President Bush made his case for the war in Iraq, emphasized AIDS in Africa, and reviewed his domestic policies in his annual State of the Union address.
The speech was made on January 28 to all of the cabinet and many other guests. Bush spent the first part of his speech discussing his domestic plans and the second half he focused on terrorism and international relations. He proposed new tax cuts and other policies to boost the failing U.S. economy. "I am proposing that all the income tax reductions set for 2004 and 2006 be made permanent and effective this year," he said. Bush lobbied to congress certain parts of his tax cut plan. "To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million seniors who receive dividend income, I ask you to end the unfair double taxation of dividends."
Bush pushed other programs that he rarely talks about such as drug abuse, child mentoring, and AIDS in Africa. He discussed giving money to drug addicts to help them become free of their addictions. "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." He also emphasized the need for the mentoring and guidance of children whose parents are in jail and other disadvantaged students. Bush proposed $15 billion for people suffering from AIDS in Africa. He called the situation in Africa a "severe and urgent crisis abroad." Bush claims the 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."
Health care was another important aspect of the speech. There was a proposal of $400 billion over the next decade to strengthen Medicare. "We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to the preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America." Bush endorsed prescription drug coverage for seniors and emphasized the need to provide health care to the thousands in the U.S without who cannot afford their health care or do not have it at all.
Bush was very vocal about terrorism and the war in Iraq as his speech progressed. He told about the intelligence that he knows about the threat against the U.S from terrorist groups and said that even though the people of the U.S do not hear about the war on terrorism that, "The war goes on, and we are winning." He listed the wrongs of Saddam Hussein and why there will be a need for action against him if the inspections are not successful. "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." Bush was showing a strong case against Iraq and trying to emphasize the need for a possible war.
After the speech there was a Democratic response by Gary Locke, the governor of Washington. Locke was giving the Democrats' opinion against the tax plan and against unreasonable action against Iraq. He emphasized some of the Democrats' priorities like education and the war on terror.
To see the full State of the Union go to http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/28/sotu.transcript.1/
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