The following is a transcript of President Bush's weekly radio address:
Good morning. This coming week I will report to the Congress and the American people on the state of our union. Over the past few years, America has been confronted with great challenges, and the American people have responded with strength and compassion and confidence. This nation is meeting its priorities, both at home and abroad.
America continues to wage a relentless campaign against terrorists who threaten our country. We're fighting this war on the offensive, denying terrorists refuge, identifying and seizing their secret finances, and holding terrorists and their sponsors to account. These terrorists are still dangerous, and we will stay on the hunt until they are destroyed.
Across the greater Middle East, America is confronting dangers and promoting democracy and hope, as the alternative to terror and violence. Afghanistan, once ruled by the brutal Taliban regime, has adopted a new constitution and is following the path of democracy, including providing fundamental rights to women.
The leader of Libya has now pledged to disclose and dismantle all of his weapons of mass destruction programs. And in Iraq, the enemies of freedom are being systematically routed from their holes and rounded up. Iraqis are assuming greater responsibility for their own security and future government. American troops in that country are performing their duty with skill and courage, and we're proud of them all.
Here at home, we continue to build prosperity and economic security for our people. Tax relief has helped turn our economy around. We've doubled the child tax credit, cut taxes for everyone who pays income taxes, and increased incentives for small businesses to invest in new equipment and create jobs.
The results are clear. Our economy grew at its fastest pace in two decades in the third quarter of 2003. Manufacturers are seeing a rebound in new orders in factory activity. And more than a quarter-million new jobs have been created since August.
Our government has also acted to strengthen our Medicare system. To keep our commitment to America's senior citizens, we're adding better preventative care and a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program. Many thought these reforms were impossible; yet members of both parties put old debates behind them and fulfilled our promise to America's seniors.
On Tuesday night I will outline the steps we must take to meet the goals of this nation. We will work to expand opportunities for all Americans to own their own business. We'll press forward on an agenda of economic growth so that everyone who wants to work can find a job. We'll take steps to help families and small businesses deal with the rising cost of health care. We will continue to help schools and students meet the high standards we've set so no child in America is left behind. We will encourage the good work of faith-based groups that bring hope to those in need. For the sake of our own freedom and security, we will continue to fight the war on terror.
With all these actions, we will continue to confront the challenges of our time, and we will continue to make America a more secure, more prosperous, and more hopeful place.
Thank you for listening.