Opinion on State of the Union 2006

The 2006 State of the Union Address by President Bush was not a successful speech. The speech focused more on appeasing lawmakers and citizens on current topics and realities, such as the war in , energy sources, and health care. Pretty much all of the goals and visions Mr. Bush states are not new; he provides no plan for achieving them, and is repeating what he had said in the last 5 years of his presidency.

Regarding one of the most debated issues, the war in , Mr. Bush acknowledged “Our work in is difficult because our enemy is brutal. âÂ?¦Yet, there is a difference bretween responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure.” He is trying to reassert himself and reassure those who think has no clear way out of . “We’re on the offensive in , with a clear plan for victory,” Bush states. Is that true? Since the war started in 2003, American troops have been the target of constant terror attacks by the insurgency, with over 2000 soldiers killed so far. Bush has given us no reason to believe his “plan for victory.”

His attitude towards ‘s energy consumption is radically different from the previous years. The “Advanced Energy Initiative” Mr. Bush introduced focused on developing alternative fuel sources rather than drilling for oil in the Arctic as he has suggested previously. In the end, Mr. Bush spends a majority of his time assuaging fears that the American economy is in decline and defending many controversial programs such as the wiretapping program.

The energy initiative that Mr. Bush introduced looks glamorous from the outside but in reality is most likely an empty promise. Many previous presidents have called for reducing dependence of the on Middle Eastern Oil. All of Mr. Bush’s previous State of the Union speeches have addressed this goal, to no effect. Mr. Bush said he hopes “to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025,” but provides no clear plan how.

Another issue of great concern to American citizens is Social Security and health care. Mr. Bush’s Social Security initiative, created after his re-election, was defeated in Congress; Bush chastised Congress for “not [acting] last year on [his] proposal to save Social Security.” He talked about the reality of the baby boomer generation ending and the incredible challenges faced by the government regarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Again, we see the recurrence of Bush’s focus on harsh realities.

President Bush’s speech was not successful because for the past 5 years of his presidency, he has not made much progress on the issues he mentioned. Why believe him this time? The ‘ dependence on Middle Eastern Oil has not decreased. In fact, it has increased and is still rising. It is hard to believe Mr. Bush’s vision for affordable health care, tax cuts, and a path to victory in when he has made hardly any progress on those issues during the former years of his presidency.

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