"I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don't be confused."
But I am confused. We're two years past 2009, but we still have 48,000 troops in Iraq. We must shrink the military's mission to truly national defense. That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the entire world. We can't afford it, and it's not right.
Those cuts will put America on the road to solvency. But that's not enough. We also need economic growth.
Our growth has stalled because millions of pages of regulations make businesses too fearful to invest. Entrepreneurs don't know what the rules -- or taxes -- will be tomorrow. This discourages hiring.
All destructive laws must go. I again propose the Stossel Rule: For every new law passed, we must repeal two old ones.
We need to progress to an America that cherishes individual freedom. That means a government limited by the Constitution, one that protects our shores and our persons but otherwise stays out of our way. We should take seriously the words of another president, Thomas Jefferson, and embrace "a wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."
That's my State of the Union address.
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