Libertarians Count Bush's Policy Initiatives; Only 'One Bright Spot'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:29 PM EDT

( - President Bush offered 20 policy initiatives in his 65-minute State of the Union Address Tuesday night, compared with the 39 policy initiatives he proposed in 2002.

By way of contrast, in 2000, President Clinton offered 104 policy initiatives in a speech that lasted 89 minutes, the Cato Institute said. This is the fifth year the Cato Institute has tabulated the number of new initiatives proposed in State of the Union Addresses.

The Cato Institute - a public policy research group dedicated to individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace - found much to dislike in President Bush's address. It called the first half of his speech "Clinton Lite."

"With a laundry list of proposals for 'hydrogen-powered automobiles' and 'the training and recruiting of mentors' and drug treatment programs,' the president showed little respect for the appropriate limits on the size and scope of the federal government," the Cato Institute's Executive Vice President David Boaz said in a press release.

Boaz says President Bush didn't show enough spending discipline; and Boaz believes that instead of launching a new war against Iraq, America should "clear the decks for war against al Qaeda," by ending the "obsolete troop presence in Europe, Japan and South Korea."

The Cato Institute believes there was one bright spot in President Bush's State of the Union Address - the president's insistence that younger workers be offered the chance to invest in retirement accounts that they will control and own.