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Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Wednesday, 1 February 2006

US voters' views: Neil Sherman

MEET THE PANEL
Neil Sherman
Name: Neil Sherman
Age: 66
Lives: Germantown, Tennessee
Works: Retired naval officer, Presbyterian minister
Last election voted: Republican
In 10 words or less:
"Husband, father of six, grandfather of 17, soccer fan"

This was a good address.

Mr Bush exuded confidence and made several strong points.

The highlight for me was his call for the US to continue its leadership role in the world and shun isolationism.

I heard what I needed to hear about domestic issues: Social security funding, making the tax cuts permanent, health care reform, and a continued strong stance on our domestic security.

Can he deliver? I don't know. So much depends on Congress.

I especially liked his comments on our addiction to oil and would support his plan to reduce 75% of Middle East oil imports by 2025.

Also, I liked his comments about American education initiatives.

However, I wish he had addressed the layoffs of thousands of workers from the auto industry.

When he talks about creating jobs I ask myself why we have to ship jobs like computer help centres and domestic airline reservation services to foreign countries. It may be cheaper to do so but the service is worse.

US VOTERS' VIEWS
In the 2005 address, partial privatisation of the social security system was pushed. Thankfully, this effort failed.

Because of so many failed company pension plans, many people are relying more on social security. It's the only program that keeps them from abject poverty. Funding needs to be a priority but before this speech no progress was made.

Also from the 2005 address, he promised to deal with our deficit increases. He promised to make the economy stronger and more dynamic, but we continue to send our jobs overseas.

We import highly technical people because we cannot produce enough of them through our educational systems.

Citing the No Child Left Behind Act, he talked about better results from our school - but I still don't see it getting better.

So, he still has a lot to prove on these initiatives. Hopefully he will do so.




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