- He called for a balanced budget, and not by increasing taxes. Good.
- He wants to save Social Security. Bad, but hardly surprising.
- He believes "Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools". Bad, public schools are the problem.
- He wants public school control to be further devolved, and effectively endorsed education vouchers. Good, but it wont happen. Democrats don't like school choice or performance monitoring of schools or teachers.
- He wants standard tax deductibility for health insurance. As far as this reduces taxes for those looking after themselves then good.
- He wants to subsidise state programmes to fund private health insurance. Bad, it undermines the earlier programme, states should raise their funds locally.
- He wants to establish a temporary worker programme for foreigners. Good.
- He wants to use taxpayers' money to subsidise alternative fuels. Bad, let the market decide based on price signals.
None of this excites me particularly, in fact, sadly I can say at best it could be worse. However, Bush does inspire me in one direction - his response to Islamofascism. He said:
"Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats, instruct with bullets and bombs, and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent. Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty. They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."
Take that "death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us". THAT is the enemy, as cold and murderous as that. THAT is who is appeased by withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iraq and by befriending Islamism. Bush continues:
"What every terrorist fears most is human freedom"