Highlights of President Bush's State of the Union speech

WASHINGTON -- Highlights of President Bush's State of the Union speech:

--Bush stressed the new changes in the world, especially the move to democracy in the communist bloc, and declared, 'America stands at the center of a widening circle of freedom -- today, tomorrow and into the next century.'


--Declaring 'the time is right' to reduce troops in Europe, Bush proposed a sharp reduction in the number of both Soviet and U.S. troops in Europe that would bring each side down to a level of 195,000.

--Saying the U.S. invasion of Panama has achieved its objective, Bush promised to have all U.S. troops who participated in the operation home by the end of February.

--While welcoming the period 'of great transition' among communist nations, Bush argued the United States must continue to moderinize its strategic offensive weapons and press ahead with the 'Star Wars' Strategic Defense Initiative.

--Bush outlined an ambitious set of education goals, including getting the high school graduation rate to 90 percent by the year 2000 and that American students are 'first in the world' in math and science achievement by that date.

--He endorsed making the Environmental Protection Agency a Cabinet-level department and urged support for his 'America the Beautiful' initiative to expand the nation's national parks and wildlife preserves.


--Bush promisd a study of the nation's health care system, including quality, accessibility and cost and said he was 'committed to bring the staggering costs of health care under control.'

--Sharply criticizing Sen. Daniel Moynihan's proposal to cut Social Security payroll taxes, he said 'the last thing we need to do is mess around with Social Security.'

--Bush called on Congress once again to approve a cut in the capital gains tax, reducing profits from the sale of such items as stocks and bonds as a means of encouraging entrepreneurial risk-takers.

--Repeating his pledge daof 'no new taxes,' Bush promised to balance the federal budget by 1993.'

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