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America at Large

A Response to the President's Address
By Ricky Allen
Feb 3, 2005 - 3:53:00 PM

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In the President's speech last night, his thoughts on Social Security reform and Iran had to be the big subjects at every breakfast table in America.

He said, "Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th Century, and we must honor its great purposes in this new century. The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy. And so we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security."

He added, "Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th Century, and we must honor its great purposes in this new century. The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy. And so we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security. "Today, more than 45 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, and millions more are nearing retirement and for them the system is strong and fiscally sound. I have a message for every American who is 55 or older: Do not let anyone mislead you. For you, the Social Security system will not change in any way."

He added, "All these ideas are on the table. I know that none of these reforms would be easy. But we have to move ahead with courage and honesty, because our children's retirement security is more important than partisan politics. I will work with members of Congress to find the most effective combination of reforms. I will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer. We must, however, be guided by some basic principles. We must make Social Security permanently sound, not leave that task for another day."

In other words, GET A SAVINGS ACCOUNT STARTED, 401K, WHATEVER YOUR DESIRE TO SAVE MONEY. That's all he's doing, maybe with a few perks added to it. In the government world of employment, it's called a Thrift Savings Plan.

For those in their mid-20's, get out of the idea of "I only have 30 more years before I get concerned about it right?" This is the mentality of some Americans. That has to change.

It's my opinion that Americans need to begin worrying about how to take care of themselves, rather than waiting for the government to supply them with a means to do so. I know people right now that are waiting to hit that prime age to get Social Security; hopefully they won't be dissapointed.

Do I have a plan in place for myself and my family? Yes, for those who are wondering.

I feel that is responsible, and it shows no lack of  disrespect for our government. It shows that we have taken the lead to our own fate.

The President also touched on a variety of other key issues, such as heath care costs, education, all the usual suspects, however, it would be his thoughts on Iran that would trigger a vast response.

He said, "Today, Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror, pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you."

My thought on that - he's not picking a fight, however, we just can't stop people from doing things because we feel it isn't right.

I mean, isn't that what democracy is all about?

And at the same time, we must learn from our past mistakes. If you don't have the clear intelligence to back it up, don't go to war or even make a conflict.

Iran's response - there's nothing true to what the President is saying, a response we all should have expected to hear.

So if Iran is doing someting wrong, let's make sure we have our homework done. And don't get me wrong, I'm sure Iran doesn't have the best of track records either, but let's think about this for a minute: We're rebuilding Afganistan and Iraq's governments, troops in both locations, helping out the Tsunami reliefs, watching N. Korea's business. I guess that's not enough.

How about we as Americans just put on the spandex, wear the cape, and poke our chest out and make it official.

It's impossible to multitask the world. If we cannot concentrate our efforts on one issue, then we'll fall in all fronts. These are our troops being killed, this is our tax money being spent, and these are the days we live in where it takes you forever to get onto an airplane without someone knowing your life history.

So for the address, I gave it an A+. Why? because he has a lot to do in four years, but Americans have a lot to think about. It's time to stop talking, and get to work.

I am not bitter, are you interested?

Send me your thoughts. Email me at and I will definitely respond to them in my next column. It doesn't matter if you agree, don't agree, or even like what I have to say. That's what America's all about, the freedom to feel and express your thoughts.

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