Wednesday, January 24, 2007

President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address

United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
9:13 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own -- as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker. (Applause.) (The President reached back to tear off Mrs. Pelosi’s outer covering in a rehearsed skit & unfortunately grabbed her skirt instead, before yanking hard. While the crowd could hear a loud tearing sound the Speaker quickly sat down behind the rostrum and no unmentionables could be seen on the screen thus saving the White House a large FCC fine)

In his day, the late Congressman Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. from Baltimore, Maryland, saw Presidents Roosevelt and Truman at this rostrum. But nothing could compare with the sight of his only daughter, Nancy, presiding tonight as Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Applause.) Congratulations, Madam Speaker. (Applause.) Better buy a new skirt Pelo-chia-pet!

Two members of the House and Senate are not with us tonight, and we pray for the recovery and speedy return of Senator Tim Johnson and Congressman Charlie Norwood. And pray they have health insurance unlike some 47 million Americans. (Applause.)

Madam Speaker Pelo-chia-pet, Vice President "Shooter" Cheney, members of the irrelevant Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens whose opinions I regularly ignore:

The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour -- when decisions are hard and courage is needed. A quick translation is this address comes around every year like Greek Week. The behavior is pretty much the same. People get drunk and cheer vociferously for their fraternity. In Congress we have only two houses and a few geeks who couldn’t pledge either. And y’all remember how hard you worked to make sure your fraternity came out on top! Well the Presidency is like that every day.

We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us, except to pay our fair share of taxes if we happen to be the wealthy making out like bandits in my new economy. Most of you know what I’m talking about! We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies -- and the wisdom to face them together. Wisdom is a euphemism for pulling decisions out of my hind end! Root cause is proximate cause and plans with timelines, who needs ‘em!

Some in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate -- and I congratulate the Democrat majority. (Applause.) We’ll get you in next year’s Greek Week, rest assured! The Inter-Fraternity Council, oopps, I mean Congress has changed, but not our responsibilities. Each of us is guided by our own convictions –ask Duke Cunningham or Bob Ney-- and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we're all held to the same low ethical standards, and called to serve the same good for our personal pocketbook purposes: To extend this nation's propensity to spend the people's money like trail riding cowboy’s in a whore house; to give the illusion of solving problems by leaving them to future generations; to employ Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to guard America against Satan in the form of Ted Haggard; and to keep faith with those who volunteered for huge bonuses to defend us. (Applause.)

We're not the first to come here with a government divided and uncertainty in the air. At least last year we were certain Congress would do nothing. Like many before us, we can work through our differences as long you come around to my way, and achieve big things for our party’s campaign coffers. Our citizens don't much care which side of the aisle we sit on -- as long as we're willing to cross that aisle when our big donors show up with that check. (Applause.) Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans in the top 1% of the income charts and to build the illusion of a future of hope and opportunity -- and this is the bidness before us tonight.

A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy -- and that is what the statistics show, however the people don’t believe it. We're now in the 41st month of uninterrupted low wage, no benefit job growth, in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs -- so far below a living wage that even illegal immigrants used to living on a pittance are scraping by. Unemployment is low because the chronically unemployed quit looking for work, inflation is low because housing prices are cratering, and wages are surging, escalating, oopps I meant augmenting. This economy is on the move, whoa last fall I specifically ordered “No Big Moves!” (The Vice President whispered into the President’s ear “that was on Iraq, Sir”) Gulp, and our job is to keep it that way, not with more government earmarks, but with more enterprise. In my last signing statement I decreed “earmarks” from now on will be known as “enterprise”. (Applause.)

Next week, I'll deliver a full report on the state of our economy from the restroom of the Oval Office. Both of us will be in the crapper. Tonight, I want to discuss three economic reforms that deserve to be priorities for this Congress, as the last Republican controlled Congress couldn’t even pass a flipping budget. They were too busy watching Nancy Pelo-chia-pet’s hair grow. Rick Santorum loved to come by and water it. That Bill Frist would slip some Rogaine in Rick’s watering can without his knowledge. Cough, cough. Phwet! Sorry I laughed too hard reminiscing about the 109th and my tears dislodged a big loogey that got stuck in my throat. Sorry Mrs. Ginsberg, I hope it didn’t hit you. Now where was I?

First, we must balance the federal budget after 6 years of record deficit spending. (Applause.) We can do so without raising taxes on the rich who would never manage their household like our government. Now the poor know what its like to live off credit, I mean deficit spending. (Applause.) What we need is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. by gutting those dreadful New Deal social programs. I set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009, and met that goal three years ahead of schedule by fudging the figures otherwise known as lying. (Applause.) Now let us take the next step and lie some more. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years. (Applause.) I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the drunken cowboy in a whore house spending appetite of the federal government, and we can balance the federal budget without cutting out the booze or prostitutes. (Applause.)

Next, there is the matter of earmarks. Under Republican Party leadership these special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour -- when not even C-SPAN is watching. (Laughter.) In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. And I signed every bill. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate -- they are dropped into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You didn't vote them into law. I didn't sign them into law. Yet, they're treated as if they have the force of law. How can I do a signing statement on them? The time has come to end this practice by renaming it. So let us work together to reform the budget process, remove every earmark and replace it with an “enterprise”. After all you are “enterprising” Congress persons. (Applause.)

And, finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of #@&# entitlements. Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience but who has time for that, and so it is our duty to gut them under the illusion of keeping them permanently sound. Yet, we're failing to help the poor and elderly so the rich can keep their ginormous tax cuts. And this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: selling matches on the street in the dead of winter, crossing the Rio Grande to Mexico in search of work, or moving to China to work for an American manufacturer there. Everyone in this chamber knows the rich deserve their tax cuts in perpetuity because their wealth came from God and who are we to interfere with the big guy, however he does listen to me -- yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act. So let us work together and make the rich people happy now. With enough good sense and goodwill, you and I can “modernize” Medicare and Medicaid -- and “privatize” Social Security such that every citizen will have to fund their own healthcare and retirement. (Applause.)

Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools that give children the knowledge and character they need to succeed in a material world. Five years ago, we rose above partisan differences to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, preserving local control, raising standards, and holding those schools accountable for results by bribing or punishing them. And because we acted, schools have taken their cues from American CEO’s and are cheating to achieve results. Executives backdating stock options to improve business performance inspired our smartest teachers to do whatever they needed to achieve “the prize”. Students are performing better on reading and math tests, and minority students are closing “the achievement gap”. They are assigned a rich alum from an Ivy League school as mentor. This helped me close “the achievement gap” and get into Yale. I expect it to work wonders, especially if they get a stock option cheating CEO as an alum.

Now the task is to build on the success, without watering down standards, without taking control from local communities, and without backsliding and calling it reform. Huh? Who wrote that crap? (Mr. Cheney whispers in the President’s ear, “you did”) Well, whatever it means, I meant it! We can lift student achievement even higher by giving local leaders flexibility to turn around failing schools by hook or by crook, and by giving families with children stuck in failing schools the right to choose someplace better which if enough failing children choose will become worse. (Applause.) We must increase funds for students who struggle -- and make sure these children get the special help they need. Remember the rich alums! (Applause.) And we can make sure our children are prepared for the jobs of the future and our country is more competitive by strengthening our French fry cooking and Chinese language skills. The No Child Left Behind Act has worked for America's children like stock option grants worked for U.S. CEO’s -- and I ask Congress to reauthorize this law that encourages people to cheat on a widespread basis. (Applause.)

A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care and I have done nothing on this during my six years in office. (Applause.) When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to allow private insurance companies to profit from the care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children. And we will meet some of those responsibilities now while doing fewer in the future. For all other Americans, you are on your own. Private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs and for the companies to profit. My Uncle Bucky sits on the board of a major insurer and his stock appreciation rights are definitely major. He sits next to Senator Bayh’s wife at the board table. Hey Evan, Uncle Bucky wanted me to tell you to tell Susan hi! (Applause.) But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy and I don’t particularly give a rat’s ass about it. Get a better job, scumbags! God will bless you with health insurance if you deserved it!

And so tonight, I will use my God like abilities and propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance. First, 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 on payroll tax -- 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. With this reform, health insurance companies will quickly raise their rates on their most basic plans to guess what? $7,500 a year for individual and $15,000 a year for family coverage! Do you hear that Uncle Bucky and Susan Bayh? In addition, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills. Wait, these people already have coverage, why do they need help? (Dick Cheney whispers in the President’s ear.) My Veep tells me this greases the way for employers to dump those health insurance benefits.

At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job. For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, this proposal would mean a substantial tax savings -- $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year. And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach. Notice I will make no real projections as to how many people currently uninsured will get coverage as a result of my plan. Al Hubbard has dodged the Health Savings Accounts statistics for years. We call him “Dodger Al”. Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making health care affordable for more Americans. Remember what I said earlier about balancing the budget in 5 years? If this proposal goes through we will need to bloody Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. (Applause.)

My second proposal is to help Uncle Bucky’s company by assisting states that are coming up with innovative ways to cover the uninsured. States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and the sick. The problem is under Medicare’s Pay for Performance no doctors will want to see the poor or the sick. I have asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work with Congress to take existing federal funds and use them to create "Affordable Choices" grants. These grants would give our nation's governors more money and more flexibility to get private health insurance to those most in need. Do you hear that Uncle Bucky, the cavalry’s coming!

There are many other ways that Congress can help. We need to expand Health Savings Accounts which I’ve talked about from this podium for over 4 years, yet the number of uninsured rose by over 4 million people under my signature strategy. (Applause.) We need to help small businesses through Association Health Plans. (Applause.) We need to reduce costs and medical errors with better information technology. Never mind the cost of providing care to the legions of uninsureds in our country. (Applause.) We will encourage price transparency to unleash the power of the individual consumer when the negotiating leverage of large businesses and the government failed. And to protect good doctors from junk lawsuits, we passing medical liability reform. This will free up provider’s time to negotiate prices on the phone with their patients. (Applause.) In all we do, we must remember that the best health care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors, unless you happen to be a heart patient needing an implantable cardiac device. In that case the government will interfere. (Applause.)

Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America -- with laws that are fair and borders that are secure. When laws and borders are routinely violated by non European/Anglo settlers, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we're doubling the size of the Border Patrol, and funding new infrastructure and technology.

Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off employers -- and that requires a temporary worker program. We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in, and that will leave Border Agents free to chase down drug smugglers and criminals and terrorists. Never mind that someone has to monitor the temporary time frames. (Applause.) We'll enforce our immigration laws at the work site but I won’t mention the agency responsible and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers, so there's no excuse left for violating the law. Every employer will have access to the “Do Not Fly” list to check the status of each dark skinned employee. (Applause.)

We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals. (Applause.) We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty. (Applause.) Convictions run deep in this Capitol when it comes to immigration and lawmakers can now lose their pensions over such deep convictions. I have my fingers crossed for you Tom Delay which leads me to my next point. Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate, so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law. (Applause.)

Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America's economy running and America's environment clean. For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil produced by U.S. oil and gas companies at huge profits. And this dependence leaves those firms more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists -- who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy. Never mind that a hurricane did the same thing, raising the price of oil and generating record profits for our outstanding economy. The key is who gets the money!

It's in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply -- the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power, by even greater use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power. (Applause.) We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. (Applause.) We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol -- (applause) -- using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes, to politicians hot air. Tonight I’m hooked up to a special device that pulls the kinetic energy from my breathing process and turns it into electricity. You see the bulge in the middle of my back under my suit coat? Yes, it’s the same device I tested in that John Kerry debate. Only then I used the shocks to wake me up when John talked. Man that guy is dry! Oh hi John!

We made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies here in Washington and the strong response of the market. Big oil tried to lower gas prices to keep the Congress in Republican hands and it almost worked. And now even more dramatic advances are within reach. As I speak prices once again are being lowered to temporarily assuage the public. Soon an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will make these prices a fond memory.

Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we've done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next 10 years. (Applause.) When we do that we will have cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East. This will play great in living rooms as people are frustrated with the Iraq war. Their ongoing rage can be minimized with a vision of future payback by importing much less oil. Bingo!

To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 -- and that is nearly five times the current target. (Applause.) At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks -- and conserve up to 8.5 billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017. Wait I consistently have argued against mandatory standards and relied on voluntary measures. Why the change? (The VP whispered in his ear). Oh, the federal government will subsidize alternative fuels while reducing strict regulations on industry via “modernization and reform”. Hey, didn’t I warn against backsliding under the rubric of reform a minute ago?

Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it's not going to eliminate it. We still need Iraq! And so as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. Forget the Valdez and Exxon’s refusal to pay fines while making kajillions of dollars! Drill in Alaska! (Applause.) And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We have to keep driving up oil company profits! (Applause.)

America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change also known as the Tooth Fairy. (Applause.)

A future of hope and opportunity requires a fair, impartial system of justice for the common person as the rich rarely are held accountable for their crimes. How many of the 2,000 CEO’s who backdated their stock option grants will get charged, much less spend a day in jail? The lives of our regular citizens across our nation are affected by the outcome of cases pending in our federal courts. We have a shared obligation to ensure that the federal courts have enough judges to hear those cases and deliver timely conservative rulings. As President, I have a duty to nominate right wing nut job men and women to vacancies on the federal bench. And the United States Senate has a doodee, as well, to give those nominees a fair hearing, and a prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. (Applause.)

For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger. What happened to military service? In other speeches I say there is no higher duty than military service. Yet not all protectors are in the U.S. military. There are policeman, fireman, and emergency medical workers. I’m getting stuck, breathe, must return to the mantra….Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that the terrorists can cause. We've had time to take stock of our situation. We've added many critical protections to guard the homeland. We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us -- unless we stop them.

With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed. There was no time for such debate after 9-11; a swift boat of action was needed. Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions like did Saddam really have WMD? Yet one question has surely been settled in all this swift boating: that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy. You’re either with us or against us. If you’re not against me, you’re for me. Four score and seven years ago…(Applause.)

From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense (the President picks up a football). Evan, run a curl pattern. John Roberts, you block for me. Now all you sissie Democrats come and get the ball! Completion! High fives Evie Boy! Y’all got blocked by one Supreme Court Judge! Wussies!

The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary in tents and caves, easy movement by camel, steady financing from selling dates, and free flowing communications by cackling loudly in the desert are long over. For the terrorists, life since 9/11 has never been the same.

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