Analysis of President Bush’s 2006 State of the Union Address

by Demian Brady / /

NTUF State of the Union Analysis        Download the PDF or .docx

National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s State of the Union (SOTU) cost analyses detail the budgetary impact of all the actionable proposals made during the President’s annual address to Congress. Our researchers identify every policy supported during the address that could increase or decrease federal spending. We then match them with cost estimates for identical or similar measures introduced as legislation, in a previous budget proposal, or in third-party studies. By compiling each of those estimates, we are able to derive the total net cost of the agenda presented during the President’s speech.

(quoted from text)
Annual Spending Increase/Decrease
(in millions)
1“This year my budget will … reduce or eliminate more than 140 programs that are performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities.”($14,000)
2“I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of Baby Boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”$2
3“…[W]e must have a … guest worker program … .”Unknown.*
4“For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of [health] care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship … and help people afford the insurance coverage they need.”$4,600*
5“We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology, to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors.”$50
6“We will … [make] sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get.”$5
7“We will do more to make this coverage portable, so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance.”Unknown.*
8“I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year.”($890)
9“To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants … .”$135
10“…[W]e will invest more in … solar ... technologies … .”$65
11“…[W]e will invest more in ... wind technologies … .”$5
12“…[W]e will invest more in … clean safe nuclear energy.”Unknown.
13“We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars … .”$7
14“We will increase our research … in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen.”$53
15“We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass.”$59
16“Tonight I announce the American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our Nation’s children a firm grounding in math and science. … I propose to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years. … This year we will add resources to encourage young people to stay in school … .”$10,000
17“I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act … and provide new funding to states, so we end the waiting lists for AIDS medicine in America.”Unknown.*
18“We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closely with African-American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America.”Unknown.
Sources: National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s BillTally, the White House, and various news reports.

* - Notes:

Cost of the guest worker program is probably minimal and funded through user fees.
The cost to “help people afford the insurance coverage they need,” is based on the President’s refundable tax credit for health insurance and a White House State of the Union news release proposal for $500 million annually "to encourage states to test innovative methods for covering chronically ill residents."
The President’s speech regarding portability appeared to be limited to Health Savings Account policies. However, a subsequent White House new release indicates that “the President supports permitting the purchase of health insurance across state lines.” A Congressional Budget Office report for related legislation (H.R. 3255: Health Care Choice Act of 2005) estimates this could increase spending for Medicaid $56 million annually over the next five years.
The Ryan White Act was last reauthorized in the 106th Congress (S. 2311: Ryan White CARE Act Amendments of 2000) and increased spending by $1.282 billion over five years ($256 million annually).

Historical Comparisons

President/SpeechNon-Defense Discretionary Spending (in billions)Defense/Homeland Security Spending
(in billions)
Clinton -- 1999$305$22
Clinton -- 2000$119$21
Bush -- 2002*$55$51
Bush -- 2003$46$6
Bush -- 2004$13.6N/A
Bush -- 2005$12.8N/A
Bush -- 2006$.091N/A
* Historically Presidents do not give State of the Union addresses their first year in office (2001 for President Bush).