Scott Tibbs
blog post
February 2nd, 2005

Back to Archived blog posts.

State of the Union speech

Well, everyone else on the blogosphere is posting about the President's speech right now. I might as well add my commentary, even though it is pretty much irrelevant given the multitude of bloggers commenting on the speech.

I was struck by the obvious emotion the President displayed when paying tribute to the sacrifices of American soldiers. I am thankful that Bush is in the Oval Office, because he understands what needs to be done to defeat terrorists.

As expected, the President made reform of Social Security a key component of his speech. Bush laid out several proposals for reforming the system, noting that all of these ideas are on the table. Bush did leave one idea off the table, however: increasing payroll taxes. This is not a surprise, and it is encouraging that the President went out of his way to make this point.

I was not encouraged by the President's remarks about individual retirement accounts for Social Security. The many restrictions the President mentioned still represents an adherence to a "nanny state" mentality, one that says the government has to take care of your retirement for you rather than allowing you to take care of it yourself. Still, the proposal is a step in the right direction.

The President recognized the people who brought him to the dance by advocating for a Constitutional amendment to keep marriage an institution between one man and one woman. Bush also stood for a culture of life by again expressing his opposition to embryonic stem-cell research.

President Bush said that he will advocate for expanded use of DNA evidence to make sure no one is convicted of a crime they did not commit. It goes both ways, of course: DNA evidence is a good tool for prosecutors as well. Bush also encouraged the Congress to help ensure that everyone charged with a capital crime is provided with a competent defense attorney.

Both of these are good proposals, but neither is the responsibility of the federal government. We do not need more federalization of law enforcement. Criminal law is rightly (under the Tenth Amendment) the domain of state and local government, not Washington, D.C.

President Bush, despite concerns from the Left that he is subservient to the "radical right", demonstrated his moderate views with his speech tonight. While I do not agree with everything the President said, I know he is a man with strong convictions who sincerely wants to do the best for America.