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美国总统布什2004年国情咨文(第二部分)

2006-07-07 21:40

Bush's 2004 State of the Union Address( Part II )
美国总统布什2004年国情咨文(第二部分)

  THE PRESIDENT:

  In the last three years, adversity has also revealed the fundamental strengths of the American economy. We have come through recession, and terrorist attack, and corporate scandals, and the uncertainties of war. And because you acted to stimulate our economy with tax relief, this economy is strong, and growing stronger. (Applause.)

  You have doubled the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000, reduced the marriage penalty, begun to phase out the death tax, reduced taxes on capital gains and stock dividends, cut taxes on small businesses, and you have lowered taxes for every American who pays income taxes.

  Americans took those dollars and put them to work, driving this economy forward. The pace of economic growth in the third quarter of 2003 was the fastest in nearly 20 years; new home construction, the highest in almost 20 years; home ownership rates, the highest ever. Manufacturing activity is increasing. Inflation is low. Interest rates are low. Exports are growing. Productivity is high, and jobs are on the rise. (Applause.)

  These numbers confirm that the American people are using their money far better than government would have —— and you were right to return it. (Applause.)

  America's growing economy is also a changing economy. As technology transforms the way almost every job is done, America becomes more productive, and workers need new skills. Much of our job growth will be found in high-skilled fields like health care and biotechnology. So we must respond by helping more Americans gain the skills to find good jobs in our new economy.

  All skills begin with the basics of reading and math, which are supposed to be learned in the early grades of our schools. Yet for too long, for too many children, those skills were never mastered. By passing the No Child Left Behind Act, you have made the expectation of literacy the law of our country. We're providing more funding for our schools —— a 36-percent increase since 2001. We're requiring higher standards. We are regularly testing every child on the fundamentals. We are reporting results to parents, and making sure they have better options when schools are not performing. We are making progress toward excellence for every child in America. (Applause.)

  But the status quo always has defenders. Some want to undermine the No Child Left Behind Act by weakening standards and accountability. Yet the results we require are really a matter of common sense: We expect third graders to read and do math at the third grade level —— and that's not asking too much. Testing is the only way to identify and help students who are falling behind. This nation will not go back to the days of simply shuffling children along from grade to grade without them learning the basics. I refuse to give up on any child —— and the No Child Left Behind Act is opening the door of opportunity to all of America's children. (Applause.)

  At the same time, we must ensure that older students and adults can gain the skills they need to find work now. Many of the fastest growing occupations require strong math and science preparation, and training beyond the high school level. So tonight, I propose a series of measures called Jobs for the 21st Century. This program will provide extra help to middle and high school students who fall behind in reading and math, expand advanced placement programs in low-income schools, invite math and science professionals from the private sector to teach part-time in our high schools. I propose larger Pell grants for students who prepare for college with demanding courses in high school. (Applause.) I propose increasing our support for America's fine community colleges, so they can —— (applause.) I do so, so they can train workers for industries that are creating the most new jobs. By all these actions, we'll help more and more Americans to join in the growing prosperity of our country. Job training is important, and so is job creation.

  We must continue to pursue an aggressive, pro-growth economic agenda. (Applause.) Congress has some unfinished business on the issue of taxes. The tax reductions you passed are set to expire. Unless you act —— (applause) —— unless you act —— unless you act, the unfair tax on marriage will go back up. Unless you act, millions of families will be charged $300 more in federal taxes for every child. Unless you act, small businesses will pay higher taxes. Unless you act, the death tax will eventually come back to life. Unless you act, Americans face a tax increase. What Congress has given, the Congress should not take away. For the sake of job growth, the tax cuts you passed should be permanent. (Applause.)

  Our agenda for jobs and growth must help small business owners and employees with relief from needless federal regulation, and protect them from junk and frivolous lawsuits. (Applause.)

  Consumers and businesses need reliable supplies of energy to make our economy run —— so I urge you to pass legislation to modernize our electricity system, promote conservation, and make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.)

  My administration is promoting free and fair trade to open up new markets for America's entrepreneurs and manufacturers and farmers —— to create jobs for American workers. Younger workers should have the opportunity to build a nest egg by saving part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account. (Applause.) We should make the Social Security system a source of ownership for the American people. (Applause.) And we should limit the burden of government on this economy by acting as good stewards of taxpayers' dollars. (Applause.)

  In two weeks, I will send you a budget that funds the war, protects the homeland, and meets important domestic needs, while limiting the growth in discretionary spending to less than 4 percent. (Applause.) This will require that Congress focus on priorities, cut wasteful spending, and be wise with the people's money. By doing so, we can cut the deficit in half over the next five years. (Applause.)

  Tonight, I also ask you to reform our immigration laws so they reflect our values and benefit our economy. I propose a new temporary worker program to match willing foreign workers with willing employers when no Americans can be found to fill the job. This reform will be good for our economy because employers will find needed workers in an honest and orderly system. A temporary worker program will help protect our homeland, allowing Border Patrol and law enforcement to focus on true threats to our national security.

  I oppose amnesty, because it would encourage further illegal immigration, and unfairly reward those who break our laws. My temporary worker program will preserve the citizenship path for those who respect the law, while bringing millions of hardworking men and women out from the shadows of American life. (Applause.)

  Our nation's health care system, like our economy, is also in a time of change. Amazing medical technologies are improving and saving lives. This dramatic progress has brought its own challenge, in the rising costs of medical care and health insurance. Members of Congress, we must work together to help control those costs and extend the benefits of modern medicine throughout our country. (Applause.)

  Meeting these goals requires bipartisan effort, and two months ago, you showed the way. By strengthening Medicare and adding a prescription drug benefit, you kept a basic commitment to our seniors: You are giving them the modern medicine they deserve. (Applause.)

  Starting this year, under the law you passed, seniors can choose to receive a drug discount card, saving them 10 to 25 percent off the retail price of most prescription drugs —— and millions of low-income seniors can get an additional $600 to buy medicine. Beginning next year, seniors will have new coverage for preventive screenings against diabetes and heart disease, and seniors just entering Medicare can receive wellness exams.

  In January of 2006, seniors can get prescription drug coverage under Medicare. For a monthly premium of about $35, most seniors who do not have that coverage today can expect to see their drug bills cut roughly in half. Under this reform, senior citizens will be able to keep their Medicare just as it is, or they can choose a Medicare plan that fits them best —— just as you, as members of Congress, can choose an insurance plan that meets your needs. And starting this year, millions of Americans will be able to save money tax-free for their medical expenses in a health savings account. (Applause.)

  I signed this measure proudly, and any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors, or to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare, will meet my veto. (Applause.)

  On the critical issue of health care, our goal is to ensure that Americans can choose and afford private health care coverage that best fits their individual needs. To make insurance more affordable, Congress must act to address rapidly rising health care costs. Small businesses should be able to band together and negotiate for lower insurance rates, so they can cover more workers with health insurance. I urge you to pass association health plans. (Applause.) I ask you to give lower-income Americans a refundable tax credit that would allow millions to buy their own basic health insurance. (Applause.)

  By computerizing health records, we can avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs, and improve care. To protect the doctor-patient relationship, and keep good doctors doing good work, we must eliminate wasteful and frivolous medical lawsuits. (Applause.) And tonight I propose that individuals who buy catastrophic health care coverage, as part of our new health savings accounts, be allowed to deduct 100 percent of the premiums from their taxes. (Applause.)

  A government-run health care system is the wrong prescription. (Applause.) By keeping costs under control, expanding access, and helping more Americans afford coverage, we will preserve the system of private medicine that makes America's health care the best in the world. (Applause.)

  We are living in a time of great change —— in our world, in our economy, in science and medicine. Yet some things endure —— courage and compassion, reverence and integrity, respect for differences of faith and race. The values we try to live by never change. And they are instilled in us by fundamental institutions, such as families and schools and religious congregations. These institutions, these unseen pillars of civilization, must remain strong in America, and we will defend them. We must stand with our families to help them raise healthy, responsible children. When it comes to helping children make right choices, there is work for all of us to do.

  One of the worst decisions our children can make is to gamble their lives and futures on drugs. Our government is helping parents confront this problem with aggressive education, treatment, and law enforcement. Drug use in high school has declined by 11 percent over the last two years. Four hundred thousand fewer young people are using illegal drugs than in the year 2001. (Applause.) In my budget, I proposed new funding to continue our aggressive, community-based strategy to reduce demand for illegal drugs. Drug testing in our schools has proven to be an effective part of this effort. So tonight I proposed an additional $23 million for schools that want to use drug testing as a tool to save children's lives. The aim here is not to punish children, but to send them this message: We love you, and we don't want to lose you. (Applause.)

  To help children make right choices, they need good examples. Athletics play such an important role in our society, but, unfortunately, some in professional sports are not setting much of an example. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message —— that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now. (Applause.)

  To encourage right choices, we must be willing to confront the dangers young people face —— even when they're difficult to talk about. Each year, about 3 million teenagers contract sexually-transmitted diseases that can harm them, or kill them, or prevent them from ever becoming parents. In my budget, I propose a grassroots campaign to help inform families about these medical risks. We will double federal funding for abstinence programs, so schools can teach this fact of life: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually-transmitted diseases. (Applause.)

  Decisions children now make can affect their health and character for the rest of their lives. All of us —— parents and schools and government —— must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture, and to send the right messages to our children.

  For all Americans, the last three years have brought tests we did not ask for, and achievements shared by all. By our actions, we have shown what kind of nation we are. In grief, we have found the grace to go on. In challenge, we rediscovered the courage and daring of a free people. In victory, we have shown the noble aims and good heart of America. And having come this far, we sense that we live in a time set apart.

  I've been witness to the character of the people of America, who have shown calm in times of danger, compassion for one another, and toughness for the long haul. All of us have been partners in a great enterprise. And even some of the youngest understand that we are living in historic times. Last month a girl in Lincoln, Rhode Island, sent me a letter. It began, “Dear George W. Bush. If there's anything you know, I, Ashley Pearson, age 10, can do to help anyone, please send me a letter and tell me what I can do to save our country.” She added this P.S.: “If you can send a letter to the troops, please put, 'Ashley Pearson believes in you.'” (Applause.)

  Tonight, Ashley, your message to our troops has just been conveyed. And, yes, you have some duties yourself. Study hard in school, listen to your mom or dad, help someone in need, and when you and your friends see a man or woman in uniform, say, “thank you.” (Applause.) And, Ashley, while you do your part, all of us here in this great chamber will do our best to keep you and the rest of America safe and free. (Applause.)

  My fellow citizens, we now move forward, with confidence and faith. Our nation is strong and steadfast. The cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all mankind.


  布什总统:

  在过去三年里,美国经济经历了一些困境,我们经历了经济衰退、恐怖袭击、公司丑闻以及战争带来的不确定因素等,但我们成功的减税政策刺激了经济发展,美国的经济是强大的,而且在变得更加强大。

  我们将子女减免退税增加了一倍,从500美元提高到1000美元,减免了对已婚纳税人征收的额外税收,逐渐停止征收遗产税,减少增值税和股利税,减免小型企业的税收,而且减少美国人民的收入税。

  美国人民得到了这些实惠,把他们放到工作当中,这将会刺激我们的经济。2003年第三季度我们的经济增长速度是最近20年来最快的;我们所进行的国家建设,也是近20年来最多的;而且房屋的拥有率也达到了最高水平。制造业也在不断的增加,通货膨胀较低,利率较低,出口在增长,生产力水平很高,而且就业机会也越来越多。

  这些数字证实了美国人民能够比政府更好的使用这些资金——你们退税的决策很正确。

  美国正在增长的经济也是变化中的经济,每项工作都经历了技术上的变革。美国的生产力更强了,工人需要新的技术。很多工作需要高技术,比如卫生保健和生物工艺学等,所以我们必须帮助更多的美国人获得技术,在新经济中找到更好的工作。

  这些技术的基础是阅读和数学,这是我们在小学低年级的时候都学过的,但是很久以来,对于很多孩子来说,他们从未完全掌握这些技能。通过实施《一个也不能落下法案》,你们将人们对于提高整个国家文化程度的期望变成了我国的一项法律。我们为学校提供更多的资金,2001年以来增长了36%。我们提出了更高的要求,我们定期检测每一个孩子对基本技能的掌握情况。我们将情况告诉家长,确保他们在学校没能发挥作用的时候,能够有更好的选择。我们志在为每一个美国孩子提供更好的受教育的机会。

  但是总有人极力维护现状。有人想要通过降低标准和减少责任来阻碍《一个也不能落下法案》的实施。而我们想要得到的实际上很普通:我们希望三年级的孩子在阅读和数学方面真正达到三年级应有的水平——这个要求不过分吧。测试是发现和帮助那些掉队的学生的唯一方法。我们的国家不会再返回到原来那种教育制度:眼看着孩子们从一个年级升到另一个年级,却什么基本技能都没有学会。我绝对不会放弃任何一个孩子——《一个也不能落下法案》向每一个美国孩子都打开了机会之门。

  与此同时,我们必须保证那些年纪大的学生和成人能够获得技术,让他们找到工作。许多快速发展的职业都需要很多数学和科学方面的知识储备和高中水平以上的培训。所以,今晚,我提出一系列21世纪就业计划。这一计划将为那些在阅读和数学方面掉队的中学生提供额外的帮助、在低收入学校中发展跳级项目并从私立学校邀请数学和科学方面的教师到公立学校来做兼职。我建议为那些准备进入大学学习高难度课程的高中生提供更多的培尔奖学金。我建议加大对美国优秀社区大学的支持力度,这样他们能够为最新出现的工种培养更多工人。通过这些措施,我们会帮助越来越多的美国人享受我们国家的繁荣。职业培训和创造就业都是非常重要的。

  我们必须继续寻求积极的、有助于经济发展的议程。国会在税收方面还有一些未完成的任务。你们通过的减税政策即将到期,如果不采取行动,不公平的结婚税将卷土重来;如果你们不采取行动,数百万的家庭将被迫为每个儿童支付300美元的联邦税;如果你们不采取行动,一些中小企业将支付更高税款;如果你们不采取行动,遗产税又会重新征收;如果你们不采取行动,美国人将支付更多税款。因此国会应该承担起责任来,为了增加工作机会,减税政策必须长久进行下去。

  我们有关就业和发展的议程必须帮助那些小企业的拥有者和他们的雇员,让他们从不必要的国家规定中解脱出来并保护他们不被繁琐的官司缠身。

  消费者和企业需要可靠的能源供应来维持我国经济的正常运转。因此我迫切要求你们通过立法来使我们的电力系统满足现在的需要、提高储藏量,减少美国对国外能源的依赖。

  政府正在努力促进贸易平等和自由,为美国的企业、制造业者和农民开放新的市场,为美国工人创造就业机会。年轻工人应该可以在个人的退休帐户中储蓄部分社会保险税,作为自己的养老金。我们应该让社会保障体系成为美国人民拥有的重要资源。我们应该更合理的使用纳税人所纳的资金,限制政府对经济施加压力。

  两周之内,我将向国会递交一份预算,资助战争、保护国土安全,满足重要的国内需求,将政府自由花费限制在增幅不超过4%。这需要国会减少不必要的花费,妥善使用纳税人的钱。只有这样,我们才能在未来5年里将亏空减少到现在的一半。

  今晚,我还要求你们改革我们的移民法,使之能反映我们的价值观并促进美国经济的增长。我提出了一个临时劳工法案,为那些愿意雇佣外国人的雇主提供愿意在美国工作的外国工人。这一改革方案有利于经济发展,因为雇主能在诚实有序的环境下找到他们需要的工人。该方案也有利于保护我们的国家,让边境巡逻人员和执法部门集中精力对付国家安全的真正威胁。

  我反对特赦所有非法外国移民,因为这将鼓励更多的非法移民进入美国。我提出的这一计划将为那些尊重美国法律的外国移民获得公民权,使数百万在美国努力工作的移民摆脱非法环境。

  和我国的经济一样,我国的医疗卫生系统也到了该改革的时候了。令人惊讶的医疗技术不断改善和挽救我们的生命。但是飞速的进步也给医疗事业带来了挑战,医疗的成本越来越高。国会的成员们,我们必须共同努力控制这些成本,扩大现代医疗给全国人民带去的好处。

  要实现这些目标需要我们两党合作,两个月前,你们就有了办法。通过加强医疗保险制度,增加处方药津贴,你们可以为老年人提供最基本的保障。你们使他们享受到现代的医疗技术。

  从今年开始,我们会通过一些法律让老年人选择药品折扣卡,他们在购买处方药的时候,可以节约零售价格10%到25%,同时,上百万低收入的老年人另外可以获得600美元的补助用于购买药品。从明年开始,老年人将享受新的医疗保险,针对糖尿病和心脏病的预防性筛选,老年人只要参加了医疗保险就可以获得健康检查。

  到2006年1月,老年人可以在医疗保险中购买处方药。老年人享受每月约35美元的医疗保险,大多数目前没有享受到这一水平的老年人的药费清单有望削减一半。在这样的改革措施下,老年人可以保持原有的医疗保险费用不变,或者可以选择一种最适合的医疗保险方案。就像你们,国会成员,可以选择符合你们需要的保险方案。从今年开始,上百万美国人可以在健康储蓄存款帐户中存入免税存款,用于医疗开支。

  我非常自豪的签署这个法案,同时,任何企图限制老年人选择权、或将处方药排除在医疗保险之外的行为都将被我否决。

  有关医疗保险的关键问题,我们的目标就是要保证所有的美国人都能够选择而且有能力支付适合自己的个人医疗保险。为了能够让人们都承担得起保险,国会必须行动起来控制迅速上涨的医疗保险费用。中小企业应该联合起来进行谈判,降低医疗保险的价格。这样的话,他们可以为更多的工人参加保险。我请求你们向几百万低收入的美国人退税,这样他们才能购买基本的医疗保险。

  通过将医疗记录输入电脑,我们可以避免危险的医疗事故,降低成本并提高医疗质量。为了保护医生和病人之间的关系,并且让好的医生继续妙手回春,我们必须减少无谓的、琐碎的医疗纠纷。作为新的医疗储蓄存款帐户的一部分,今天晚上我建议那些购买大病医疗保险的个人应该被允许从纳税款中扣除100%保险金。

  由政府来管理医疗体系是一种错误的做法。通过控制成本,畅通渠道,帮助更多的美国人有能力支付保险费用,我们将维护个人医疗体系,使美国的医疗卫生体系成为全世界最好的。

  我们生活在一个日新月异的世界,我们的世界,我们的经济,我们的科学技术都在发生着变化。但是,有些东西是不会改变的,我们的勇气和同情心,我们的尊严和正直,我们对于不同种族和信念的尊重。我们赖以生存的价值观永远都不会改变,而且基本的社会机构已经将它们根植在我们心中,比如说我们的家庭、学校,还有宗教聚会。所有这些机构是文明的无形支柱,在美国它们必须永远强大,我们要保护它们。我们必须同我们的家人站在一起,帮助他们养育健康、有责任心的儿童。帮助孩子们做出正确的选择是我们共同的职责。

  孩子们做出的最不好的选择就是用他们的生命和未来作赌注,孤注一掷吸毒。我们的政府正在通过积极的教育、治疗和法律强制手段帮助家长对付这个问题。在过去的两年中,高中里毒品的使用量已经降低了11%。和2001年相比,非法吸毒的年轻人减少了40万。在预算中,我提出希望能够提供新的资金继续我们积极的、以社区为基础的减少非法毒品需求的战略。在学校里进行的吸毒测试被证实是非常有效的。所以今晚,我提议为那些以毒品测试为手段挽救孩子生命的学校增加2300万补助。这样做的目的是惩罚那些吸毒的孩子,但是我们想告诉他们:我们爱你们,我们不想失去你们。

  要帮助孩子们做出正确的选择,他们需要好榜样。体育在我们的社会中扮演着很重要的角色,但是,不幸的是,有些职业运动员并没有做出很好的表率作用。他们在棒球,橄榄球和其他一些项目中使用类固醇等兴奋剂来提高比赛成绩,这样做是很危险的,而且这样给孩子们传达了错误信息,那就是成功有捷径可走,比赛成绩比人的品格更重要。所以今晚我想向球队的主人、联盟的代表、教练和球员发出呼吁,希望你们能够起到带头作用,传达正确的信息,勇敢的行动起来,从现在开始拒绝类固醇。

  要让孩子能够做出正确的选择,我们必须自愿面对年轻人所面临的一些危险,即使他们难以启齿。每年大约有300万少年儿童感染性病,这会对他们造成极大的伤害,甚至会杀了他们,或使他们失去做父母的权利。在预算中,我希望大家能够一起行动起来帮助那些家庭,告诉他们危害性。我们将为禁欲项目提供双倍的联邦财政资助,这样学校可以告诉学生:自我节制是年轻人避免性传播疾病的唯一途径。

  孩子们现在做出的决定会影响到他们未来的健康和性格发展。家长、学校和政府,我们要共同合作来抵制文化的负面影响,给孩子们传递正确的信息。

  对所有美国人来说,过去的三年给我们带来了很多未曾想象的考验,也给我们带来了很大的成就。我们的行动表明美国是一个什么样的国家。当我们仍处于悲痛之中时,我们找到了继续前进的勇气;在我们面临挑战时,我们再次找到了一个自由民族的勇气和胆量;当我们取得胜利之时,我们展示了美国的庄严目标和慈善之心。在经过这么多事情之后,我们觉得我们生活在一个完全不同的时代。

  我本人是美国人民性格的见证人之一,在危险面前能够保持镇定,能够对他人保持宽容,能够长久保持决心。我们所有的人都是一个伟大事业的伙伴,即使那些年轻人也明白,我们生活在一个历史性的变革时代。上个月,一名来自罗得岛的小女孩致信于我。信的开头是这样写的:“亲爱的乔治·W·布什”,“如果你知道像我阿斯雷·佩尔森,这样一个10岁女孩能做什么事情来帮助别人,请你给我回信,告诉我做些什么才能帮助或者拯救我们的国家。”她在信的附言中写道:“如果你给军人写信,请你写上'阿斯雷·佩尔森相信你们'这样的字样。”

  今晚,阿斯雷,你想给军人传递的信息,我已经传给了他们,当然,你自己也应承担一些责任:努力学习,听爸爸妈妈的话,帮助那些需要帮助的人,当你和你的朋友看到穿军装的男女军人时,对他们说“谢谢你们”。当你承担了自己的一份责任时,在这里的所有人都将尽我们所能来让你和美国人民觉得更加安全,更加自由。

  美国同胞们,我们有能力有信心继续前进。我们的国家是强大坚定的。我们的事业是正义的,因为这也是全人类的事业。

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