entitlements. This year, the first of about 78 million baby boomers turn 60, including two of my Dad's favorite people -- me and President Clinton. (Laughter.) This milestone is more than a personal crisis -- (laughter) -- it is a national challenge. The retirement of the baby boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the federal government. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire federal budget. And that will present future Congresses with impossible choices -- staggering tax increases, immense deficits, or deep cuts in every category of spending.

Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security -- (applause) -- yet the rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away. (Applause.) And every year we fail to act, the situation gets worse.

So tonight, I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This commission should include members of Congress of both parties, and offer bipartisan solutions. We need to put aside partisan politics and work together and get this problem solved. (Applause.)

Keeping America competitive requires us to open more markets for all that Americans make and grow. One out of every five factory jobs in America is related to global trade, and we want people everywhere to buy American. With open markets and a level playing field, no one can out-produce or out-compete the American worker. (Applause.)

Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values, and serves the interests of our economy. Our nation needs orderly and secure borders. (Applause.) To meet this goal, we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. (Applause.) And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty, allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally, and reduces smuggling and crime at the border. (Applause.)

Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. (Applause.) Our government has a responsibility to provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. (Applause.) For all Americans -- for all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. (Applause.)

We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology, to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors. We will strengthen health savings accounts -- making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get. (Applause.) We will do more to make this coverage portable, so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance. (Applause.) And because lawsuits are driving many good doctors out of practice -- leaving women in nearly 1,500 American counties without a single OB/GYN -- I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year. (Applause.)

Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

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. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. (Applause.)

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We'll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. (Applause.)

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. (Applause.) By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. (Applause.)

And to keep America competitive, one commitment is necessary above all: We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hardworking, ambitious people -- and we're going to keep that edge. Tonight I announce an American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our nation's children a firm grounding in math and science. (Applause.)

First, I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.

Second, I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit -- (applause) -- to encourage bolder private-sector initiatives in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life -- and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come. (Applause.)

Third, we need to encourage children to take more math and science, and to make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We've made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world. (Applause.)

Preparing our nation to compete in the world is a goal that all of us can share. I urge you to support the American Competitiveness Initiative, and together we will show the world what the American people can achieve.

America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another. So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society.

In recent years, America has become a more hopeful nation. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row. (Applause.)

These gains are evidence of a quiet transformation -- a revolution of conscience, in which a rising generation is finding that a life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment. Government has played a role. Wise policies, such as welfare reform and drug education and support for abstinence and adoption have made a difference in the character of our country. And everyone here tonight, Democrat and Republican, has a right to be proud of this record. (Applause.)

Yet many Americans, especially parents, still have deep concerns about the direction of our culture, and the health of our most basic institutions. They're concerned about unethical conduct by public officials, and discouraged by activist courts that try to redefine marriage. They worry about children in our society who need direction and love, and about fellow citizens still displaced by natural disaster, and about suffering caused by treatable diseases.

As we look at these challenges, we must never give in to the belief that America is in decline, or that our culture is doomed to unravel. The American people know better than that. We have proven the pessimists wrong before -- and we will do it again. (Applause.)

A hopeful society depends on courts that deliver equal justice under the law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members -- new members on its bench: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. (Applause.) I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench. (Applause.)

Today marks the official retirement of a very special American. For 24 years of faithful service to our nation, the United States is grateful to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. (Applause.)

A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners, and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator -- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale. (Applause.)

A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. (Applause.) Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington -- I support your efforts. Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility -- and that is a pledge we must never forget, never dismiss, and never betray. (Applause.)

As we renew the promise of our institutions, let us also show the character of America in our compassion and care for one another.

A hopeful society gives special attention to children who lack direction and love. Through the Helping America's Youth Initiative, we are encouraging caring adults to get involved in the life of a child -- and this good work is being led by our First Lady, Laura Bush. (Applause.) This year we will add resources to encourage young people to stay in school, so more of America's youth can raise their sights and achieve their dreams.

A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency -- and stays at it until they're back on their feet. So far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We're removing debris and repairing highways and rebuilding stronger levees. We're providing business loans and housing assistance. Yet as we meet these immediate needs, we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived.

In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country. The answer is not only temporary relief, but schools that teach every child, and job skills that bring upward mobility, and more opportunities to own a home and start a business. As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity. (Applause.)

A hopeful society acts boldly to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, which can be prevented, and treated, and defeated. More than a million Americans live with HIV, and half of all AIDS cases occur among African Americans. I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act, and provide new funding to states, so we end the waiting lists for AIDS medicines in America. (Applause.) We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closely with African American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America. (Applause.)

Fellow citizens, we've been called to leadership in a period of consequence. We've entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite. We see great changes in science and commerce that will influence all our lives. Sometimes it can seem that history is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore. Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing.

Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others. Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?

Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward -- optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of the victories to come.

May God bless America. (Applause.)

END10:03 P.M. EST
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 11:05 pm
My fellow Americans the many failures of my administration compels me to offer my resignation.

GWB = George Would Believe, God spoke to him.
0 Replies
 
ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2006 08:34 am
Link to January 31, 2006
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT

http://www.whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2006/index.html
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2006 09:24 am
ican711nm wrote:
I disagree with President Bush's solution for making the USA independent of middle eastern oil.

I think it unrealistic to expect an oil substitute will be developed in less than 30 years that will exist in sufficient quantities to meet the USA's energy requirements without middle eastern oil.

I recommend that the USA become independent of middle eastern oil much sooner by rapidly developing the USA's domestic oil reserves to the maximum practical extent. This approach can make the USA independent of middle eastern oil in less than 10 years. For example, I'd begin by opening 19,100 of the 19,100,000 acres of ANWAR to oil exploration, drilling and production.


There's a good food-for-thought article over at Techcentralstation (they agree with your disagreement).

Addicted to What?
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2006 09:53 am
From the speech:

Quote:
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. (Applause.)


I have to wonder if those on the left will see the wisdom of this (new data from the government confirms that the 2003 reduction in capital gains taxes was a huge success).

From the WSJ:

Quote:
The latest statistics on capital gains tax collections were recently released by the Congressional Budget Office, and receipts are not down but way up. By 45% to be exact. As part of President Bush's 2003 investment tax cut package, the capital gains tax rate was reduced to 15% from 20%. Opponents predicted, as ever, that this would reduce tax revenue. Not even close.

Here's what actually happened. This 25% reduction in the tax penalty on stock and other asset sales triggered a doubling of capital gains realizations, to $539 billion in 2005 from $269 billion in 2002.

One influence was the increase in stock values over that time, thanks in part to the higher after-tax return on capital induced by the tax cuts.

...It also yields a windfall for the Treasury. In 2002, the year before the tax cut, capital gains tax liabilities were $49 billion at the 20% rate. They rose slightly to $51 billion in 2003, then surged to $71 billion in 2004, and were estimated by CBO to have reached $80 billion last year -- all paid at the lower 15% rate. In short, the lower rate yielded more revenue.

...It also yields a windfall for the Treasury. In 2002, the year before the tax cut, capital gains tax liabilities were $49 billion at the 20% rate. They rose slightly to $51 billion in 2003, then surged to $71 billion in 2004, and were estimated by CBO to have reached $80 billion last year -- all paid at the lower 15% rate. In short, the lower rate yielded more revenue.

A new report from the American Shareholders Association finds that Joint Tax had assured Congress in 2003 that the tax cut would reduce capital gains revenues by $3 billion from 2003 through 2005, with even bigger losses in future years. Nope. According to the CBO data, actual revenues were $62 billion higher than Joint Tax predicted over this three-year period.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113893314398264052.html?mod=opinion&o jcontent=otep
0 Replies
 
ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2006 02:13 pm
JustWonders wrote:

...
I have to wonder if those on the left will see the wisdom of this (new data from the government confirms that the 2003 reduction in capital gains taxes was a huge success).
...

The evidence is compelling that cutting taxes to a point (i.e., the point where the Laffer tax income curve begins to decrease with decreasing tax rate) will increase both the total tax revenue and the total economy. Why then is making the Bush tax cuts permanent so controversial when they have already increased federal revenue significantly? Surely it is not astrophysics. If the tax rate were reduced to 0% there would be zero tax revenue, because there would be zero taxes paid. If the tax rate were increased to 100% there would be zero tax revenue because everyone would either move out of the country, or stop earning income and go on welfare. Clearly the optimum tax rate is somewhere between 0% and 100%.

Bush's tax cuts show that the optimum tax rate is less than Clinton's tax rates. I'm betting it is even less than Bush's tax rates. I recommend: reducing the income tax rate to 13% per dollar of income (regardless of source, quantity, and time of the income) with a $13,000 exemption per dependent and zero deductions; and I recommend introducing a federal consumption tax upto a maximum 13% with zero exemptions to make estimated federal income balance a federal budget that is 87% of the current one; thereby compelling a 13% reduction in federal spending to achieve a balanced budget.

One might ask why all the 13s in my proposal? I like the number 13! :wink: There are 13 stripes in the American flag. Smile

Yes, I understand this is a pipedream. What I don't understand is why. I guess many folks want higher taxes to reduce the income gap among Americans, but why is that important to them. I guess many others want higher taxes to slow the growth of the American economy to reduce the economy gap among nations, but why is that important to them. I guess others think slowing the growth of the American economy will reduce or stop earth warming, but why do they think that in the face of Mars warming (without any help from humans). I guess too many others want to assuage their or other people's envy of the more affluent, but why is that important to them. Finally, I guess there are those who see limiting other people's wealth is a practical way to gain power over others, but why is that important to them .... oh .... I guess the answer to that last why is .... they're sick.

But maybe I'm sick too! I admit it! I am continually seeking more power over machines (e.g., airplanes and helicopters). That costs money; more money than I will ever have. The only honest way for me to nonetheless acquire sufficient money to satisfy my quest is to entice the more wealthy to pay to ride in the aircraft I can fly. The wealthier they are, the easier they are to entice and the more I fly. The lower their and everyone else's taxes, the more wealthy more people are.

As you can readily see, it's not sickness or altruism, but self-interest that drives me ..... oh .... rather.... that flies me. Laughing
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Feb, 2006 03:04 pm
The 2004 Nobel winner in Economics agrees with you that the tax cuts weren't deep enough, although his statements regarding that didn't get much press at the time. Kerry ran on rolling back the tax-cuts and it's part of the reason (there were so many) that he lost.

It will be interesting to see, in light of this new data, what excuses the left comes up with to fight making the cuts permanent. I suppose they could do the math, but since they seem to value penalizing success over getting more tax revenue, I'm sure they'll come up with something as bizarre as Kerry's nonsense economics. They appear to like losing Smile
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 10:28 am
ican711nm wrote:
The evidence is compelling that cutting taxes to a point (i.e., the point where the Laffer tax income curve begins to decrease with decreasing tax rate) will increase both the total tax revenue and the total economy. Why then is making the Bush tax cuts permanent so controversial when they have already increased federal revenue significantly?

On the contrary. There is no compelling evidence in general that cutting marginal tax rates produces higher revenues (i.e. the Laffer Curve) actually occurs in real life, or in particular that federal revenues have increased as a result of Bush's tax cuts. The higher corporate gains tax collections of 2005, in fact, were due in part to the expiration of a tax cut (source).

ican711nm wrote:
Bush's tax cuts show that the optimum tax rate is less than Clinton's tax rates. I'm betting it is even less than Bush's tax rates. I recommend: reducing the income tax rate to 13% per dollar of income (regardless of source, quantity, and time of the income) with a $13,000 exemption per dependent and zero deductions; and I recommend introducing a federal consumption tax upto a maximum 13% with zero exemptions to make estimated federal income balance a federal budget that is 87% of the current one; thereby compelling a 13% reduction in federal spending to achieve a balanced budget.

Or, in other words, fund tax cuts for the wealthy with largely regressive taxes on the poor.
0 Replies
 
ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 12:58 pm
joefromchicago wrote:

...
There is no compelling evidence in general that cutting marginal tax rates produces higher revenues (i.e. the Laffer Curve) actually occurs in real life, or in particular that federal revenues have increased as a result of Bush's tax cuts.
...
Your proposition and reference defies logic and high school algebra. Do you actually disagree that reducing the tax rate below 100% will produce more income until the tax rate is reduced below the breakeven tax rate? It is logical to dispute what that breakeven tax rate is. But it is certainly not logical to dispute that such a breakeven point exists.

As for the original Reagan and the current Bush tax cuts, the evidence is irrefutable that within 24 months after such tax rate reductions are implemented, tax revenues begin to exceed what they were before the taxcut. That time delay occurs because it takes people time to change their economic behavior and enjoy the benefits (or in the case of Clinton's tax rate increases, suffer the penalties) -- purchases or investments -- from their additional (or reduced disgressionary funds). Bush's tax cuts are small -- max tax rate reduced to 35% -- compared to Reagans -- max tax rate reduced to 28%. It is because Reagan's tax cuts increased tax revenue, that I suspect that the breakeven tax rate is 28% or lower.


ican711nm wrote:
Bush's tax cuts show that the optimum tax rate is less than Clinton's tax rates. I'm betting it is even less than Bush's tax rates. I recommend: reducing the income tax rate to 13% per dollar of income (regardless of source, quantity, and time of the income) with a $13,000 exemption per dependent and zero deductions; and I recommend introducing a federal consumption tax upto a maximum 13% with zero exemptions to make estimated federal income balance a federal budget that is 87% of the current one; thereby compelling a 13% reduction in federal spending to achieve a balanced budget.

Or, in other words, fund tax cuts for the wealthy with largely regressive taxes on the poor.
What you wrote here is flagrantly false. A low income family with four dependents and an income less or equal to $52,000 will pay zero tax under the plan I recommend. A low income family with eight dependents and an income less or equal to $104,000 will pay zero tax under the plan I recommend. What's this stuff of yours about "fund tax cuts for the wealthy with largely regressive taxes on the poor?" Since when is zero tax "regressive?"

By the way, the tax plan I recommend will produce the following for families with 4 dependents -- TOTAL INCOME EXEMPTION = $52,000:

INCOME ---- TAX RATE ---- TAX PAID ----- EFFECTIVE TAX RATE
$52,000 ----- 13% ----------- $ 0 --------------------- 0.00%
$78,000 ----- 13% ----------- $ 3,380 --------------- 4.33%
$104,000 ---- 13% ----------- $ 6,760 --------------- 6.50%
$208,000 ---- 13% ----------- $ 20,280 ------------- 9.75%
$416,000 ---- 13% ----------- $ 47,320 ----------- 11.37%
$832,000 ---- 13% ----------- $ 101,400 ---------- 12.19%
$1,664,000 -- 13% ----------- $ 209,560 ---------- 12.59%
$3,328,000 -- 13% ----------- $ 425,880 ---------- 12.80%
$6,656,000 -- 13% ----------- $ 858,520 ---------- 12.90%
$9,999,999 -- 13% ----------- $1,293,240 --------- 12.93%
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 01:14 pm
Quote:
As for the original Reagan and the current Bush tax cuts, the evidence is irrefutable that within 24 months after such tax rate reduction are implemented, tax revenues begin to exceed what they were before the taxcut.


What you have written is not only refutable, it is an outright lie.

Quote:
I have an idea - let's put your theory to the test by looking at Reagan and Bush - both members of the supply-side kool aid drinking club. In 1982-1984, tax receipts from individual taxpayers were (in billions) 297, 298 and 288, respectively. It wasn't until Regan enacted a serious of tax increases that government revenues started to increase. Of course, by then Ronnie's spending was out of control. His discretionary spending increased from 326 billion to 488 billion - a 49% increase.


Bush's record is just as pathetic. He started with 994 billion in individual receipts in 2001 and now has 927 billion - a 6.7% decrease in revenue. Even if you go back to 1996 to compare individual revenue growth, Bush's increase in only 41% So, Donny - when the hell will those tax cuts pay for themselves?


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/2/5/9846/24376

http://www.cbo.gov/budget/historical.pdf

I have provided the link to the actual CBO numbers. Your 'irrefutable' claim is a lie in both cases; within 24 months of the tax cuts, there was no increase whatsoever in revenues.

The Laffer Curve is not reproducable based upon any existing data set. It is a theory completely unsupported by reality or history.

Quote:
Bush's tax cuts show that the optimum tax rate is less than Clinton's tax rates.


You are incorrect, and unsupported by fact. I expect better than this from you, though I really don't know why.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 02:56 pm
ican711nm wrote:
Your proposition and reference defies logic and high school algebra. Do you actually disagree that reducing the tax rate below 100% will produce more income until the tax rate is reduced below the breakeven tax rate? It is logical to dispute what that breakeven tax rate is. But it is certainly not logical to dispute that such a breakeven point exists.

I don't understand why you (and Arthur Laffer) think a 100% tax would produce no revenue for the state. If the state actually confiscated all income, it would produce a vast amount of tax revenue. Of course, people would figure out ways to avoid paying their share (just as they avoid paying taxes now), but sufficiently harsh penalties would convince most people to pay some amount, even if it wasn't the full amount, of their tax liability.

ican711nm wrote:
As for the original Reagan and the current Bush tax cuts, the evidence is irrefutable that within 24 months after such tax rate reductions are implemented, tax revenues begin to exceed what they were before the taxcut.

As Cycloptichorn noted, this is just plain false. And not just false, but laughably false. Indeed, a lot of supply-siders wouldn't even suggest that tax revenues necessarily go up after a tax cut. As Laffer himself has stated:
    The Laffer Curve itself does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues. Revenue responses to a tax rate change will depend upon the tax system in place, the time period being considered, the ease of movement into underground activities, the level of tax rates already in place, the prevalence of legal and accounting-driven tax loopholes, and the proclivities of the productive factors.


ican711nm wrote:
That time delay occurs because it takes people time to change their economic behavior and enjoy the benefits (or in the case of Clinton's tax rate increases, suffer the penalties) -- purchases or investments -- from their additional (or reduced disgressionary funds). Bush's tax cuts are small -- max tax rate reduced to 35% -- compared to Reagans -- max tax rate reduced to 28%. It is because Reagan's tax cuts increased tax revenue, that I suspect that the breakeven tax rate is 28% or lower.

Tax revenues during Reagan's administration only rose after Reagan raised taxes.

ican711nm wrote:
What you wrote here is flagrantly false. A low income family with four dependents and an income less or equal to $52,000 will pay zero tax under the plan I recommend. A low income family with eight dependents and an income less or equal to $104,000 will pay zero tax under the plan I recommend. What's this stuff of yours about "fund tax cuts for the wealthy with largely regressive taxes on the poor?" Since when is zero tax "regressive?"

Your "consumption tax" plan is regressive. On the other hand, your proposal to peg the tax rate to the number of dependents is neither regressive nor progressive, it's just strange.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 06:13 pm
It would seem that theory of economics and the reality of the results of policy are often different animals:

http://www.house.gov/jec/fiscal/tx-grwth/reagtxct/fig-1.gif

The Reagan Tax Cuts: Lessons for Tax Reform

During the summer of 1981 the central focus of policy debate was on the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA) of 1981, the Reagan tax cuts. The core of this proposal was a version of the Kemp-Roth bill providing a 25 percent across-the-board cut in personal marginal tax rates. By reducing marginal tax rates and improving economic incentives, ERTA would increase the flow of resources into production, boosting economic growth. Opponents used static revenue projections to argue that ERTA would be a giveaway to the rich because their tax payments would fall.

The criticism that the tax payments of the rich would fall under ERTA was based on a static conception of human behavior. As a 1982 JEC study pointed out,[1] similar across-the-board tax cuts had been implemented in the 1920s as the Mellon tax cuts, and in the 1960s as the Kennedy tax cuts. In both cases the reduction of high marginal tax rates actually increased tax payments by "the rich," also increasing their share of total individual income taxes paid. Unfortunately, estimates of ERTA by the Democrat-controlled CBO continued to show falling tax payment by upper income taxpayers, even after actual IRS data had become available showing a surge of income tax payments by affluent taxpayers.

Given the current interest in tax reform and tax relief, a review of the effects of the Reagan tax cuts on taxpayer behavior and tax burden provides useful information. During the 1980s ERTA had reduced personal tax rates by about 25 percent, while the Tax Reform Act of 1986 chopped them yet again.


Tax Rates and Tax Revenues
High marginal tax rates discourage work effort, saving, and investment, and promote tax avoidance and tax evasion. A reduction in high marginal tax rates would boost long term economic growth, and reduce the attractiveness of tax shelters and other forms of tax avoidance. The economic benefits of ERTA were summarized by President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers in 1994: "It is undeniable that the sharp reduction in taxes in the early 1980s was a strong impetus to economic growth." Unfortunately, the Council could not bring itself to acknowledge the counterproductive effects high marginal tax rates can have upon taxpayer behavior and tax avoidance activities.

Since 1984 the JEC has provided factual information about the impact of the tax cuts of the 1980s. For example, for many years the JEC has published IRS data on federal tax payments of the top 1 percent, top 5 percent, top 10 percent, and other taxpayers. These data show that after the high marginal tax rates of 1981 were cut, tax payments and the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent climbed sharply. For example, in 1981 the top 1 percent paid 17.6 percent of all personal income taxes, but by 1988 their share had jumped to 27.5 percent, a 10 percentage point increase. The graph below illustrates changes in the tax burden during this period.


Click here to see Figure 1.

The share of the income tax burden borne by the top 10 percent of taxpayers increased from 48.0 percent in 1981 to 57.2 percent in 1988. Meanwhile, the share of income taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers dropped from 7.5 percent in 1981 to 5.7 percent in 1988.

A middle class of taxpayers can be defined as those between the 50th percentile and the 95th percentile (those earning between $18,367 and $72,735 in 1988). Between 1981 and 1988, the income tax burden of the middle class declined from 57.5 percent in 1981 to 48.7 percent in 1988. This 8.8 percentage point decline in middle class tax burden is entirely accounted for by the increase borne by the top one percent.

Several conclusions follow from these data. First of all, reduction in high marginal tax rates can induce taxpayers to lessen their reliance on tax shelters and tax avoidance, and expose more of their income to taxation. The result in this case was a 51 percent increase in real tax payments by the top one percent. Meanwhile, the tax rate reduction reduced the tax payments of middle class and poor taxpayers. The net effect was a marked shift in the tax burden toward the top 1 percent amounting to about 10 percentage points. Lower top marginal tax rates had encouraged these taxpayers to generate more taxable income.

The 1993 Clinton tax increase appears to having the opposite effect on the willingness of wealthy taxpayers to expose income to taxation. According to IRS data, the income generated by the top one percent of income earners actually declined in 1993. This decline is especially significant since the retroactivity of the Clinton tax increase in that year limited the ability of taxpayers to deploy tax avoidance strategies, temporarily resulting in an increase in their tax burden. Moreover, according to the FY 1997 Clinton budget submission, individual income tax revenues as a share of GDP will be lower during the first four years of the Clinton tax increase, which include the effects of the 1990 tax increase, than under the last four years of the Reagan tax changes (FY 1986-89). Furthermore, according to a study published by the National Bureau for Economic Research,[2] the Clinton tax hike is failing to collect over 40 percent of the projected revenue increases.

Incidentally, the claim that unrealistic supply side Reagan Administration revenue projections caused large budget deficits during the 1980s is false. Nonetheless, this false allegation is often used against current tax reform proposals. The official Reagan revenue projections immediately following enactment of ERTA did not assume huge revenue increases, and were actually quite close to the CBO revenue projections. Even the Democrat-controlled CBO projected that deficits would fall after the enactment of the Reagan tax cuts. The real problem was a recession that neither CBO nor OMB could foresee. Even so, individual income tax revenues rose from $244 billion in 1980 to $446 billion in 1989.


Conclusion
The Reagan tax cuts, like similar measures enacted in the 1920s and 1960s, showed that reducing excessive tax rates stimulates growth, reduces tax avoidance, and can increase the amount and share of tax payments generated by the rich. High top tax rates can induce counterproductive behavior and suppress revenues, factors that are usually missed or understated in government static revenue analysis. Furthermore, the key assumption of static revenue analysis that economic growth is not affected by tax changes is di sproved by the experience of previous tax reduction programs. There is little reason to expect static revenue analysis to evaluate the economic or distributional effects of current tax reform proposals much better than it evaluated the Reagan tax program 15 years ago

SOURCE
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 06:19 pm
And from the CATO Institute:
Quote:
Real economic growth averaged 3.2 percent during the Reagan years versus 2.8 percent during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1 percent during the Bush-Clinton years.
Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period after experiencing no growth in the pre-Reagan years; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the post-Reagan years.
Interest rates, inflation, and unemployment fell faster under Reagan than they did immediately before or after his presidency.
The only economic variable that was worse in the Reagan period than in both the pre- and post-Reagan years was the savings rate, which fell rapidly in the 1980s. The productivity rate was higher in the pre-Reagan years but much lower in the post-Reagan years.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-261.html
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 06:34 pm
And finally from NROSOURCE


This kind of story is being repeated all over the country:
Through 2004, New York State''s share of the income tax cuts will total nearly $36 billion, including $15 billion in savings for New York City residents. In 2004 alone, New York State residents will save nearly $14 billion in federal income taxes, including nearly $6 billion in savings for City residents. This amounts to a 2.7 percent average boost in after-tax income. If all current tax cut provisions are made permanent, the additional savings for New Yorkers from 2005 through 2010 will total nearly $108 billion. This includes about $46 billion in projected savings for City residents.
SOURCE

And here's a pic of the current picture
http://taxprof.typepad.com/./photos/uncategorized/revenue20growth.jpg

SOURCE
0 Replies
 
ican711nm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 07:21 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
As for the original Reagan and the current Bush tax cuts, the evidence is irrefutable that within 24 months after such tax rate reduction are implemented, tax revenues begin to exceed what they were before the taxcut.


What you have written is ... refutable ...
I neglected to state explicitly, that my recommended tax policy constitutes a replacement of all existing federal domestic taxes including estate taxes, and corporate and other business taxes. Consequently I focus on total federal budget revenue per year -- not just federal personal income tax revenue -- as my principle basis for examining past tax policy effects on the USA economy.

The consumption tax will tax lower income earners a greater percentage of their incomes, depending on the consumption tax rate needed to balance an 87% budget, and on the percentage of their income the high income earners consume versus invest. However, if the higher income earners invest a significant percentage of their income, they will thereby create more opportunities for the lower income earners to earn more.

http://www.cbo.gov/budget/historical.pdf
YEAR -------- TOTAL FEDERAL REVENUE
--------------------- $BILLIONS
1980 ----------------- 517.1
1981 ----------------- 599.3 Reagan presidency begins
1982 ----------------- 617.8 <<< Year of Reagan's tax rate cut
1983 ----------------- 600.6
1984 ----------------- 665.5
1985 ----------------- 734.1
1986 ----------------- 769.2
1987 ----------------- 854.4
1988 ----------------- 909.3
1989 ----------------- 991.2 Bush-41 presidency begins
1990 ----------------- 1032.1
1991 ----------------- 1055.1
1992 ----------------- 1099.3
1993 ----------------- 1154.5 Clinton presidencybegins
1994 ----------------- 1258.7
1995 ----------------- 1351.9
1996 ----------------- 1453.2
1997 ----------------- 1579.4
1998 ----------------- 1722.0
1999 ----------------- 1827.6 <<<Year of Clinton's tax rate increase
2000 ----------------- 2025.5
2001 ----------------- 1991.4 Bush-43 presidency begins
2002 ----------------- 1853.4 <<<Year of Bush's tax rate cut
2003 ----------------- 1782.5
2004 ----------------- 1880.3
2005 ----------------- 2153.9
2006 ----------------- ?

Please note that Reagan's max tax cut from 70% to 28%, resulted in a decrease a year later and an increase two years later in federal revenue. That increase trend continued all the way into Clinton's term despite interim Reagan and Bush-41 max tax increases to 31% and 35%, respectively. But Clinton's max tax increase to 39.7% resulted two years later in federal revenue decreases. Then Bush-43's tax cut resulted in a decrease a year later and an increase two years later in federal revenue. We'll have to wait to see if that increase trend continues like Reagan's did.


By the way, an 100% tax rate will make everyone miserable in addition to those already on federal welfare. However, the feds won't themselves have adequate revenue to pay for all that welfare or their own salaries so they'll have to go on welfare too. I guess everyone except those tax violators who escape the federal tax collectors will in a short time be equal -- equally dead.


...

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 07:27 pm
Sorry for spamming with so many posts in a row, but I think it necessary before we have a whole lot of misinformation about the evils of letting taxpayers keep more of what they earn.

I actually like Ican's formula up there if it will work.

I disagree with the President on more than one issue, but I'm 100% with him on tax policy if he just stays the course or makes it even better. Thanks to Clinton's tax increase which I'll never forgive the GOP for not rolling back when they could, retirees who keep working are paying income tax on 85% of their social security in addition to full income taxes on what they earn, plus, if they are self employed, get hit with another 14+% in self employment taxes even if they are already drawing social security. Add in local, county, and state taxes and it isn't difficult at all for the unrich elderly to be paying up to 50% or more of their income in taxes while the wealthy went right back into tax shelters.

You simply cannot hit the rich without hurting the poor. The president does understand that I think, and he should be encouraged to stay with and strengthen the current policies.
0 Replies
 
 

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