WHITE HOUSE: Trump Supports the Venezuelan People’s Efforts to Restore Democracy

RECOGNIZING THE LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA: The United States has officially recognized Juan Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela.

  • President Trump officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela on January 23.
    • Venezuela’s National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate and declared the presidency vacant.
    • Other governments in the region and across the world have joined the United States in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s Interim President.
  • The Administration has authorized Guaido to receive Venezuelan Government assets held at the United States Federal Reserve and other insured United States financial institutions.
    • Venezuela’s legitimate government, led by Guaido, must be allowed to safeguard its assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.

PRESSURING MADURO AND HIS CRONIES: The United States has imposed tough sanctions on Maduro and members of his previous regime.

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to make clear that United States sanctions continue to target Maduro and his corrupt cronies.
  • The United States will not tolerate those who seek to undermine Venezuela’s democratic institutions and loot Venezuelan resources to enrich themselves at the expense of the people.
  • The Trump Administration is blocking assets in the United States owned or controlled by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company.
    • This action will further international efforts to disconnect Maduro and his cronies from their revenue sources, while preserving critical assets for the future of Venezuela.
  • More than 100 individuals, entities, and aircraft have been designated as blocked property.
  • The United States is confident that energy markets will remain well supplied despite reduced imports of Venezuelan oil.
    • Respected forecasters like the United States Energy Information Administration expect global oil supply to exceed demand in 2019 and 2020.
    • Over the next year, United States production is forecasted to increase to an all-time high of more than 12 million barrels per day.

STANDING WITH THE VENEZUELAN PEOPLE: President Trump stands with the people of Venezuela as they demand democracy, human rights, and prosperity denied to them by Maduro. 

  • The United States continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people.
    • Food and medicine have long been – and remain – exempt from our sanctions.
  • More than three million people have fled Venezuela since 2015 and the United Nations estimates that number may swell to more than 5.3 million by the end of 2019.
  • As of December 2018, there were more than 280 known political prisoners in Venezuela.
  • Venezuelans have suffered from violence at the hands of the security services, including extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests.
  • Mismanagement by Maduro led to hyperinflation exceeding one million percent in 2018, worsening already dire economic circumstances.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       WHITEHOUSELOGOUSETHISONE

WHITE HOUSE STATEMENTS & RELEASES Statement from the President

Issued on: July 18, 2018

Earlier this week, United States Secret Service Special Agent Nole Edward Remagen suffered a stroke while on duty in Scotland. Yesterday, he passed away, surrounded by family and fellow Secret Service agents. Our hearts are filled with sadness over the loss of a beloved and devoted Special Agent, husband, and father. Our prayers are with Special Agent Remagen’s loved ones, including his wife and two young children. We grieve with them and with his Secret Service colleagues, who have lost a friend and a brother.

A five-year veteran of the United States Marines, Special Agent Remagen spent 19 years with the Secret Service. At the time of his passing, he was among the elite heroes who serve in the Presidential Protection Division of the Secret Service. Melania and I are deeply grateful for his lifetime of devotion, and today, we pause to honor his life and 24 years of service to our Nation.

The incredible men and women of the United States Secret Service travel wherever they are needed around the world, spend long periods of time away from their families, and make tremendous sacrifices for our safety and security. They make up the most elite protective agency in the world, universally admired for their extraordinary skill, devotion, and courage. We are forever in their debt.

WHITEHOUSELOGOUSETHISONE

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Press remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on upcoming summit with North Korea

On Plane ert Yokota Air Base, Japan
May 8, 2018

SECRETARY POMPEO: So the first time it was truly an intel effort, in that the South Koreans had made representations about things that North Korea was preparing to do that Kim Jong-un had told them, and we largely went there to validate that those were true so that it would make sense to begin to put in place the conditions for the President’s visit. So that was the primary mission. We achieved that. He gave us a little bit of color on that but not much more. So we set some of the basic outlines, some of the ground rules, and then we began the discussion as well on the administrative elements of it – what would it look like, how long would it last, where would it be, what time frame would make sense. So that was it. It was a limited diplomatic discussion. It was truly aimed at learning and listening, making sure we understood the outlines of what was at least possible.

Today what we’re hoping to do is – there have been discussions between that day to now, and we’ve continued to develop both administratively and sort of begin to put some outlines around the substance of the agenda for the summit between the President and Chairman Un. And today we’re hoping to nail some of those down to say – to put in place a framework for a successful summit between the two presidents.

There’s a second piece, which is we also want to make sure that we’re square about what it isn’t, what our expectations are not. And we are not going to head back down the path that we headed down before. We’re not going to relieve sanctions until such time as we achieved our objectives. We are not going to do this in small increments, where the world is essentially coerced into relieving economic pressure. That won’t lead to the outcome that I know Kim Jong-un wants and I know President Trump is demanding, so we’re hoping to set out that set of conditions that will give them this opportunity to have a historic, big change in the security relationship between North Korea and the United States, which will achieve what the President has tweeted about and talked about: complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.

That’s the mission set. We’re trying to set out the conditions for that today. And this will be a part of that process. This will go on tomorrow. But we think it’s important. We think there’s enough that’s been discussed that it’s important for me to sit with senior North Korean leaders and try and make a big move towards making sure we’re prepared for the summit.

QUESTION: So are you expecting that you will be able to have a time, when – all that kind of stuff? I was just asking prior, before, so it’s —

SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s certainly my objective to do so.

QUESTION: Right. But the President says it’s been set, but then they said it hadn’t been set. So I mean, what, are you 99 percent certain about —

SECRETARY POMPEO: We think we have it figured out. We want to – we’d love to be able to walk away from here prepared to say yep, we now have the senior level, most senior leaders’ commitment to this date and this location. I – we’re going to work towards that.

QUESTION: Well, you don’t have that? Does that – what you’re saying is that you don’t have it yet?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s all – it’s —

QUESTION: You’re not –

SECRETARY POMPEO: I know the nuance is difficult.

QUESTION: Well, yeah, yeah.

SECRETARY POMPEO: We think we’re getting really close to having all the parties agreeing to – it’s not just even – a date and time is important —

QUESTION: Yeah.

SECRETARY POMPEO: And the location is important. But there are many conditions that play into that. How long is it going to go on? When you say where, like really where? Not just a city or a country, but like really where. So we’re trying to put some more meat on that – on the answer to that.

QUESTION: All right.

QUESTION: Will you be meeting with Kim Jong-un himself, do you expect?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I don’t know. We’re going to meet with the most senior leaders. The last time I traveled I did. We’re prepared to meet with anyone who is speaking on behalf of the North Korean Government and can give us solid answers so we’re prepared.

QUESTION: How important is it that – would it be for them to release the prisoners?

SECRETARY POMPEO: You know —

QUESTION: How significant is —

SECRETARY POMPEO: We have been asking for the release of these detainees for – this administration for 17 months. We’ll talk about it again today. I think it’d be a great gesture if they would choose to do so.

MS NAUERT: All right. Last question.

QUESTION: Can you have a summit if you – if they’re still holding three Americans?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We’re hopeful we don’t have to cross that road.

MS NAUERT: All right. The Secretary has to go.

QUESTION: Do you expect to bring them out?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We’re going to talk. We’re going to talk to them about it again and ask them if they would do the right thing.

MS NAUERT: Okay. Thanks, guys.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you.

MS NAUERT: Thank you, sir.

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FINDING MIDDLE GROUND: Trump agrees to talks with North Korea leader Kim Jung-un

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he would be willing to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, “at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.

The breakthrough in peace talks came as a result of the president’s telephone call with South Korean Pres. Moon Jae-in, according to The White House.

The announcement came via a press release issued by The White House Wednesday afternoon.

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President Donald Trump’s “America First” speech on administration’s National Security Strategy: FULL TRANSCRIPT

THE WHITE HOUSE: Washington, D.C.
12/18/2017

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

“We’re here today to discuss matters of vital importance to us all: America’s security, prosperity, and standing in the world. I want to talk about where we’ve been, where we are now, and, finally, our strategy for where we are going in the years ahead.

Over the past 11 months, I have traveled tens of thousands of miles to visit 13 countries. I have met with more than 100 world leaders. I have carried America’s message to a grand hall in Saudi Arabia, a great square in Warsaw, to the General Assembly of the United Nations, and to the seat of democracy on the Korean Peninsula. Everywhere I traveled, it was my highest privilege and greatest honour to represent the American people.

Throughout our history, the American people have always been the true source of American greatness. Our people have promoted our culture and promoted our values. Americans have fought and sacrificed on the battlefields all over the world. We have liberated captive nations, transformed former enemies into the best of friends, and lifted entire regions of the planet from poverty to prosperity.

Because of our people, America has been among the greatest forces for peace and justice in the history of the world. The American people are generous. You are determined, you are brave, you are strong, and you are wise.

When the American people speak, all of us should listen. And just over one year ago, you spoke loud and you spoke clear. On November 8, 2016, you voted to make America great again. You embraced new leadership and very new strategies, and also a glorious new hope. That is why we are here today.

But to seize the opportunities of the future, we must first understand the failures of the past. For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another. To many of our leaders – so many who forgot whose voices they were to respect and whose interests they were supposed to defend – our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations, but sent thousands of American factories, and millions of American jobs, to those other countries.

Our leaders engaged in nation-building abroad, while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home. They undercut and shortchanged our men and women in uniform with inadequate resources, unstable funding, and unclear missions. They failed to insist that our often very wealthy allies pay their fair share for defense, putting a massive and unfair burden on the US taxpayer and our great US military.

They neglected a nuclear menace in North Korea; made a disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran; and allowed terrorists such as ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] to gain control of vast parts of territory all across the Middle East.

They put American energy under lock and key. They imposed punishing regulations and crippling taxes. They surrendered our sovereignty to foreign bureaucrats in faraway and distant capitals.

And over the profound objections of the American people, our politicians left our borders wide open. Millions of immigrants entered illegally. Millions more were admitted into our country without the proper vetting needed to protect our security and our economy. Leaders in Washington imposed on the country an immigration policy that Americans never voted for, never asked for, and never approved – a policy where the wrong people are allowed into our country and the right people are rejected. American citizens, as usual, have been left to bear the cost and to pick up the tab.

On top of everything else, our leaders drifted from American principles. They lost sight of America’s destiny. And they lost their belief in American greatness. As a result, our citizens lost something as well. The people lost confidence in their government and, eventually, even lost confidence in their future.

But last year, all of that began to change. The American people rejected the failures of the past. You rediscovered your voice and reclaimed ownership of this nation and its destiny.

On January 20th, 2017, I stood on the steps of the Capitol to herald the day the people became the rulers of their nation again. Thank you. Now, less than one year later, I am proud to report that the entire world has heard the news and has already seen the signs. America is coming back, and America is coming back strong.

Upon my inauguration, I announced that the United States would return to a simple principle: The first duty of our government is to serve its citizens, many of whom have been forgotten. But they are not forgotten anymore. With every decision and every action, we are now putting America first.

We are rebuilding our nation, our confidence, and our standing in the world. We have moved swiftly to confront our challenges, and we have confronted them head-on.

We are once again investing in our defense – almost $700bn, a record, this coming year. We are demanding extraordinary strength, which will hopefully lead to long and extraordinary peace. We are giving our courageous military men and women the support they need and so dearly deserve.

We have withdrawn the United States from job-killing deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the very expensive and unfair Paris Climate Accord. And on our trip to Asia last month, I announced that we will no longer tolerate trading abuse.

We have established strict new vetting procedures to keep terrorists out of the United States, and our vetting is getting tougher each month.

To counter Iran and block its path to a nuclear weapon, I sanctioned the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support of terrorism, and I declined to certify the Iran Deal to Congress.

Following my trip to the Middle East, the Gulf states and other Muslim-majority nations joined together to fight radical Islamist ideology and terrorist financing. We have dealt ISIS one devastating defeat after another. The coalition to defeat ISIS has now recaptured almost 100 percent of the land once held by these terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Great job. Great job. Really good. Thank you. Thank you. We have a great military. We’re now chasing them wherever they flee, and we will not let them into the United States.

In Afghanistan, our troops are no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies of our plans. We are beginning to see results on the battlefield. And we have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory. And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.

Our efforts to strengthen the NATO Alliance set the stage for significant increases in member contributions, with tens of billions of dollars more pouring in because I would not allow member states to be delinquent in the payment while we guarantee their safety and are willing to fight wars for them. We have made clear that countries that are immensely wealthy should reimburse the United States for the cost of defending them. This is a major departure from the past, but a fair and necessary one – necessary for our country, necessary for our taxpayer, necessary for our own thought process.

Our campaign of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime has resulted in the toughest-ever sanctions. We have united our allies in an unprecedented effort to isolate North Korea. However, there is much more work to do. America and its allies will take all necessary steps to achieve a denuclearization and ensure that this regime cannot threaten the world. Thank you. This situation should have been taken care of long before I got into office, when it was much easier to handle. But it will be taken care of. We have no choice.

At home, we are keeping our promises and liberating the American economy. We have created more than two million jobs since the election. Unemployment is at a 17-year-low. The stock market is at an all-time high and, just a little while ago, hit yet another all-time high – the 85th time since my election.

We have cut 22 regulations for every one new regulation, the most in the history of our country. We have unlocked America’s vast energy resources.

As the world watches – and the world is indeed watching – we are days away from passing historic tax cuts for American families and businesses. It will be the biggest tax cut and tax reform in the history of our country. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And we are seeing the response we fully expected. Economic growth has topped 3 percent for two quarters in a row. GDP growth, which is way ahead of schedule under my administration, will be one of America’s truly greatest weapons.

Optimism has surged. Confidence has returned. With this new confidence, we are also bringing back clarity to our thinking. We are reasserting these fundamental truths:

A nation without borders is not a nation.

A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad.

A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war.

A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future.

And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.

Today, grounded in these truths, we are presenting to the world our new National Security Strategy. Based on my direction, this document has been in development for over a year. It has the endorsement of my entire Cabinet.

Our new strategy is based on a principled realism, guided by our vital national interests, and rooted in our timeless values.

This strategy recognises that, whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition. We accept that vigorous military, economic, and political contests are now playing out all around the world.

We face rogue regimes that threaten the United States and our allies. We face terrorist organisations, transnational criminal networks, and others who spread violence and evil around the globe.

We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth. We will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interest.

As an example, yesterday I received a call from President Putin of Russia thanking our country for the intelligence that our CIA was able to provide them concerning a major terrorist attack planned in St Petersburg, where many people, perhaps in the thousands, could have been killed. They were able to apprehend these terrorists before the event, with no loss of life. And that’s a great thing, and the way it’s supposed to work. That is the way it’s supposed to work.

But while we seek such opportunities of cooperation, we will stand up for ourselves, and we will stand up for our country like we have never stood up before. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We know that American success is not a forgone conclusion. It must be earned and it must be won. Our rivals are tough, they’re tenacious, and committed to the long term. But so are we.

To succeed, we must integrate every dimension of our national strength, and we must compete with every instrument of our national power.

Under the Trump administration, America is gaining wealth, leading to enhanced power — faster than anyone thought – with $6 trillion more in the stock market alone since the election — $6 trillion.

With the strategy I am announcing today, we are declaring that America is in the game and America is going to win. Thank you.

Our strategy advances four vital national interests. First, we must protect the American people, the homeland, and our great American way of life. This strategy recognises that we cannot secure our nation if we do not secure our borders. So for the first time ever, American strategy now includes a serious plan to defend our homeland. It calls for the construction of a wall on our southern border; ending chain migration and the horrible visa and lottery programs; closing loopholes that undermine enforcement; and strongly supporting our Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, and Homeland Security personnel.

In addition, our strategy calls for us to confront, discredit, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism and ideology and to prevent it from spreading into the United States. And we will develop new ways to counter those who use new domains, such as cyber and social media, to attack our nation or threaten our society.

The second pillar of our strategy is to promote American prosperity. For the first time, American strategy recognizes that economic security is national security. Economic vitality, growth, and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad. Any nation that trades away its prosperity for security will end up losing both.

That is why this National Security Strategy emphasises, more than any before, the critical steps we must take to ensure the prosperity of our nation for a long, long time to come.

It calls for cutting taxes and rolling back unnecessary regulations. It calls for trade based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity. It calls for firm action against unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. And it calls for new steps to protect our national security industrial and innovation base.

The strategy proposes a complete rebuilding of American infrastructure – our roads, bridges, airports, waterways, and communications infrastructure. And it embraces a future of American energy dominance and self-sufficiency.

The third pillar of our strategy is to preserve peace through strength. We recognise that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unrivaled power is the most certain means of defence. For this reason, our strategy breaks from the damaging defence sequester. We’re going to get rid of that.

It calls for a total modernisation of our military, and reversing previous decisions to shrink our armed forces – even as threats to national security grew. It calls for streamlining acquisition, eliminating bloated bureaucracy, and massively building up our military, which has the fundamental side benefit of creating millions and millions of jobs.

This strategy includes plans to counter modern threats, such as cyber and electromagnetic attacks. It recognises space as a competitive domain and calls for multi-layered missile defence. This strategy outlines important steps to address new forms of conflict such as economic and political aggression.

And our strategy emphasises strengthening alliances to cope with these threats. It recognises that our strength is magnified by allies who share principles – and our principles – and shoulder their fair share of responsibility for our common security.

Fourth and finally, our strategy is to advance American influence in the world, but this begins with building up our wealth and power at home.

America will lead again. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but we will champion the values without apology. We want strong alliances and partnerships based on cooperation and reciprocity. We will make new partnerships with those who share our goals, and make common interests into a common cause. We will not allow inflexible ideology to become an obsolete and obstacle to peace.

We will pursue the vision we have carried around the world over this past year – a vision of strong, sovereign, and independent nations that respect their citizens and respect their neighbors; nations that thrive in commerce and cooperation, rooted in their histories and branching out toward their destinies.

That is the future we wish for this world, and that is the future we seek in America.

With this strategy, we are calling for a great reawakening of America, a resurgence of confidence, and a rebirth of patriotism, prosperity, and pride.

And we are returning to the wisdom of our founders. In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. What we have built here in America is precious and unique. In all of history, never before has freedom reigned, the rule of law prevailed, and the people thrived as we have here for nearly 250 years.

We must love and defend it. We must guard it with vigilance and spirit, and, if necessary, like so many before us, with our very lives. And we declare that our will is renewed, our future is regained, and our dreams are restored.

Every American has a role to play in this grand national effort. And today, I invite every citizen to take their part in our vital mission. Together, our task is to strengthen our families, to build up our communities, to serve our citizens, and to celebrate American greatness as a shining example to the world.

As long as we are proud – and very proud – of who we are, how we got here, and what we are fighting for to preserve, we will not fail.

If we do all of this, if we rediscover our resolve and commit ourselves to compete and win again, then together we will leave our children and our grandchildren a nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and, yes, an America that is greater than ever before.

God Bless You. Thank you very much. Thank you.”

AMERICAFIRST

White House issues statement on regulatory reform and EPA

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Donald J. Trump’s Year of Regulatory Reform and Environmental Protection at the EPA

“We’re ending intrusive EPA regulations that kill jobs, hurt family farmers and ranchers, and raise the price of energy so quickly and so substantially.” – President Donald J. Trump

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: President Donald J. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is implementing the energy independence priorities laid out in the Executive Order, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.

  • On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order 13783 on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth. On October 25, 2017, the EPA released a report on how it is implementing the President’s Executive Order to curb regulatory burdens to promote energy production and economic growth.
  • The report included four initiatives started by the EPA to implement Executive Order 13783.
    • EPA is creating a task force dedicated to reviewing and simplifying the New Source Review application and permit process.
    • EPA is streamlining the National Ambient Air Quality Standards State Implementation Plan approval process.
    • EPA will conduct evaluations of the potential employment effects that may result from the implementation of five environmental statutes. These evaluations had not been conducted historically, despite being mandated by the five statutes.

ROLLING BACK THE CLEAN POWER PLAN: Following the principles established by the President’s Executive Order on Energy Independence, EPA has proposed the repeal of the “Clean Power Plan.”

  • Repealing the Clean Power Plan will allow for the development of critical United States energy sources.
  • The Administration estimates that repealing the Clean Power Plan could eliminate up to $33 billion in compliance costs in 2030.
  • The proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan respects the limits of the EPA’s authority.
    • The Clean Power Plan was originally issued under an expansive and legally dubious view of the EPA’s authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act.
    • The Plan authorized EPA to dictate the content of the Nation’s energy portfolio, a power well outside its authority under the Clean Air Act.
    • It also severely restricted States’ long-held authority to make choices about energy production and use within their borders.
  • Public hearings were held for the proposed repeal on November 28th and 29th.
    • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced three additional public listening sessions to be held in California, Wyoming, and Missouri.

STREAMLINING SUPERFUND CLEANUPS: EPA Administrator Pruitt launched a task force to provide recommendations on how to streamline and improve the Superfund program, which is responsible for cleaning up land contaminated by hazardous waste.

  • In May, EPA Administrator Pruitt announced the creation of a Superfund task force to look at ways to streamline and improve the Superfund program.
  • The Superfund task force released 42 detailed recommendations with five goals in mind.
    • Expediting cleanup and remediation
    • Re-invigorating responsible party cleanup and reuse
    • Encouraging private investment
    • Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization
    • Engaging partners and stakeholders

FORWARD THINKING SOLUTIONS: EPA has re-launched launched the Smart Sectors Program to partner with the private sector to achieve better environmental outcomes.

  • The Smart Sectors Program uses a sector-based, collaborative approach to consider forward-thinking ways to protect the environment.
  • EPA officials who oversee and regulate a wide range of industry sectors will serve as ombudsmen within the EPA, conduct educational site tours, host roundtables, and provide advice on forward-thinking approaches to environmental improvement.
  • Smart Sectors will also help streamline internal operations at EPA.
 WHITEHOUSELOGOUSETHISONE

WHITE HOUSE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PROPOSED TAX BILL

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Alfredo Ortiz: “Tax Bill Is Christmas Present Americans Have Been Waiting For”

“Good for ordinary Americans. Good for small businesses. Good for local economies. This tax bill is the Christmas gift they’ve been waiting for.”

Tax Bill Is Christmas Present Americans Have Been Waiting For

By Alfredo Ortiz

December 13, 2017

Pending tax cut legislation will eliminate the federal income tax burden on the average American family earning $59,000 a year. It will halve the tax bill for the average family earning $75,000. And it will allow the overwhelming majority of small businesses to protect nearly one-quarter of their income from taxes.

That’s the bottom line of the tax bill that needs to be said up front.

Given the critical media coverage of the bill, these benefits have largely gone overlooked. Rather than reporting on its provisions to double the standard deduction, double the child tax credit, and eliminate the 15 percent tax bracket in favor of a vastly expanded 12 percent rate, media coverage has claimed the bill is a gift to the rich. Rather than reporting on the new 23 percent tax deduction for small businesses earning less than $500,000 a year, media coverage has claimed the bill is a budget buster.

That’s a shame because these benefits would bring long overdue relief to hardworking taxpayers who have borne the brunt of the slow growth Obama economy from which the country is finally emerging. Median wages were essentially flat between 2009 and 2016, while economic growth sputtered along at roughly 2 percent – both of which the tax bill would also meaningfully address.

Ordinary employees will not only see an immediate raise in their paycheck due to less federal tax withholding, but many will also receive raises or new job opportunities because small businesses will have more funds at their disposal.

Just as tax cuts would increase paychecks, they’d also jump-start the country’s local economies, which have largely been passed over by the economic recovery. More money on Main Street and less sent off to Washington, D.C., would stimulate local investment, consumption, and job creation.

Good for ordinary Americans. Good for small businesses. Good for local economies. This tax bill is the Christmas gift they’ve been waiting for. Legislators must pass it now.

WHITEHOUSELOGOUSETHISONE