Students react to State of the Union address

President Bush’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Jan. 31, highlighted the growing problems with social security and America’s dependence on foreign oil. He also was adamant on staying strong against the fight against terrorism and being key players in helping other countries become democratic nations. Overall Bush has Ames High students dubbing his speech far too optimistic considering current conditions and wondering where he intends to get all the money he has plans for spending. “Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal: We seek the end of tyranny in our world…Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror.,” Bush said, reminding Congress of the great steps such countries as Lebanon and Iraq have taken towards freedom but argueing that there was still much work to be done. “At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in democratic nations. And we do not forget the other half — in places like Syria and Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran — because the demands of justice and the peace of this world require their freedom as well.” With the baby boomers reaching retirement age, problems are beginning to arise in the funding for social security. “By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire federal budget. And that will present future Congresses with impossible choices: staggering tax increases, immense deficits or deep cuts in every category of spending.” Bush asked congress to attack the problem before it got any worse. He asked them to join him in creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Bush has finally publicly recognized our foreign oil dependence problem. “Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.” Junior Yoni Ackerman responded to this topic of Bush’s address, “So he wants less dependency on foreign oil…where has he been the last five years?” Surprisingly few Ames High students actually watched Bush’s State of the Union Address but most of those that did were less than impressed. Joshua Larson-Konar, a sophomore at Ames High simply believes that “Bush should listen to more Green Day!”