Return to: AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
28 January 2003
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney,
members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every
year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the
union. This year, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days
that lie ahead.
You and I serve our country in a time of
great consequence. During this session of Congress, we have the duty to
reform domestic programs vital to our country; we have the opportunity to
save millions of lives abroad from a terrible disease. We will work for a
prosperity that is broadly shared, and we will answer every danger and
every enemy that threatens the American people.
In all these days of promise and days of
reckoning, we can be confident. In a whirlwind of change and hope and
peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is
This country has many challenges. We
will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to
other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations. We will
confront them with focus and clarity and courage.
During the last two years, we have seen
what can be accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of
our public schools, we achieved historic education reform--which must now
be carried out in every school and in every classroom, so that every child
in America can read and learn and succeed in life. To protect our country,
we reorganized our government and created the Department of Homeland
Security, which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era. To bring
our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax relief in a
generation. To insist on integrity in American business we passed tough
reforms, and we are holding corporate criminals to account.
Some might call this a good record; I
call it a good start. Tonight I ask the House and Senate to join me in the
next bold steps to serve our fellow citizens.
Our first goal is clear: We must have an
economy that grows fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a
job. After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals and stock
market declines, our economy is recovering--yet it's not growing fast
enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment rising, our nation needs
more small businesses to open, more companies to invest and expand, more
employers to put up the sign that says, "Help Wanted."
Jobs are created when the economy grows;
the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and
the best and fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not to
tax it away in the first place.
I am proposing that all the income tax
reductions set for 2004 and 2006 be made permanent and effective this
year. And under my plan, as soon as I sign the bill, this extra money will
start showing up in workers' paychecks. Instead of gradually reducing the
marriage penalty, we should do it now. Instead of slowly raising the child
credit to $1,000, we should send the checks to American families now.
The tax relief is for everyone who pays
income taxes--and it will help our economy immediately: 92 million
Americans will keep, this year, an average of almost $1,000 more of their
own money. A family of four with an income of $40,000 would see their
federal income taxes fall from $1,178 to $45 per year. Our plan will
improve the bottom line for more than 23 million small businesses.
You, the Congress, have already passed
all these reductions, and promised them for future years. If this tax
relief is good for Americans three, or five, or seven years from now, it
is even better for Americans today.
We should also strengthen the economy by
treating investors equally in our tax laws. It's fair to tax a company's
profits. It is not fair to again tax the shareholder on the same profits.
To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million senior who
receive dividend income, I ask you to end the unfair double taxation of
Lower taxes and greater investment will
help this economy expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers, and higher
revenues to our government. The best way to address the deficit and move
toward a balanced budget is to encourage economic growth, and to show some
spending discipline in Washington, D.C.
We must work together to fund only our
most important priorities. I will send you a budget that increases
discretionary spending by 4 percent next year--about as much as the
average family's income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark
for us. Federal spending should not rise any faster than the paychecks of
A growing economy and a focus on
essential priorities will also be crucial to the future of Social
Security. As we continue to work together to keep Social Security sound
and reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in
retirement accounts that they will control and they will own.
Our second goal is high quality,
affordable health care for all Americans. The American system of medicine
is a model of skill and innovation, with a pace of discovery that is
adding good years to our lives. Yet for many people, medical care costs
too much--and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not be
solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and
Instead, we must work toward a system in
which all Americans have a good insurance policy, choose their own
doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need.
Instead of bureaucrats and trial lawyers and HMOs, we must put doctors and
nurses and patients back in charge of American medicine.
Health care reform must begin with
Medicare; Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must
renew that commitment by giving seniors access to preventive medicine and
new drugs that are transforming health care in America.
Seniors happy with the current Medicare
system should be able to keep their coverage just the way it is. And just
like you--the members of Congress, and your staffs, and other federal
employees--all seniors should have the choice of a health care plan that
provides prescription drugs.
My budget will commit an additional $400
billion over the next decade to reform and strengthen Medicare. Leaders of
both political parties have talked for years about strengthening Medicare.
I urge the members of this new Congress to act this year.
To improve our health care system, we
must address one of the prime causes of higher cost, the constant threat
that physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. Because of excessive
litigation, everybody pays more for health care, and many parts of America
are losing fine doctors. No one has ever been healed by a frivolous
lawsuit. I urge the Congress to pass medical liability reform.
Our third goal is to promote energy
independence for our country, while dramatically improving the
environment. I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote energy
efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner technology, and to produce
more energy at home. I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates
a 70-percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15
years. I have sent you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the
catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, and burn
away millions of acres of treasured forest.
I urge you to pass these measures, for
the good of both our environment and our economy. Even more, I ask you to
take a crucial step and protect our environment in ways that generations
before us could not have imagined.
In this century, the greatest
environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or
command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation.
Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can
lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.
A single chemical reaction between
hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a
car--producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national
commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking
these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a
child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free.
Join me in this important innovation to
make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on
foreign sources of energy.
Our fourth goal is to apply the
compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in
our country--the homeless and the fatherless, the addicted--the need is
great. Yet there's power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and
idealism and faith of the American people.
Americans are doing the work of
compassion every day--visiting prisoners, providing shelter for battered
women, bringing companionship to lonely seniors. These good works deserve
our praise; they deserve our personal support; and when appropriate, they
deserve the assistance of the federal government.
I urge you to pass both my faith-based
initiative and the Citizen Service Act, to encourage acts of compassion
that can transform America, one heart and one soul at a time.
Last year, I called on my fellow
citizens to participate in the USA Freedom Corps, which is enlisting tens
of thousands of new volunteers across America. Tonight I ask Congress and
the American people to focus the spirit of service and the resources of
government on the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens--boys and
girls trying to grow up without guidance and attention, and children who
have to go through a prison gate to be hugged by their mom or dad.
I propose a $450-million initiative to
bring mentors to more than a million disadvantaged junior high students
and children of prisoners. Government will support the training and
recruiting of mentors; yet it is the men and women of America who will
fill the need. One mentor, one person can change a life forever. And I
urge you to be that one person.
Another cause of hopelessness is
addiction to drugs. Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral
conviction, and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive
desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by cutting off
supplies and reducing demand through anti-drug education programs. Yet for
those already addicted, the fight against drugs is a fight for their own
lives. Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So tonight
I propose a new $600-million program to help an additional 300,000
Americans receive treatment over the next three years.
Our nation is blessed with recovery
programs that do amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place
Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A man in the program said, "God does
miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could be you." Tonight,
let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this
message of hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be
By caring for children who need mentors,
and for addicted men and women who need treatment, we are building a more
welcoming society--a culture that values every life. And in this work we
must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you to protect infants at
the very hour of their birth and end the practice of partial-birth
abortion. And because no human life should be started or ended as the
object of an experiment, I ask you to set a high standard for humanity,
and pass a law against all human cloning.
The qualities of courage and compassion
that we strive for in America also determine our conduct abroad. The
American flag stands for more than our power and our interests. Our
founders dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity, the rights
of every person, and the possibilities of every life. This conviction
leads us into the world to help the afflicted, and defend the peace, and
confound the designs of evil men.
In Afghanistan, we helped liberate an
oppressed people. And we will continue helping them secure their country,
rebuild their society, and educate all their children--boys and girls. In
the Middle East, we will continue to seek peace between a secure Israel
and a democratic Palestine. Across the Earth, America is feeding the
hungry--more than 60 percent of international food aid comes as a gift
from the people of the United States. As our nation moves troops and
builds alliances to make our world safer, we must also remember our
calling as a blessed country is to make this world better.
Today, on the continent of Africa,
nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus--including 3 million children
under the age 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than
one-third of the adult population carries the infection. More than 4
million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, only
50,000 AIDS victims--only 50,000--are receiving the medicine they
Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered
a death sentence, many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned
away. A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He says,
"We have no medicines. Many hospitals tell people, you've got AIDS, we
can't help you. Go home and die." In an age of miraculous medicines, no
person should have to hear those words.
AIDS can be prevented. Anti-retroviral
drugs can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has
dropped from $12,000 a year to under $300 a year--which places a
tremendous possibility within our grasp. Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has
history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many.
We have confronted, and will continue to
confront, HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to meet a severe and urgent
crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief--a
work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people
of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent 7 million new AIDS
infections, treat at least 2 million people with life-extending drugs, and
provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS, and for
children orphaned by AIDS.
I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion
over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to
turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the
This nation can lead the world in
sparing innocent people from a plague of nature. And this nation is
leading the world in confronting and defeating the man-made evil of
There are days when our fellow citizens
do not hear news about the war on terror. There's never a day when I do
not learn of another threat, or receive reports of operations in progress,
or give an order in this global war against a scattered network of
killers. The war goes on, and we are winning.
To date, we've arrested or otherwise
dealt with many key commanders of al Qaeda. They include a man who
directed logistics and funding for the September the 11th attacks; the
chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf, who planned the bombings
of our embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole; an al Qaeda operations
chief from Southeast Asia; a former director of al Qaeda's training camps
in Afghanistan; a key al Qaeda operative in Europe; a major al Qaeda
leader in Yemen. All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been
arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's
put it this way--they are no longer a problem to the United States and our
friends and allies.
We are working closely with other
nations to prevent further attacks. America and coalition countries have
uncovered and stopped terrorist conspiracies targeting the American
embassy in Yemen, the American embassy in Singapore, a Saudi military
base, ships in the Straits of Hormuz and the Straits the Gibraltar. We've
broken al Qaeda cells in Hamburg, Milan, Madrid, London, Paris, as well
as, Buffalo, New York.
We have the terrorists on the run. We're
keeping them on the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the
meaning of American justice.
As we fight this war, we will remember
where it began--here, in our own country. This government is taking
unprecedented measures to protect our people and defend our homeland.
We've intensified security at the borders and ports of entry, posted more
than 50,000 newly-trained federal screeners in airports, begun inoculating
troops and first responders against smallpox, and are deploying the
nation's first early warning network of sensors to detect biological
attack. And this year, for the first time, we are beginning to field a
defense to protect this nation against ballistic missiles.
I thank the Congress for supporting
these measures. I ask you tonight to add to our future security with a
major research and production effort to guard our people against
bioterrorism, called Project Bioshield. The budget I send you will propose
almost $6 billion to quickly make available effective vaccines and
treatments against agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and
plague. We must assume that our enemies would use these diseases as
weapons, and we must act before the dangers are upon us.
Since September the 11th, our
intelligence and law enforcement agencies have worked more closely than
ever to track and disrupt the terrorists. The FBI is improving its ability
to analyze intelligence, and is transforming itself to meet new threats.
Tonight, I am instructing the leaders of the FBI, the CIA, the Homeland
Security, and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat
Integration Center, to merge and analyze all threat information in a
single location. Our government must have the very best information
possible, and we will use it to make sure the right people are in the
right places to protect all our citizens.
Our war against terror is a contest of
will in which perseverance is power. In the ruins of two towers, at the
western wall of the Pentagon, on a field in Pennsylvania, this nation made
a pledge, and we renew that pledge tonight: Whatever the duration of this
struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of
violence in the affairs of men--free people will set the course of
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. These
regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder.
They could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies, who would
use them without the least hesitation.
This threat is new; America's duty is
familiar. Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control
of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the
weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their ambitions of cruelty
and murder had no limit. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism,
militarism, and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by
the strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States of
Now, in this century, the ideology of
power and domination has appeared again, and seeks to gain the ultimate
weapons of terror. Once again, this nation and all our friends are all
that stand between a world at peace, and a world of chaos and constant
alarm. Once again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and
the hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility.
America is making a broad and determined
effort to confront these dangers. We have called on the United Nations to
fulfill its charter and stand by its demand that Iraq disarm. We're
strongly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency in its mission
to track and control nuclear materials around the world. We're working
with other governments to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet
Union, and to strengthen global treaties banning the production and
shipment of missile technologies and weapons of mass destruction.
In all these efforts, however, America's
purpose is more than to follow a process--it is to achieve a result: the
end of terrible threats to the civilized world. All free nations have a
stake in preventing sudden and catastrophic attacks. And we're asking them
to join us, and many are doing so. Yet the course of this nation does not
depend on the decisions of others. Whatever action is required, whenever
action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and security of the
Different threats require different
strategies. In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its
people, pursues weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also
see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for
liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a
right to choose their own government and determine their own destiny--and
the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom.
On the Korean Peninsula, an oppressive
regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s,
the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea
from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving
the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North
Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek
concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed.
America is working with the countries of
the region--South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia--to find a peaceful
solution, and to show the North Korean government that nuclear weapons
will bring only isolation, economic stagnation, and continued hardship.
The North Korean regime will find respect in the world and revival for its
people only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions.
Our nation and the world must learn the
lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to
rise up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression,
with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth, will not be permitted
to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States.
Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced
the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost.
To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction.
For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He
pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors
were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit
of these weapons--not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized
world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.
Almost three months ago, the United
Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm.
He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the
opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct--were
not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country
the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's
regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding
its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and
destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.
The United Nations concluded in 1999
that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over
25,000 liters of anthrax--enough doses to kill several million people. He
hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has
The United Nations concluded that Saddam
Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of
botulinum toxin--enough to subject millions of people to death by
respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no
evidence that he has destroyed it.
Our intelligence officials estimate that
Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin,
mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents
could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials.
He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam
Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical
agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them--despite Iraq's recent
declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for
the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence
that he has destroyed them.
From three Iraqi defectors we know that
Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These
are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place
to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these
facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
The International Atomic Energy Agency
confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons
development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on
five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British
government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant
quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that
he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for
nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained
these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
The dictator of Iraq is not disarming.
To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for
instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding
documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection
sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany
the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses.
Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance
flights requested by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are
posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real
scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say.
Intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has ordered that
scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors in disarming Iraq will be
killed, along with their families.
Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone
to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and
keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation,
the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate,
intimidate, or attack.
With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of
chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions
of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And
this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat.
Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements
by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects
terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without
fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or
help them develop their own.
Before September the 11th, many in the
world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical
agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily
contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other
plans--this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one
canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror
like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make
sure that that day never comes.
Some have said we must not act until the
threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their
intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this
threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words,
and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and
restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an
The dictator who is assembling the
world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole
villages--leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or
disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained--by
torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International
human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture
chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on
the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape.
If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.
And tonight I have a message for the
brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your
country--your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime
are removed from power will be the day of your liberation.
The world has waited 12 years for Iraq
to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our
country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the
U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts
of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will
present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal--Iraq's illegal
weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and
its links to terrorist groups.
We will consult. But let there be no
misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety
of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to
Tonight I have a message for the men and
women who will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many
of you are assembling in or near the Middle East, and some crucial hours
may lay ahead. In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on
you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You
believe in America, and America believes in you.
Sending Americans into battle is the
most profound decision a President can make. The technologies of war have
changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans
who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This nation fights
reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning
that always come.
We seek peace. We strive for peace. And
sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible
threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a
just cause and by just means--sparing, in every way we can, the innocent.
And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might
of the United States military--and we will prevail.
And as we and our coalition partners are
doing in Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi people food and medicines
and supplies--and freedom.
Many challenges, abroad and at home,
have arrived in a single season. In two years, America has gone from a
sense of invulnerability to an awareness of peril; from bitter division in
small matters to calm unity in great causes. And we go forward with
confidence, because this call of history has come to the right
Americans are a resolute people who have
risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of
our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation,
and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without
conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers.
Americans are a free people, who know
that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation.
The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift
We Americans have faith in ourselves,
but not in ourselves alone. We do not know--we do not claim to know all
the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence
in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.
May He guide us now. And may God
continue to bless the United States of America.
Carrie was established in June of 1993.
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