And my administration will be discerning in our foreign aid handouts. Nations that receive the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars will be expected to support American interests. That includes the long-term war on terror, the spreading of democracy, and respect for internal human rights. On my watch, the days of providing billions to countries that routinely vote against us at the UN – Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan are three prime examples — will come to an abrupt end unless they mend their ways to our satisfaction.
Also at the top of our agenda is energy independence, which will not only immeasurably help our economy by permitting American consumers to invest more in their family’s future and spend less at the gas pumps, it will also allow us to finally pursue an uncompromising foreign policy. No longer will we be forced to coddle totalitarian anti-western regimes.
To gain that independence, we will need to establish a dual strategy. Yes, we must conduct offshore drilling in uninhabited areas, but at the same time it is incumbent on us to maximize the use of fuel-efficient vehicles. This can be accomplished by voluntarily cutting back on luxury driving and with the imposition of a $5,000 tax on the purchase by a family of four or fewer of any new vehicle that does not get at least 35 miles per gallon.
Smaller, more fuel-efficient cars are likely to be built, purchased and driven, translating into a successful transition away from imported oil. And the proceeds from that $5,000 tax will be earmarked for low-income, disabled and senior Americans who need help with their ever-rising home energy bills.
Finally, passage of my proposed “2009 Air and Naval Superiority Act” will be our top national security priority. The basics of the legislation are as follows:
* We will aggressively seek mutual defense pacts with American allies in every regional hotspot. A major aspect of these security alliances will feature the stationing of American Air Force and Navy personnel in nations like Poland (with whom we recently signed a missile defense base deal), India (with whom we are on the verge of completing a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement), Georgia, Israel and South Korea.
* Whenever and wherever I decide, based on conclusive intelligence data, that American interests are threatened, we will not hesitate to inflict continuous damage via air and sea, either in full view of the world or by effective clandestine measures.
This will put our enemies on notice that every harmful action they pursue will be met by America’s full retaliatory might and it will keep all other rogue entities wondering whether they might be the next target of America’s just wrath.
This policy will have the added benefit of ensuring a safer environment for American forces, since no ground troops will be needed for implementation.
In his Cooper Union speech, Lincoln emphasized quintessential American moral values with these words: “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
I will do my utmost to carry Lincoln’s message forward.
Thank you and God bless America.