Transcript of President Donald Trump’s remarks at The Heritage Foundation’s President’s Club Meeting on October 17, 2017.
ED FEULNER: Thank you my dear friends and fellow members of The Heritage Foundation. We, at Heritage, know why President Trump was elected president of the United States. Because he listened to the forgotten men and women of America and promised that if they elected him, he would not forget them. He has kept his promise, despite Washington’s political and media elites being shocked by it. Mr. President, we at The Heritage Foundation stand ready to help you keep your promise and to realize the promise of America.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
TRUMP: Thank you Ed for that really wonderful and dynamic introduction. And because of Ed, I hear they had to make this room a lot larger, quickly, that’s great, thank you very much. Thank you folks. And really, Ed’s dedication and leadership and devotion to our country has really been spectacular, we appreciate it very much. I’d like to begin by providing a quick update on our economy. I don’t think too many people in this room will be upset but the stock market hit today, 23,000, that’s an all time record high so congratulations to everybody in our country.
It’s an incredible honor to be here tonight to celebrate this really wonderful foundation. Just a few months from now, you will mark the 45th anniversary of this esteemed institution. For nearly a half a century, you have been titans in the fight to defend, promote, and preserve our great American heritage. Few people have worked harder to protect this heritage than Ed Meese, a fearless defender of our constitution. Where is Ed? Where is Ed? Thank you Ed. And Mrs. Meese, thank you very much, thank you. Thank you.
Wow, that’s a very popular couple I must say. I also want to express my deep appreciation to the great Steve Moore, who is with us tonight. Steve, where is Steve? Steve has been fantastic. We’ve been working long and hard together. We’re thrilled to be joined by many distinguished guests including Senator Joni Ernst and Congressman Ron Desantis. Please, stand up. Where’s Ron? Ron Desantis. Thank you Ron for everything and thank you Joni, thank you Joni. Thanks Ron.
Finally I want to express our gratitude to Kay James, Bill Walton, and the dedicated scholars and staff at the Heritage Foundation, thank you very much. Thank you. Great job. Everyone here tonight understands a core truth, that for America to have confidence in our future, we must have pride in our history. As Americans, we have inherited a special legacy of freedom, culture, laws, traditions, and values. Your organization is named, The Heritage Foundation, because you understand that our glorious heritage is the foundation of everything we hope to achieve. You understand that human progress must be built upon a firm foundation of timeless truths. These truths are immortalized in our founding documents and the most important truth, our founders understood was this, freedom is not a gift from government, freedom is a gift from God.
And that is why we’re here tonight, to rededicate ourselves to the defense of our God given rights. We’re here to insure that we defend this legacy from any threat, foreign or domestic, that would seek to weaken our values, diminish our freedoms, or dissolve the bonds that hold us so strongly and firmly together. As our nation has responded in recent weeks to a series of heartbreaking tragedies, from the catastrophic storms to the devastating wild wires to the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, we are reminded that no destructive force on earth is stronger than the courage, character, and love of the American people.
This is a time of great challenge for the world but also a time of great opportunity. We can unleash the creative power of our citizens, unlock new frontiers in science and medicine, and usher in prosperity for communities all across our land. But to achieve these great things, we must hold fast to the values that define who we are as a people and as a nation. Everyone here tonight is united by the same enduring beliefs. We believe that the constitution is the greatest political document in human history, and that judges should interpret the constitution as written.
We believe we should preserve our history, not tear it down. Now they’re even trying to destroy statues of Christopher Columbus, what’s next? Has to be stopped, it’s heritage. We believe that America is a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws and we support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. We believe that our great American flag should be treated with reverence and respect and that young Americans should be taught to love our country, honor our anthem, and proudly recite the pledge of allegiance.
We believe that strong nations must have strong borders and that our most important job is to serve the needs of America and the American people, that includes common sense reforms like cracking down on sanctuary cities, ending catch and release, and very importantly, ending chain migration. The loyal hard working citizens of our country deserve a government that shows them the same loyalty in return., Finally, we believe that the basis for international security and peace is mutual cooperation among independent and sovereign nations. This is the message I delivered in my address to the United Nations. I told the leaders in that hall that just like I expect, and we all understand this, and they finally understand it because there was a great misunderstanding, that just like I expect them to put the needs of their countries first, I will always put the needs of our country first.
That is why we are withdrawing from one sided international deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord. Devastating to our country if we would have gone into those deals. My administration is working to strengthen old alliances, and form new friendships based on shared interests, shared goals, and shared values. As a demonstration of America’s will, we have passed historic increases in defense spending, you saw that just last week. Because as Ronald Reagan said, “We believe in peace through strength.”
We’ve made historic strides in the fight against ISIS, dealing them one brutal defeat after another. We are confronting dangerous regimes from North Korea to Iran. Last week I announced our strategy to insure the Iranian dictatorship never acquires a nuclear weapon. And we have imposed tough terrorism sanctions on Iran’s Islamic revolutionary guard core. I also canceled the last administrations, one sided deal, with the communist Cuban regime. And we will not lift sanctions until political and religious freedoms are restored for the Cuban people.
At the same time, we are confronting the socialist oppression of the Madura Regime. The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. We stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela in their struggle for freedom. Here in America, we are strengthening our own freedom but appointing judges to the bench who will support and defend the constitution of the United States.
With your help, we have not only nominated but confirmed the new Supreme Court Justice, who is doing a spectacular job, Neil Gorsuch. We have taken action to repeal the EPA so called Clean Power Plan and we have ended, finally, the war on clean beautiful coal. People going back to work, they’re going back to work. Over the last 9 months, we have removed job killing regulations at a record pace, in fact, in 9 months, we have done more, they say, than any president in history, and we’re 9 months, and there’s more to come. We have statutory guidelines, we have to go by a period of time, but there’s much more to come and I believe in regulation but it has to be limited to what we need. We want clean water, we want clean air, it has to be fair. We also want, by the way, jobs.
And our regulatory reductions are going to put more Americans back to work and more lobbyists out of work, I don’t know, there could be some lobbyists in this room, sorry. Which is why regulatory reform is a crucial part of our drive to drain the swamp. On the economic front, we’re upholding the legacy of America’s greatest presidents, from Washington to Jackson, to Lincoln, by defending American industry and defending our American workers. We want more products stamped with those beautiful words and letters, Made In the USA.
To restore opportunity and freedom, we must continue our campaign to repeal and replace the disaster known as Obama Care. And I’ve been hearing that phrase for 7 years, 7 years I’ve been hearing it, and so have you, and I got here and I thought, maybe when I sit down at that desk, the first day, January 20th, I’ll have something to sign. Not as easy as we thought but we’re going to get it done, you watch.
I’m pleased the democrats have finally responded to my call for them to take responsibility for their Obama Care disaster and work with Republicans to provide much needed relief to the American people. While I commend the bipartisan work done by Senators Alexander and Murray, and I do commend it, I continue to believe congress must find a solution to the Obama Care mess instead of providing bail outs to insurance companies.
After many, many years of government obstructing job creation, you have now an administration that promotes job creation and celebrates the dignity of work. Unemployment, and this is something so important, unemployment is almost at a 17 year low. GDP growth reached more than 3.2% last quarter, and people said it would take years to get there. Manufacturing confidence is at record levels but our country and our economy cannot take off like they should and like it should, unless we transform America’s outdated, complex, and extremely burdensome tax cut.
The great Heritage Foundation has been at the center of several incredible tax cuts in American history. Working closely with the Heritage Foundation, Ronald Regan cut taxes to unleash the economic miracle of the 1980’s. You understand that lower taxes mean bigger pay checks, more jobs, and stronger growth. At the heart of our plan, is a tax cut for every day working Americans. The first $12000 for a single individual and the first $24000 for a married couple, will be tax free.
We are nearly doubling the zero bracket, and we substantially increase the child tax credit for working families, which so many people want including my daughter Ivanka. To save American’s precious time and money, we’re also simplifying the tax cut. Under our frame work, the vast majority of families will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper.
In addition to simplification, the other pillar of our tax plan is reducing our crushing business tax so that we can restore America’s competitive edge. Today our business tax rate is 60% higher than our average economic competitor. This is a giant, self-inflicted, economic wound. That is why we will cut the corporate tax rate from 35% all the way down to not more than 20%, way below our average competition out there in this very competitive world. And for small businesses that file taxes as sole proprietors, S corporations of partnerships, we will cap the top tax rate at a maximum of 25%. That’s a tremendous reduction from what it is and I will tell you, it’s the biggest reduction in taxes in the history of this country.
For the more than 30 million American small businesses in America, our plan cuts their top marginal rate by about 40%. This will be the lowest top marginal rate and income tax rate for small and medium sized businesses in more than 80 years. To maximize job creation for at least the next 5 years, we will allow our companies and our manufactures to expense the full cost of new equipment in the year they buy it, one year, it’s written off. Makes me want to go immediately back into business. And yes, we are ending the horrible and very unfair estate tax, also known as the death tax.
Finally, we are going to bring back trillions of dollars currently parked overseas. You look at the money that can’t come back into our country. I’ve been saying for years, it’s 2.5 trillion dollars. Democrats want it back, Republicans want it back, and they have for a long time. They’ve never been able to make a deal. Lack of leadership, they’ve never been able to make a deal. We’re putting that in our tax plan. We’re going to, I think it’s going to be over 3 trillion dollars, it could be substantially more than that because if I’m saying two and a half trillion dollars, and I’ve been saying it for many years, we know one thing, it’s a lot more now. Nobody really knows the answer, I will tell you, I think it’s very substantially over 3 trillion dollars that will be brought back in our plan and put to work in our country, not some other country.
Our framework provides a onetime low tax on profits currently sitting offshore, so that this money can come back, right where it started, come back home to America where it belong and believe me, we can use it in this country. We need it so badly for so many things, including infrastructure which we’ll also be doing. We will eliminate the penalty on bringing home, and we have to do that, future earnings. My council of economic advisors estimates that this change, along with a lower business tax rate, would likely give the typical American household around a $4000 pay raise, and that’s money that’ll be spent in our economy.
Our tax plan will insure that companies stay in American, grow in America, and hire in America. We will lift our people from well fare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to total beautiful prosperity. Which is why we need the help of the Heritage Foundation and everyone here tonight to get our tax cuts through the house, through the senate, and to my desk, for signature. So you’ve got to call you your local senator, and say, Senator, don’t give him a hard time. Don’t give him a hard time. It’s going to be hard getting the democrats because their obstructionists and they vote in blocks but if we get the republicans we need, which is virtually every single one of them, because that’s what we need, we will get that largest tax cut in the history of our country, and you will see things happen like have never happened before. We will have employment, we will have jobs, we will have companies moving back into our country and we certainly won’t have companies leaving anymore, that I can tell you.
So get your senator, call your congressman. You don’t have to call Ron, I think Ron’s okay, right Ron, you’re okay? Good. Ron’s good. Most of them are good. But there are a couple, I think we’re going to get there Ron. Ron is incredible. So let’s give our country the best Christmas present of all, massive tax relief and speaking of Christmas, yes. You want to hear it? Speaking, I just, you know, talking about Christmas presents, I’ll give you a bigger Christmas present, you’re going to be saying Merry Christmas again, okay. You’re going to say Merry Christmas. You know, you go to the stores, and they have the red walls and they have the snow and they even have the sleigh and the whole thing, they don’t have Merry Christmas. They don’t have Merry Christmas. I want them to say Merry Christmas everybody, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, but I want Merry Christmas. We’re going to say it again, it’s happening already, you know it. You know it’s happening again.
This is our chance to truly make a difference. This is our opportunity to unleash a new middle class miracle. This is our once in a generation opportunity to revitalize our economy, revive our industry, and renew the American dream. The Heritage Foundation can once again help make history by helping to take this incredible idea, this proven idea, this tax cut, making it a reality for millions and millions of patriotic Americans. We know that when the hard working people of this country huddle, in the break room, at the rest stop, or at the end of a long shift, they take pride in knowing that the projects they work and the products they make aren’t just building business, they’re building families and communities and most of all, they are building this nation that we all love so much.
The fact is, the soul of a country is found in its people and we owe it to our citizens to provide them with a future of opportunity where they can earn a living with dignity and purpose. We want every parent to be able to care for their children, and we want every child to know a future opportunity and we want them to have security, and we want them to have hope. We have it, in our power, to build this future together, and we will build upon the firm foundation of our great American heritage. As long as we remember who we are, and what we are fighting for, then we will never ever fail. And as long as we have pride in our country, confidence in our future, and faith in our God, then our best days are yet to come. Our values will endure, our communities will flourish, our people will prosper, and America, the land we love, will thrive as never ever before. Thank you to the Heritage Foundation. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you to the Heritage Foundation and thank you to everyone here tonight. Thank you to every American who’s hard work and patriotism makes our country run. And again, God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you all, thank you.