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Shrek
Jan 28, 2003, 07:56 PM
The State of the Union (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/28/sotu.advance/index.html) address will be given tonight at 9PM ET:

Bush seeks to rally Americans in speech

Speech excerpts cite domestic goals, threat from Saddam

Tuesday, January 28, 2003 Posted: 8:31 PM EST (0131 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Facing a public nervous about the threat of war and a sputtering economy, President Bush will tell Americans in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that the nation will confront its "many challenges" with "focus and clarity and courage."

One of those challenges that the president promises to address is the possibility of war with Iraq.

"We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, other presidents and other generations," Bush says in speech excerpts released in advance by the White House.

In the excerpts, Bush outlines four domestic goals: strengthening the economy by creating jobs; improving health care for all Americans and crafting a prescription drug benefit for seniors; providing greater energy independence, while protecting the environment; and "applying the compassion of America" to its deepest problems.

The president, said administration officials, will announce the formation of a new intelligence office to collect and analyze foreign and domestic intelligence information.

The office will be based at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia with CIA Director George Tenet in charge, the officials said.

On the international front, Bush will talk about the threat the administration sees from Iraq's Saddam Hussein and cast him in the context of the broader war against terrorism.

"Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror...the gravest danger facing America and the world... is outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical and biological weapons," Bush says in one passage. "These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to their terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation."

In spelling out the threat from Saddam, senior White House aides said, Bush will allude to a link between Iraq and al Qaeda. (Full story (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/28/sotu.international/index.html))

The address at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday to a joint session of Congress comes as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say Bush must do more to convince the American public that a military strike against Iraq is justified and necessary. The White House said the president is "tweaking words" on the speech, which in rehearsal has timed out at 42 minutes.

In a long-standing practice, one Cabinet member will not attend the president's speech in the event that something catastrophic happens at the Capitol. This year, it's Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta , a onetime Democratic congressman from California.

The address comes one day after chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told the U.N. Security Council that Iraq has yet to reach a "genuine acceptance" of its obligation to disarm, and U.S. officials announced they soon would declassify intelligence they say proves Iraq has been hiding weapons and evidence of its weapons programs. (Full story (http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/01/27/sprj.irq.wrap/index.html))

Bush's speech will stop short of a declaration of war, but it will detail the "grave and direct" threat posed by Saddam and what steps the United States plans to take in "this last phase of the diplomatic process," White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said.

The president will once again pitch his 10-year, roughly $674 billion economic plan, which has played to mixed reviews on Capitol Hill.

While some Republicans have praised the president's plan -- which includes a call to eliminate the tax on stock dividends -- as just the right tonic for a lackluster economy, others have been less than enthusiastic about the package, and Democrats have derided it as a giveaway to the wealthy.

Top congressional Democrats gave what they described as a "prebuttal" to the president's speech Monday, criticizing him on the economy and national security. (Full story (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/27/sotu.democrats/index.html))

Washington Gov. Gary Locke will give the Democrats' response to Bush's speech Tuesday night. (Full story (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/28/locke.democrats/index.html))

A number of special guests will join first lady Laura Bush for the president's address. They will include small business owners, representatives of faith-based groups that work with children and families, doctors who have either relocated or stopped practicing because of high medical insurance liability costs, and representatives of the military.

A seat two rows behind the first lady will be left empty. The White House said the seat "symbolizes the empty place many Americans will always have at their tables and in their lives because of the attacks on September 11, 2001."

Thanatoast
Jan 28, 2003, 09:12 PM
all in all, not too shabby.

i liked the unexpected (by me) tidbits about the hydrgoen cars and the aids help for africa.

the accelerated tax cuts seem like a good idea. i don't know enough about his new tax cuts yet though. i've heard they heavily favor the rich.

the iraq issue seemed fairly solid. i like that he says he will consult with the un, but would rather have him wait till they're onboard. it would give him a lot of needed credibility,and ease my fears that he's just nutz. :)

alex_ant
Jan 28, 2003, 10:53 PM
Maybe this is off-topic, but what's the deal with hydrogen cars? Don't they just move the pollution and fuel consumption to a different source? (i.e. the power plant that generates the electricity that powers the machines that crack H20 apart to get H2)

I suppose this isn't so much of an issue with nuclear or renewable energy sources...

I would have liked to see research into that "Mr. Fusion" device as seen on the DeLorean in Back to the Future II.

macfan
Jan 29, 2003, 12:44 AM
There are various methods of getting at the hydorgen. Given some development, they should offer great reduction in pollution.

wwworry
Jan 29, 2003, 07:14 AM
By throwing 1 billion at hydrogen cars scheduled for 15 years in the future, he does not have to do anything about cars now. In fact SUVs are getting big tax breaks while hybrids get nothing. That hydrogen car thing was just fluff.

The current deficit is the largest ever and he wants to cut more taxes for people that make over $300,000 per year. It won't work. Interest on the debt is the second biggest thing in our budget now - $170 billion/year!
I am in favor of middle class tax cuts but it'll never happen as long as he is giving it all away to those that inherit their money and those that make over $300,000 per year.

macfan
Jan 29, 2003, 11:20 AM
I don't make 300,000 a year, and I would get a tax cut under the proposals offered. What's up with that?

Backtothemac
Jan 29, 2003, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by wwworry
By throwing 1 billion at hydrogen cars scheduled for 15 years in the future, he does not have to do anything about cars now. In fact SUVs are getting big tax breaks while hybrids get nothing. That hydrogen car thing was just fluff.

The current deficit is the largest ever and he wants to cut more taxes for people that make over $300,000 per year. It won't work. Interest on the debt is the second biggest thing in our budget now - $170 billion/year!
I am in favor of middle class tax cuts but it'll never happen as long as he is giving it all away to those that inherit their money and those that make over $300,000 per year.

Ok, couple of things. There are tax breaks for bying hybrids, I know because my dad bought one. Secondly, this is not the largest deficit we have ever had. Do a little research on that. And second. All Americans would get a tax cut. Not just those making over $300,000 a year. Cutting the tax would allow those that make over $300,000 to employ more people, and thus put more money in the economy. What should we do, raise taxes to help the economy?

lmalave
Jan 29, 2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

Cutting the tax would allow those that make over $300,000 to employ more people, and thus put more money in the economy. What should we do, raise taxes to help the economy?

Lowering taxes without lowering spending leads to an increase in the budget deficit. Increasing the budget deficit crowds out private investment for various reasons: the cost of borrowing goes up because interest rates increase, the government floods the market with government bonds and treasuries crowding out corporate bonds, etc. What does this all mean: it means a company is that much less likely to be able to borrow money (either from a bank or through a bond offering) to build new plants, etc.

So if Bush wants to be really courageous, he should be lowering government spending from our bloated $2 trillion budget. I honestly think that Bush is a smarter economist than he lets on (he's an MBA after all), and he really understands the value of a balanced budget. I think his real aim is to "starve" the budget by purposefully create enormous budget deficits to the point where Congress is forced to cut spending. Just my theory....

Backtothemac
Jan 29, 2003, 02:27 PM
That would work for me. I would love to see some of the spending stopped. It is bloated.

macfan
Jan 29, 2003, 03:14 PM
Lowering taxes without lowering spending leads to an increase in the budget deficit.

Not in all cases. Obviously, lowering tax revenues while increasing spending leads to an increase in the budget deficit, but lowering tax rates does not automatically lead to lower tax revenus because you are dealing with a dynamic system, not a static equation. The size of the economy has more to do with tax revenue than particular rates, especially when we are talking about relatively minor tinkering with those rates.

Macmaniac
Jan 29, 2003, 03:50 PM
What he should have done is put the 1 billion into US car manufacturers to get their asses moving on hybrids, offer increased tax breaks on hybrids, and require tighter emmission controls on SUVs.
Its a rare win-win-win situation, the economy is stimulated, we have less of a dependance on Suadi oil, and people get cheaper cars that go farther on the gallon, and it creates jobs in the US building the new cars!

That would win Bush alot of support!!!
His approach is like building a wall around tall buildings in 2015 when the terrorists do it in the next year:rolleyes:
Come on Bush is does not take a genius to figure that out.
And there is a market for hybrids, if u competively price them among other family sedans people will buy them over regular cars for better gas mileage and cheaper price.
Hey at one point LCDs cost a fortune but look at it now, Dell offers them for free with computers:rolleyes:
Why not with cars(well not for free but u get it)

mkubal
Jan 29, 2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I don't make 300,000 a year, and I would get a tax cut under the proposals offered. What's up with that?

I love how you point this very simple fact out to liberals and they refuse to believe you. None of you liberals will respond to what macfan says because you'd rather go on your merry way and believe whatever Hillary Clinton tells you and keep telling everyone that it's a tax cut for the richest 1%. Guess what? That's a bunch of horse ****. So stop spreading this ridiculous misinformation.

Matt

macfan
Jan 29, 2003, 05:40 PM
Come on Bush is does not take a genius to figure that out.

Can't argue with that.

Hybrid cars get better gas mileage. Fuel cell cars can virtually eliminate auto emissions. Hybrid cars can be purchased today, and there are tax breaks for buying them. However, they cost more right now than regular cars. Given higher production numbers, those prices will drop relative to regular cars, and there are tax breaks today. Prices are set based at least in part on the cost of production. You can't just say "let's make cheap hybrid cars." They do cost more to produce.

Most pollution from autos doesn't come from SUVs, it comes for older cars. If you want to reduce pollution, get those cars off the road.

Fuel cells can revolutionize the energy industry the same way that personal computers revolutionized that industry. Whether government funding is needed or even beneficial for this, fuel cells are where it's at.

john123
Jan 29, 2003, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by mkubal


I love how you point this very simple fact out to liberals and they refuse to believe you. None of you liberals will respond to what macfan says because you'd rather go on your merry way and believe whatever Hillary Clinton tells you and keep telling everyone that it's a tax cut for the richest 1%. Guess what? That's a bunch of horse ****. So stop spreading this ridiculous misinformation.

Matt

It is correct to say that in both absolute and percentage terms, the cuts are slanted toward higher income households.

This is particularly true with respect to the dividend tax cuts, as low income families are not prone to invest.

The reality of the matter, for anyone who was a serious student of economics, is that a tax cut that favors the poor and lower middle class is the best way to promote growth because, by necessity and habit, the dollars saved are (a) automatically funned into the purchase of products and services in the economy, and (b) will be spent in the inherently "right" sectors (i.e., those that have true demand, as opposed to a speculative venture that a wealthy investor might make, the result of which can be fundamentally antithetical to economic growth).

macfan
Jan 29, 2003, 06:43 PM
The reality of the matter is that the poor and lower income families simply don't pay a significant portion of federal income taxes. You can't give someone an income tax cut if they don't pay the income tax to begin with.

As I understand it, dividends will still be taxed, just not taxed twice.

Thanatoast
Jan 29, 2003, 07:01 PM
they may not pay a significant portion of the total, but tell someone that makes 20 grand a year that the 1000 dollars they pay in taxes isn't significant. who has the greater need for a tax cut? the family that makes $300,000 and pays $50,000 or the family that makes $40,000 and pays $5,000? sure the family that makes more pays more, but they simply don't need the cash as much as the lower income family. and who will turn around and put their money right back into the economy? the lower income family will probably use the cash to pay bills and purchase goods and services supporting others of their income group, whereas the higher income family might not. unless you consider purchasing a new escalade a big boost to the economy. disclaimer: this is pure speculation and/or opinion... i welcome disagreement if you have a rational point to make.

djkut
Jan 29, 2003, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant
Maybe this is off-topic, but what's the deal with hydrogen cars? Don't they just move the pollution and fuel consumption to a different source? (i.e. the power plant that generates the electricity that powers the machines that crack H20 apart to get H2)

I think you will find this website very interesting. Hydrogen is, IMO, the ONLY answer to our problem. They are making tremendous progress.

http://www.bmw.com/cleanenergy

Macmaniac
Jan 29, 2003, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by macfan


Can't argue with that.

Hybrid cars get better gas mileage. Fuel cell cars can virtually eliminate auto emissions. Hybrid cars can be purchased today, and there are tax breaks for buying them. However, they cost more right now than regular cars. Given higher production numbers, those prices will drop relative to regular cars, and there are tax breaks today. Prices are set based at least in part on the cost of production. You can't just say "let's make cheap hybrid cars." They do cost more to produce.

Most pollution from autos doesn't come from SUVs, it comes for older cars. If you want to reduce pollution, get those cars off the road.

Fuel cells can revolutionize the energy industry the same way that personal computers revolutionized that industry. Whether government funding is needed or even beneficial for this, fuel cells are where it's at.
Fuel cells are where its at, but years from now. Yes hybrid cars cost more to produce, but the one key element is that a US auto maker has yet to make one, if Bush pushes the big 3 into making hybrids in quantity by the end of the year you would get lots of competition and thus lower prices. This is how business works. Its just like LCDs in the computer industry, they originally cost a frotune to make, but competition and innovation thanks to competition drove prices down the same cna be done with hybrids. They same thing will occur with Hydrogen vehicles 10 years from now. They will cost alot to start out but prices will drop.
Hybrids are the solution now and Bush should push that while encouraging continued Hydrogen development. Currently the only sources of hydrogen are H20 and burning fossil fuels, until this can be made more efficent and clean this defeats the purpose of hydro cars.
Yes there are many junkers on the road, but they are dwarfed by the 25% SUV numbers on the road today, and many older cars were built during the gas shortage so they get better MPG. Bush should push for hybrid SUVs that would work well too! They are developing them, they just need a push!

lmalave
Jan 29, 2003, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by macfan


Not in all cases. Obviously, lowering tax revenues while increasing spending leads to an increase in the budget deficit, but lowering tax rates does not automatically lead to lower tax revenus because you are dealing with a dynamic system, not a static equation. The size of the economy has more to do with tax revenue than particular rates, especially when we are talking about relatively minor tinkering with those rates.

Unfortunately, just because something is mathematically theoretically possible doesn't mean that it's ever actually possible in practice. For example, supply-side theorists have always argued that lowering taxes can actually increase tax revenues by spurring growth, but they obviously severly overestimated the linkage between low tax rate and high growth rate.

The most convincing economic theories I've read about are those of Robert Solow, who argued that the *one* parameter that really matters is productivity. Think about it. The only reason we're not still banging together rocks in caves is because technology has improved our productivity to the point where we are now. Growth without gains in productivity is a farce - it's just a numbers game that will eventually catch up with you (hence the boom and bust cycles created by tinkering with the economy). This is why I think deficits are bad. I think in general they slow down progress by crowding out private investment as described above. In general more private investment = more investment in technology because companies are borrowing money in order to make those investments in R&D or infrastructure.


Deficits baaaaaad! :( :mad:
Freakin voodoo economics. Bush Sr. had it right!:mad:

alex_ant
Jan 29, 2003, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by djkut
I think you will find this website very interesting. Hydrogen is, IMO, the ONLY answer to our problem. They are making tremendous progress.

http://www.bmw.com/cleanenergy
Thank you for that link... they talk about electrolysis via solar power, but we don't have the solar infrastructure necessary to support so many cars... fossil fuel power plants will still bear the brunt of the energy generation (excepting nuclear). I hope to see hydrogen cars flourish soon, but I also hope to see a big push away from coal & oil power and towards development & research into renewable energy, nuclear & fusion power.

macfan
Jan 29, 2003, 11:54 PM
Unfortunately, just because something is mathematically theoretically possible doesn't mean that it's ever actually possible in practice.

It is not just a theoretical possibility. It has actually happened before--lower tax rates were accompanied by increasing revenues during the 1980s. From 1981 to 1990, revenue increased more than 60 percent even though rates were lower. The deficits were caused by the 85 percent increase in spending, not by declining revenues.

This is how business works. Its just like LCDs in the computer industry, they originally cost a frotune to make, but competition and innovation thanks to competition drove prices down the same cna be done with hybrids.

Did the taxpayer fund the development of LCDs or drive down the costs with LCD tax breaks? US car makers will produce hybrids if and when the markets will support them, and competition will drive the cost down without any need for taxpayer funding.

Fuel cell technology has many applications other than transportation. Imagine a fuel cell powered laptop!

So far as hydrogen generation needing fossil fuels, don't forget hydro electric.

The BMW cars seem to run hydrogen through an internal combustion engine. Different from fuel cells, but promising nonetheless.

john123
Jan 30, 2003, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by macfan
The reality of the matter is that the poor and lower income families simply don't pay a significant portion of federal income taxes. You can't give someone an income tax cut if they don't pay the income tax to begin with.

As I understand it, dividends will still be taxed, just not taxed twice.

You can forgive a larger portion of that income tax. We do that now with the EITC.

It's smart and it promotes growth.

Giving tax breaks to the wealthy is neither smart, nor does it promote much growth for the reasons I specified above.

wdlove
Jan 30, 2003, 04:36 PM
Example of Liberal Media Bias

CNN/New Times Poll conducted after the sotu. Asking how Americans felt about President Bush's speech. They were given 7 choices 1) Very Positive 2) Somewhat Positive 3) Positive 4) Neither Positive or Negative 5) Somewhat Negative 6) Negative 7) Very Negative. Yesterday afternoon CNN put up a Chrion "Less than 50% of Americans viewed the President's speech as Very Positive." The non-thinking American would think, well the rest must have looked at it negative. In reality, also another 34% viewed the speech Somewhat Postive. What they didn't want Americans to know because of bias, that greater 84% of Americans viewed his speech postively!

Didn't want in anyway to help Bush.

alex_ant
Jan 30, 2003, 05:02 PM
It's not a question of media bias - it's a question of media goals. The media are in it for the ad dollars. The media are pro-war, pro-scandal, pro-violent-murder, pro-anything-that-can-get-them-good-ratings. Nobody in charge at the news networks really cares about political ideology - or they do, but not at the expense of ratings. People tend to get disgusted by what they don't agree with politically, and tend to watch/read/listen to what they do agree with. If the media overall seems liberal to you, it's probably because more liberals than conservatives watch/read/listen to the news. Fox News is popular because it offers an perspective that conservatives can't easily find elsewhere, because they are in the minority of news watchers.

macfan
Jan 30, 2003, 05:33 PM
You can forgive a larger portion of that income tax. We do that now with the EITC.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is simply a welfare payment. It is not a tax cut.


Giving tax breaks to the wealthy is neither smart, nor does it promote much growth for the reasons I specified above.

Income tax cuts, by their nature, go to the "wealthy" because it is the wealthy who pay the lion's share of them. Even under a flat tax, the wealthy would still get a bigger dollar amount reduction for the same percentage reduction in tax rates. We could discuss the elimination of payroll taxes, but many people don't want to do that.

In the 1980s tax rates were reduced from 70+ percent to 28 percent and revenues increased dramatically. In addition, the ecomomy grew at an impressive rate. In that case, giving tax cuts to the wealthy was at the least not harmful to growth and at the best a very smart thing to do because it encouraged that growth.

macfan
Jan 30, 2003, 05:36 PM
alex,
Journalists have long taken pride in the fact that they try to keep the advertising side and the news side of their operations independent. Doesn't always happen, but that is the ideal they preach. There is more than enough room for media bais, left and right, even in a system that depends on advertising.

Macmaniac
Jan 30, 2003, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by macfan

Did the taxpayer fund the development of LCDs or drive down the costs with LCD tax breaks? US car makers will produce hybrids if and when the markets will support them, and competition will drive the cost down without any need for taxpayer funding.

Fuel cell technology has many applications other than transportation. Imagine a fuel cell powered laptop!

So far as hydrogen generation needing fossil fuels, don't forget hydro electric.

The BMW cars seem to run hydrogen through an internal combustion engine. Different from fuel cells, but promising nonetheless.
No the US tax payers did not fund development, but who would of thought there would have been a market for them? There were expensive and did not have good resolution, but with innovation prices fell and a market developed. The same can be done with hybrids, they already have some market, but by making them cheaper and more affordable through competition we could see a decrease in pollution and less dependance on oil!

alex_ant
Jan 30, 2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by macfan
alex,
Journalists have long taken pride in the fact that they try to keep the advertising side and the news side of their operations independent. Doesn't always happen, but that is the ideal they preach. There is more than enough room for media bais, left and right, even in a system that depends on advertising.
I think this is still mostly true for the big 3 news networks. I was talking about the cable networks (the example wdlove brought up was CNN).

macfan
Jan 30, 2003, 09:48 PM
Macmaniac,
You arugment about LCDs lends support to the idea that government should get out of the way and allow innovation to take place, funding neither hybrids nor hydrogen automobiles.

Alex,
The culture of journalists being "independent" exist across all media outlets, although it is probably more prominent in print media. Most bias is not of the kind that will have any real impact on advertising buys anyway.

alex_ant
Jan 30, 2003, 09:55 PM
I have a hard time believing that the cable news networks can be held to anywhere near the same standards of journalistic integrity as most popular national newspapers or as network news. Not with their incessant herd-following flogging of dead topics (Condit, OJ, Lewinsky) and blood-red "WAR ON TERROR" style overlays on the screen. I believe CNN caught some flak for hiring fashion models to be journalists when they retooled Headline News.