Country's moving in the right direction
Last month, President George W. Bush delivered his fourth State of the Union address to Congress and the American people. It was as much an overview of what has been accomplished over the last three years as a look ahead to what he hopes Congress and the country can achieve in 2004 and beyond. As the President noted, our nation is moving in the right direction.
Opening his speech, President Bush observed that "America is a nation called to great responsibilities, and we are rising to meet them." Indeed, much has happened since January 2001 and our people have responded to extraordinary challenges in extraordinary ways. The economic slowdown which began in late 2000 proceeded by the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 have demanded swift action in Washington. That action has yielded steady progress.
The war on terror is being waged by our military overseas and our law enforcement personnel at home. It has also called up millions of Americans to be vigilant foot soldiers in our neighborhoods. The results have so far meant that no terrorist acts have occurred on American soil since the tragic events of 9/11/01. We've not only put the terrorists on notice, but we've taken the battle to their backyard and put them on the run.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, we've routed terrorist strongholds and liberated whole peoples from the yolk of tyranny. We've not only made it more difficult for our enemies to launch attacks against our country, but we are also planting the seeds of hope for a region long seen as facing only a future of turmoil and despair.
For certain, there is much yet to be done to make America and the world safer from terrorists and their supporters, but already our country has sent a very strong message that those who choose a path of evil will be held accountable. This message was received loud and clear in Libya, long a haven for terrorists. Strongman Moammar Qadhafi recently announced his intentions to voluntarily drop his weapons of mass destruction program. He sought to resolve his years if illegal acts through diplomacy rather than risk American military action. To quote President Bush, "For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible, and no one can now doubt the word of America."
The economic challenge Americans have also faced has been met with an equally effective response by the Bush Administration.
The President's program of tax relief for working Americans and businesses has played a major role in slowing the recession of 2000. The economic upheaval resulting from 9/11/01 could have easily turned the recession into a depression had there been no action to stimulate the economy through tax relief. Today, America is experiencing economic growth and increased consumer confidence.
As the President pointed out, the best way to spur the economy and create jobs is by making the successful tax relief law permanent.
As Congress begins a new legislative year, it is certain that keeping our nation safe and building the national economy will be high on the agenda. I believe, as our President does, that America is headed in the right direction.