There is no doubt President George W. Bush is correct in labeling this “a time of great consequence.” His proposals tackle tough issues that will have great consequence for both the United States and foreign lands alike. In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Bush gave fodder to both his supporters and critics, by delivering one of the best speeches of his Presidency yet continuing the trend of vague explanations for his initiatives.
No student can say he or she disagrees with everything the President said. Despite one’s feelings about war or tax cuts, his plea for Congress to approve $15 billion in African AIDS relief or his proposal of $1.2 billion to fund research to develop hydrogen-powered automobiles are solid propositions that are long past due. It will be up to Congress to see that these proposals, which are easy to gloss over and postpone if war were to break out, are seen to fruition.
Most students will not say they are simply against war, many believe there needs to be specific and moral reasoning behind it. Tuesday night was the President’s most concerted effort to specifically explain to Americans why war is necessary.
Bush made strides in selling the war, but has not completely sealed the deal. There is still a vague connection between Iraq and terrorism. One presumes he is waiting for Secretary of State Colin Powell to further sell the war this week to the United Nations and the world, but Bush could have done more to explain why he already is committing our country to war.
It seems war with Iraq is no longer a question of if, but when. Thousands of troops have already been committed and Bush’s tone makes it seem like there is no turning back – even if we have to go alone. A solo war effort that lasts for months and maybe years might be the “great consequence” he speaks of.
One of the most difficult aspects of the President’s speech for students to digest was how a $670 billion tax cut and ending the dividend tax will improve the economy. It does not take an economics major to figure out that all his new expensive proposals, a war on Iraq and terrorism, nation building in Afghanistan and huge tax cuts will result in major budget deficits that traditionally spoil the economy. It is just another instance of “fuzzy math” that students can see through.