Economy: Bush says we need to reduce government spending, and elimnate the sneaky ways in which Congressmen slip special interest earmarks into spending bills. I'm in favor of this.
Education: Bush talks about "giving local leaders flexibility." Great, shut down the Department of Education thus giving local leaders complete flexibility. Unfortunately, Bush just wants to expand the federal governments role in education. Bush says "we must increase funds for students who struggle" but there is no mention of student who are above average but are being shortchanged by the school system because all the focus is only on the "struggling" students.
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This is the best part of Bush's speech:
I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income.
It's about time that there is finally a proposal to separate health insurance from the employer. Under the current system, the individual who wants to purchase his own insurance is doubly screwed. In the first place, there's no tax break for individually purchased insurance. And in the second place, there isn't even any insurance marketed to individuals because the entire focus is on selling comprehensive insurance plans to businesses.
Because the Bush plan gives a fixed deduction, it encourages people to shop for lower priced insurance rather than take the most expensive plan on account of the fact that government is paying for part of the additional cost.
This is the best idea to ever come out of W's mouth.
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Immigration: Bush says let more people come here to work. Let them become citizens. Bush doesn't care about preserving our nation the way it is. Big thumbs down to Bush.
Energy: Clean coal technology is good and nuclear energy is even better. Unfortunately that is lost because most of Bush's energy focus is on alternative fuels, and government mandates to force companies to make the stuff. If alternative fuels were in any way practical, the high gas taxes in Europe would have encouraged the adoption of such technologies over there. Instead, Europeans have reacted to high gasoline costs by driving small cars.
Judicial nominations: Bush complains that Congress isn't doing its job in confirming his judicial nominees, and he is right. Shame on Congress.
Terrorism, Iraq, foreign policy: I'm not going to comment on this stuff at this time.