Well, if you trust Bush, the state of the union is swell indeed. However, I don’t trust him, and history shows us that he is wont to make grand promises in these State of the Union addresses, and then completely fails to follow them up. For instance, in this speech he said some words about making sure that all children have cheap and affordable health care, which of course, is something that he actually opposes. The Republicans have given insurance companies money hand over fist, even fighting to prevent the federal government from negotiating medication rates with drug companies for Medicare. In Bush’s world, the only way children have access to health care is if their parents can afford it. Of course, the only real way to give all children access to health care is by socializing health care and creating a national system a la Canada, but of course, Bush isn’t proposing anything of the sort.
Bush also made some meaningless noises about education and No Child Left Behind. He also delivered pretty much the same speech he’s given about terrorism for four years in a row now. The American people aren’t buying this crap anymore. Sorry Bush, but not only do we not think your way is the only way, we also, by and large, don’t think it’s the best way. It’s time to try something else. Like, you know, not torturing, not invading countries on false and manufactured rationales, not indefinitely imprisoning people without charge, not violating the privacy of Americans without a warrant, etc. We’ve had enough of this nonsense, and this speech doesn’t even give a hint that anything is going to change, except for his suggestion of creating a bipartisan group to deal with terrorism. I see this as nothing more than an attempt to have Democrats share in the blame for this current mess we’re in. Because we all know how much attention Bush paid to the most recent bipartisan commission, the Iraq Study Group.
So nothing in this speech impressed me. I heard lots of big promises and few indications that anything is actually going to be done about them. He didn’t really cover the Iraq War in much depth, and isn’t really offering a plan for victory other than this continued unrealistic pipe dream about how we’ll leave once the Iraqis are in control of their country. The situation has only been getting worse over there with time, however. At this rate we’ll be there indefinitely. Twenty thousand more troops sure as hell isn’t enough to make a real difference and fix this deteriorating civil war.
Update two hours later: Wow, it’s worse than I thought. It’s not that Bush doesn’t actually have a real plan for health care; he does have a plan, it’s just absolutely terrible. He wants to start taxing people on health care benefits and then give that money to the health care industry. Supposedly this will some how help everyone get health care; because if the health care industry is making more money, they can help more people, am I right? In actuality, this would just result in higher health care costs and more unemployed Americans. It has nothing at all to do with giving health care to more adults and children and everything with giving a large bald-faced handout to industry. Is this ridiculous or what?
Update 2007-01-25: Okay, it looks like I didn’t understand Bush’s plan on health care from what I heard in the speech. He’s going to offer tax breaks, not tax hikes, on health care. Still, this isn’t really going to help the problem of the large number of uninsured people in this nation because the majority of uninsured people are poor, who are already pay very little taxes, if any. This proposed tax break basically amounts to a large give away of the government’s money to the health care industry, and it would mainly only affect people who are wealthy enough to be paying considerable taxes.