Last night, I actually stumbled upon my notes from last year’s State of the Union Address, and I was amused to find that they were very similar to my notes from this year’s speech. Both this year and last, President Bush spoke about fiscal responsibility and our economy; and both this year and last, I remarked how our poor economic and fiscal state is a direct result of President Bush’s rampant borrow-and-spend policies.

On fiscal responsibility, President Bush is years late and many dollars short. He has led the American people to believe that they can have all of the spending programs they want and cut taxes, and we can just borrow the money from China to pay for these things. On this President’s watch, a $5.6 trillion projected surplus has vanished, and in its place, we have record deficits, a rising mountain of debt, and a sluggish economy. We now find ourselves facing a possible recession, and President Bush’s irresponsible economic policies are to blame.

While the President has led us down a deteriorating fiscal path, he has brought some attention to the serious problems facing our entitlement programs. Although he has failed to act, President Bush has stressed the need to reform our Social Security and Medicare programs so that they can be there for our children and grandchildren. The longer we wait to address the large fiscal imbalances in our entitlement programs, the tougher and more painful the fixes will become.

In the next Administration, I hope we will have a leader who will not just respond to the news of the day—that is the short term problems facing our country. Our next President must have the political courage and the policy chomps to develop and implement a long term plan to stabilize the economy, reform our entitlement programs, pay down the debt, and ensure future generations the quality of life we want for them.