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Week Ending January 31st
Religious Freedom Coalition
January 30, 2003 5:00PM EST


CONGRESS IN SESSION

STATE OF THE UNION

The Economy/Social Issues/Democrat Issues/Homeland DefenseThe focus of both the media and the Congress this week is upon the State of the Union address delivered by President George W. Bush. The address contained four major segments: the economy, social issues, Democrat issues and homeland defense.

First the President dealt with economic issues. Some of these have dramatic effects on families and social conservatives. The President's economic plan can best be described as a return to Reaganomics, the concept that fewer taxes create more jobs and greater personal income and thus create greater tax revenue for the government in the long run.

To create jobs the President would accelerate the tax cuts passed by Congress last year and make permanent some that have a "sunset" such as the "death tax." Many believe the inheritance tax was killed last year, but this is not true. The exempt amount increases over the next few years until the tax vanishes; then in the year 2011 the law passed by Congress to eliminate the "death tax" expires and it returns to about a 60% tax rate.

The President also wants to eliminate the tax on dividends paid by corporations. This would stop the madness of corporations trying to force up the value of their stock by any means, even by fraud as did Worldcom and Enron. Corporations would be forced to pay out dividends because stockholders would want the payout rather than the increase in share value.

The second part of the speech focuses on issues of compassion such as fixing the Medicare system. The best idea is to allow those on Medicare some choice about the system they want, and that is what President Bush proposes. Some could keep the current system, others could pay a little more for better services and or prescription care. Those who could not afford prescription care would get it free. While I support compassion please ask yourself this question: What would you have for dinner tonight if someone else was paying? When medical care is completely free, people run to the doctor every time they have a cold. When they have to pay at least something for the doctor they go buy some aspirin first. We must be compassionate but measured, and I believe the President plans on that approach.

The compassion theme continued with the President's support of the Faith-Based Initiative to give religious organizations an opportunity to provide community services with federal and state assistance.

Please note that I did not include the President's AIDS program for Africa in the "compassion" department of the address. I believe the President is a compassionate man who does believe in helping others. There were several items added to the speech, however, that were "Democrat" issues and this was one of them. Supporting this huge $40 billion program to fight AIDS in Africa takes the air out of the homosexual lobby and undercuts one of the main anti-Republican themes used by the media. More than 300,000 American men each year are diagnosed with prostate cancer yet there is virtually no federal research funding even though it is the number two killer of men. I would think our government could spend some of our tax money on the diseases that are killing our taxpayers.

The AIDS situation in Africa may be an area better served by the Faith-Based Initiative rather than by $40 billion in drugs. The epidemic can be stopped in Africa by abstinence and the motivation to do that comes from the Bible, not a pill bottle.

On that same note of taking over some of the Democrat issues, the President talked abut the environment and promised a hydrogen (fuel cell) car within a decade. For this the President offered federal funds of $720 million. Ford Motor has already invested about double that amount in Ballard Power and they still donít have a viable fuel cell car. I believe GM is into this for over $2 billion. Donít hold your breath waiting for delivery of your fuel cell powered car. (I sold my Ballard stock.)

Critical social conservative issues other than the Faith-Based Initiative were summed up in one paragraph of the Presidentís speech which I reprint below:

"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."

In this single paragraph President George W. Bush placed those moral and ethical beliefs Americans hold so dear in the forefront of the fight for human dignity and liberty. The President stood firm against both partial-birth abortion and the cloning of human beings.

At the same hour of his State of the Union message I faxed to the White House two letters thanking the President for his strong stand on these important social issues of cloning and partial-birth abortion. (See letters at www.rfcnet.org). In my letter to him on cloning I said, "During your State of the Union address you made it abundantly clear to the American people that a moral imperative exists to reject the destruction of human life as it is brought forth from the womb."

Everyone who finds abhorrent the practice of the destruction of human life should write to the President and thank him for his firm stand on this issue.

The first Senate hearings on human cloning were convened by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) the very next day and there was powerful testimony against cloning by Congressman Weldon (R-FL). Majority Leader Bill Frist, who like Congressman Weldon is a doctor, also stands against cloning.

Lastly the President dealt with the issue of terrorism and Saddam Hussein. Since the media reported on this aspect far more than on what the majority of the speech was about, I will not go into much detail other than to revisit the concept of "just war." The President presented a factual summary of why war on Iraq would be "just." Unfortunately the left does not understand the concept of a "just" war. Senator Ted Kennedy stated that unless we are actually attacked we have no justification to use armed forces. Oddly he had no problem with Bill Clinton bombing Serbia to assist the establishment of a Muslim state in Europe. The Muslim state that Kennedy so supported for Kosovo is now a major training ground for the Islamic terrorists who plague Europe.

The "ground war" now begins in the House and Senate to move forward with the agenda of President George W. Bush. This organization and I will be there to fight for the passage of social conservative legislation including the ban on cloning. I will detail the battle beginning next week.

I have a new video, Future of Our Youth, that was not due to be released until next month; however, it is now available. The video was shot at a speaking engagement about one year after 9-11 and contains many of my thoughts on that event. I was passing the Pentagon when American Flight 77 crashed into it and I discuss with an audience of teenagers my experiences that day. I also deliver a message to them about their future in a changed America. The video is $19.95 including postage and handling. Click here for details.

William J. Murray, Chairman

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