President Trump’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress – Transcript

Remarks as prepared for delivery
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and Citizens of America:
Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.
Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice — in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present.
That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart.
A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning.
A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation.
And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.
What we are witnessing today is the Renewal of the American Spirit.
Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead.
All the nations of the world — friend or foe — will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free.
In 9 years, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding — 250 years since the day we declared our Independence.
It will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world.
But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children?
I will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define the course of our future.
For too long, we’ve watched our middle class shrink as we’ve exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries.
We’ve financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit — and so many other places throughout our land.
We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross — and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.
And we’ve spent trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled.
Then, in 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds — families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns.
But then the quiet voices became a loud chorus — as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country.
Finally, the chorus became an earthquake — and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first … because only then, can we truly MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need.
Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve.
Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land.
Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately, stop.
And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity.
Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people.
It’s been a little over a month since my inauguration, and I want to take this moment to update the Nation on the progress I’ve made in keeping those promises.
Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.
The stock market has gained almost three trillion dollars in value since the election on November 8th, a record. We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic new F-35 jet fighter, and will be saving billions more dollars on contracts all across our Government. We have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential Federal workers.
We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a 5 year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials — and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.
We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job‑crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every 1 new regulation, 2 old regulations must be eliminated; and stopping a regulation that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.
We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines — thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs — and I’ve issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.
We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.
With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a Council with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.
To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime.
I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our Nation.
We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth — and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.
At the same time, my Administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed — but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.
For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.
As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.
To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?
Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism.
According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.
We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.
It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.
We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.
That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm.
As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS — a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.
I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel.
Finally, I have kept my promise to appoint a Justice to the United States Supreme Court — from my list of 20 judges — who will defend our Constitution. I am honored to have Maureen Scalia with us in the gallery tonight. Her late, great husband, Antonin Scalia, will forever be a symbol of American justice. To fill his seat, we have chosen Judge Neil Gorsuch, a man of incredible skill, and deep devotion to the law. He was confirmed unanimously to the Court of Appeals, and I am asking the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.
  • Tonight, as I outline the next steps we must take as a country, we must honestly acknowledge the circumstances we inherited.
  • Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force.
  • Over 43 million people are now living in poverty, and over 43 million Americans are on food stamps.
  • More than 1 in 5 people in their prime working years are not working.
  • We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years.
  • In the last 8 years, the past Administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other Presidents combined.
  • We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
  • Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars.
  • And overseas, we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters.
  • Solving these, and so many other pressing problems, will require us to work past the differences of party. It will require us to tap into the American spirit that has overcome every challenge throughout our long and storied history.
But to accomplish our goals at home and abroad, we must restart the engine of the American economy — making it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much harder for companies to leave.
Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world.
My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers.
Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes — but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing.
I just met with officials and workers from a great American company, Harley-Davidson. In fact, they proudly displayed five of their magnificent motorcycles, made in the USA, on the front lawn of the White House.
At our meeting, I asked them, how are you doing, how is business? They said that it’s good. I asked them further how they are doing with other countries, mainly international sales. They told me — without even complaining because they have been mistreated for so long that they have become used to it — that it is very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goods at such a high rate. They said that in one case another country taxed their motorcycles at 100 percent.
They weren’t even asking for change. But I am.
I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be FAIR TRADE.
The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that the “abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government [will] produce want and ruin among our people.”
Lincoln was right — and it is time we heeded his words. I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers, be taken advantage of anymore.
I am going to bring back millions of jobs. Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration. The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers, and puts great pressure on taxpayers.
Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others — have a merit-based immigration system. It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon. According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.
Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families — including immigrant families — enter the middle class.
I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.
If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.
Another Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program — the building of the interstate highway system. The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.
America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this six trillion dollars we could have rebuilt our country — twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.
To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital — creating millions of new jobs.
This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and Hire American.
Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare.
Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.
Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his State — it is unsustainable and collapsing.
One third of counties have only one insurer on the exchanges — leaving many Americans with no choice at all.
Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan?
We now know that all of those promises have been broken.
Obamacare is collapsing — and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice — it is a necessity.
So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.
Here are the principles that should guide the Congress as we move to create a better healthcare system for all Americans:
  • First, we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.
  • Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts — but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government.
  • Thirdly, we should give our great State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.
  • Fourthly, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance — and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.
  • Finally, the time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across State lines — creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care.
Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.
Our citizens deserve this, and so much more — so why not join forces to finally get it done? On this and so many other things, Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country, and for the good of the American people.
My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clear water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.
True love for our people requires us to find common ground, to advance the common good, and to cooperate on behalf of every American child who deserves a brighter future.
An incredible young woman is with us this evening who should serve as an inspiration to us all.
Today is Rare Disease day, and joining us in the gallery is a Rare Disease Survivor, Megan Crowley. Megan was diagnosed with Pompe Disease, a rare and serious illness, when she was 15 months old. She was not expected to live past 5.
On receiving this news, Megan’s dad, John, fought with everything he had to save the life of his precious child. He founded a company to look for a cure, and helped develop the drug that saved Megan’s life. Today she is 20 years old — and a sophomore at Notre Dame.
Megan’s story is about the unbounded power of a father’s love for a daughter.
But our slow and burdensome approval process at the Food and Drug Administration keeps too many advances, like the one that saved Megan’s life, from reaching those in need.
If we slash the restraints, not just at the FDA but across our Government, then we will be blessed with far more miracles like Megan.
In fact, our children will grow up in a Nation of miracles.
But to achieve this future, we must enrich the mind — and the souls — of every American child.
Education is the civil rights issue of our time.
I am calling upon Members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.
Joining us tonight in the gallery is a remarkable woman, Denisha Merriweather. As a young girl, Denisha struggled in school and failed third grade twice. But then she was able to enroll in a private center for learning, with the help of a tax credit scholarship program. Today, she is the first in her family to graduate, not just from high school, but from college. Later this year she will get her masters degree in social work.
  • We want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty just like Denisha.
  • But to break the cycle of poverty, we must also break the cycle of violence.
  • The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century.
  • In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone — and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher.
  • This is not acceptable in our society.
  • Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school, and to have access to a high-paying job.
  • But to create this future, we must work with — not against — the men and women of law enforcement.
  • We must build bridges of cooperation and trust — not drive the wedge of disunity and division.
  • Police and sheriffs are members of our community. They are friends and neighbors, they are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters — and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry whether or not they’ll come home safe and sound.
  • We must support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.
  • And we must support the victims of crime.
I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims. The office is called VOICE — Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.
Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them.
Their names are Jamiel Shaw, Susan Oliver, Jenna Oliver, and Jessica Davis.
Jamiel’s 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member, who had just been released from prison. Jamiel Shaw Jr. was an incredible young man, with unlimited potential who was getting ready to go to college where he would have excelled as a great quarterback. But he never got the chance. His father, who is in the audience tonight, has become a good friend of mine.
Also with us are Susan Oliver and Jessica Davis. Their husbands — Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis — were slain in the line of duty in California. They were pillars of their community. These brave men were viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations.
Sitting with Susan is her daughter, Jenna. Jenna: I want you to know that your father was a hero, and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you.
To Jamiel, Jenna, Susan and Jessica: I want you to know — we will never stop fighting for justice. Your loved ones will never be forgotten, we will always honor their memory.
Finally, to keep America Safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and — if they must — to fight and to win.
I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.
My budget will also increase funding for our veterans.
Our veterans have delivered for this Nation — and now we must deliver for them.
The challenges we face as a Nation are great. But our people are even greater.
And none are greater or braver than those who fight for America in uniform.
We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.
I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — we will never forget him.
To those allies who wonder what kind of friend America will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform.
Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies across the globe.
We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism.
But our partners must meet their financial obligations.
And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.
We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific — to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.
We will respect historic institutions, but we will also respect the sovereign rights of nations.
Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people — and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America. But we know that America is better off, when there is less conflict — not more.
We must learn from the mistakes of the past — we have seen the war and destruction that have raged across our world.
The only long-term solution for these humanitarian disasters is to create the conditions where displaced persons can safely return home and begin the long process of rebuilding.
America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict.
We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies, decades ago, fought on the opposite side of these World Wars. This history should give us all faith in the possibilities for a better world.
  • Hopefully, the 250th year for America will see a world that is more peaceful, more just and more free.
  • On our 100th anniversary, in 1876, citizens from across our Nation came to Philadelphia to celebrate America’s centennial. At that celebration, the country’s builders and artists and inventors showed off their creations.
  • Alexander Graham Bell displayed his telephone for the first time.
  • Remington unveiled the first typewriter. An early attempt was made at electric light.
  • Thomas Edison showed an automatic telegraph and an electric pen.
  • Imagine the wonders our country could know in America’s 250th year.
Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people.
Cures to illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope.
American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.
Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect.
And streets where mothers are safe from fear — schools where children learn in peace — and jobs where Americans prosper and grow — are not too much to ask.
When we have all of this, we will have made America greater than ever before. For all Americans.
This is our vision. This is our mission.
But we can only get there together.
We are one people, with one destiny.
We all bleed the same blood.
We all salute the same flag.
And we are all made by the same God.
And when we fulfill this vision; when we celebrate our 250 years of glorious freedom, we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American Greatness began.
The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us.
We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.
The bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls.
And the confidence to turn those hopes and dreams to action.
From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears —
inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past —
and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts.
I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country. And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and —
Believe in yourselves.
Believe in your future.
And believe, once more, in America.
Thank you, God bless you, and God Bless these United States.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/28/politics/donald-trump-speech-transcript-full-text/

President Trump’s First Joint Address

President Donald J. Trump will be delivering his first address to a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Be sure to tune in as the President will be sharing his vision for the country.

When: Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 9 p.m.

Where: The United States Capitol in the House Chamber, also known as the “Hall of the House of Representatives.”

Who: The President will address Members of both the House of Representatives and Senate in his first address to a Joint Session of Congress.

The Speech: President Trump is keeping the tradition of previous Presidents by delivering a formal address to a Joint Session of Congress during his inaugural year, and will deliver his first State of the Union address in 2018. The President will deliver his speech from the Speaker’s rostrum.

How to watch: The address will be streamed live at http://www.whitehouse.gov

How to participate: Follow along live on Twitter @WhiteHouse and @POTUS for real-time information before, during and after the speech. The speech will also be live streamed atfacebook.com/WhiteHouse.

“This will be an opportunity for the people and their representatives to hear directly from our new President about his vision and our shared agenda.” – Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul D. Ryan

During his first Joint Address to Congress, the President will communicate his vision for the future of the country directly to the American people as he moves forward with his plans to take on the many challenges facing this nation. Building on his inaugural address, President Trump will continue to lay out his agenda to Make America Great Again.

In just one month, President Trump’s Administration has already accomplished so much, including the following:

  • Reviving key job-creating energy projects such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
  • Eliminating costly Obama-era regulations such as the “Stream Protection Rule.”
  • Minimizing the economic burden of Obamacare while clearing the path toward repeal and replace.
  • Directing the Department of Defense to develop a plan to defeat ISIS.
  • Standing with American workers by withdrawing from the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Enacting common sense regulatory reform by ordering any new regulations be offset by the repeal of two other regulations.
  • Building his Cabinet and Administration with the highest quality individuals to help implement the President’s vision for the country.
  • Establishing new ethics commitments for all executive branch appointees to enforce a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments.

First Month of the Trump Administration

The Trump Administration has posted a summary of their first month –

President Donald J. Trump’s First Month: Achieving Results for the American People

After one month in office, President Donald J. Trump is already achieving results for the American people.

Jump starting Job Creation: President Trump is looking out for American workers that Washington has left behind.

  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum ordering the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and agreement
  • Hosted the CEO of Intel to announce Intel’s plan to invest $7 billion in a United States factory that will create 10,000 American jobs
  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline Signed a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction
  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum ordering that all new pipeline construction and repair work use materials and equipment from the United States
  • Signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, to block the burdensome Stream Protection Rule from causing further harm to the coal industry
  • Signed legislation, House Joint Resolution 41, to eliminate a costly regulation that threatened to put domestic extraction companies and their employees at an unfair disadvantage

Saving Taxpayers Money: President Trump is fighting to save Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.

  • Saved Americans $700 million on a new batch of F-35 fighters
  • Capped the cost of Boeing’s next-generation Air Force One fleet at millions below that which was agreed to by the Obama administration

Restoring Public Safety: President Trump will work to reduce the threats of crime and illegal immigration to public safety.

  • Signed an Executive Order to enhance the safety and security of the United States by, among other things, constructing a wall on the southern border
  • Signed an Executive Order to make sure Federal immigration laws are faithfully enforced throughout the country and that Americans’ tax dollars do not go to jurisdictions that obstruct the enforcement of immigration laws
  • Signed an Executive Order that directs the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who engage in crimes against law enforcement officers
  • Signed an Executive Order that establishes a task force, led by the new Attorney General, to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across America
  • Signed an Executive Order that re-focuses the Federal Government’s energy and resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations, such as drug cartels

Getting Government Out of the Way: President Trump understands that excessive regulations stifle job-creation and harm our businesses.

  • Signed an Executive Order instructing Federal agencies “to minimize the burden” of the Affordable Care Act Required that for every new Federal regulation, two existing regulations be eliminated
  • Directed the Commerce Department to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens on domestic manufacturers
  • Signed an Executive Order expediting the environmental review and approval processes for domestic infrastructure projects

An America First Foreign Policy: The President’s first priority is the safety and security of the American people.

  • Department of the Treasury sanctioned 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program
  • Signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense to work with other Cabinet members to develop a plan to defeat ISIS
  • Called or met with more than 30 foreign leaders

Draining the Swamp: President Trump has taken action to ensure that all members of his Administration are working for the American people.

  • Signed an Executive Order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees, putting in place a five-year lobbying ban and a permanent ban on lobbying for foreign governments, so appointees serve the American people instead of their own interests
  • Put in place a hiring freeze for Federal civilian employees to stop the growth of a bloated government

Keeping His Promise to Defend the Constitution: President Trump promised a Supreme Court justice in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

  • Nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court because of his consistent record defending the Constitution

Helping Women Succeed in Business: President Trump knows the country cannot reach its potential unless every American has a chance to prosper.

  • Launched the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

President Trump has spent the last 30 days fulfilling promises and helping the American people. He’s looking forward to the many more successful months and years of action to come.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/02/20/president-donald-j-trumps-first-month-achieving-results-american-people

Sharing a Rant Over the Current Political Climate

I’m sharing this post from a friend of mine – we’ll let her be known as “A Patriot Grandmother”.

To tell you a little about her… The writer is a wife, mother, grandmother, author and political observer.

~*~

Be warned. I’m about to go on a rant. Probably a long rant. So, you might just want to keep scrolling. Nothing to see here. Nothing new anyway. Same old stuff. Same old destructive garbage that’s been dividing the American people and destroying our trust in our country and one another. Exactly what is that garbage? I think it’s hatred, agendas and flat-out lies. I think we, as a society, are losing the willingness to try to understand other points of view much less empathize with them. And the election of Donald Trump seems to have shown a spotlight on that inability.

I did not vote for Barack Obama. And yet for eight years I fully believed that he was my President and I hoped that he would make decisions that were in the best interest of the country, not just the Democratic Party or his own political career. One can always hope, right? I have read what many of you have written about your belief that the Obama family was delightful to have in the White House and without scandal. I actually agree with some of that. The Obama daughters seem to be delightful, articulate, accomplished young women. As a family, they did appear to be without scandal personally. Professionally and politically, however, the Obama Administration was far from scandal free. I have no intention of citing those scandals here. I simply want to do a little comparing and contrasting.

While Barack Obama was in office the Democrats in the House, Senate and Media repeatedly told the American people that Republicans were obstructionists if they didn’t go along with and vote for every policy and bill put forth by the Democrats. If Republicans, Conservatives or your average Joe or Josephine disagreed with an Obama policy they were called hate-mongering, knuckle-dragging racists. While George W. Bush was President they considered it patriotic to disagree with the President and his Administration. Disagreement with Obama however, was punishable by severe name-calling and shunning. Enter Donald Trump. And the Left has changed the narrative, again. It’s cool, once more, to “resist”, to stand up to the evil that has taken over our government. Well, I’m resisting your resistance and waving the BS Flag.

Donald Trump calls the left-leaning-media to task, accuses them of being partisan, having an agenda, downplaying stories that put the Right in a good light and spotlighting the ones that make the Left look righteous. Hmmm? I’ve heard all that before, except it was Obama saying the exact same things about the right-leaning-media. He wanted Fox News removed from the White House Press Corps. For months and years, he refused to call on any right-leaning media representatives in his press conferences. He ignored them and their questions and seldom agreed to be interviewed by any of their news people or pundits. He said Fox News was not a legitimate news organization and that they were destructive to the growth of the country. You know what I think is really destructive to the growth of our country? Left and right leaning media promoting their agendas.

Another example. Kellyann Conway and her use of the word massacre. How many times a day can the Left Wing Media replay that video? Clearly often enough to make everyone on the planet believe that Kellyanne Conway is a lying sack of blithering incompetence. “She should know better. What an idiot.” Okay. Shouldn’t our President know how many states we have? Simple question with a straightforward answer. Go to YouTube and type in “President Obama says we have 57 states.” Huh? Guess I must have slept through seven of them. Blithering incompetent or exhausted and misspoke? The difference? The Left Leaning Media didn’t shove that video down our throats by the hour. Their guy got a pass. They pick and choose who they promote and who the skewer. I happen to believe that both were exhausted and had a word-slip. Goodness knows I slip up and I understand that other people do as well.

Now, let’s make a distinction between a word-slip and a straight up lie. Fifty, not fifty-seven = word-slip. Massacre, not terrorists = word-slip. “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Straight up lie. Never happened. None of it. How about “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at our embassies because of an awful Internet video.” Word- slip or straight up lie? You decide.

And then Hollywood jumps on the “Resistance Bandwagon” and Meryl Streep goes on her well-publicized tirade. “What bravery.” “What courage.” “Truth to power.” I’m scratching my head saying, “What bravery?” “What courage?” “Truth to power?” Meryl Streep IS the power in Hollywood and she was speaking to a group of predominantly like-minded people. What courage did that take? For future reference, Meryl. Please just learn to say, “Thank you” graciously.

Compare and contrast. So, here’s my example of truth to power. Her name is Patricia Smith. Who is she? She is Sean Smith’s mother. Sean Smith was murdered in Benghazi. Patricia Smith had no money, no power, no influence, no connections, no authority, no platform. She had only her voice and her convictions. And she took on the Secretary of State, the Obama Administration and the Clinton Machine. Why? Because she wanted the truth about what happened to Sean. She wanted justice for her son. She didn’t want what happened to her child to happen to anyone else’s. So, she stood up. She spoke. She demanded answers. And she was vilified by the Left for it. But she didn’t let that stop her. Courage. Bravery. Truth to power.

I happen to believe in our Constitution and in our system of checks and balances. That system gives the authority to write law and change law to the Legislative Branch of government. That means the Congress and Senate should be responsible for enacting new laws. Our system also gives the President (the Executive Branch) the authority to, from time to time, write laws using Executive Orders or Executive Memorandums. It does not, however give that authority to the Judicial Branch. That means judges are responsible for UPHOLDING the law, not changing it. President Trump starts issuing Executive Orders and the Left goes crazy. I’ve read several posts questioning whether or not the current President understands the Constitution and who has the authority to write law. I wondered the same thing during President Obama’s two terms in office. Look at the number of Executive Orders and Memorandums that he wrote. Look at the number George W. Bush wrote. And check out Bill Clinton’s whopping numbers. The precedent is set, people. If you don’t want someone from the other team taking the law into his own hands, then you can’t let your guy do it either. No one gets to have it both ways.

And while we’re on the subject of who has the authority to do what…where on earth, or in the Constitution, did Michelle Obama get the authority to change dietary policy in our public schools and our military? Her involvement with nutrition actually cost the taxpayers money! Schools had to meet her dietary guidelines. Many complained that it was costing them more, they were throwing away too much of it and had hungry kids going home at the end of the day. For some of those children school was the primary source of their daily meals.

Michelle’s food initiative also changed the “chow” in the military “chow halls”. I attended a Basic Training graduation in 2010 right after the changes were implemented and had the chance to talk to some of the graduates. Let’s just say that many of them were not happy campers. Basic Training is grueling mind and body training. Imagine yourself doing hours of classwork, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, obstacle courses and forced marches. Every day for roughly ten weeks. Now imagine not being fed enough to have the strength and stamina to do that. I heard more than one graduate say, “The Chow Hall sucks. Thanks, Mrs. Obama.” The First Lady. A powerful role model and spokesperson, but NOT an elected or appointed official. So where did she get the authority to change policy? You might want to hope that this doesn’t set another precedent because you’re not going to like it when the other side does it.

Speaking of not liking it… when the Right didn’t like President Obama’s policies, they protested them. There were protests all over the country that were completely nonviolent and without profanity or demonizing of the Left. There was one in Washington DC that close to a million people attended. The media and President Obama largely ignored those protests. Why? Maybe so they could focus on the handful of protestors who truly were violent racists. Then they painted everyone who disagreed with the President with the same brush. Now, the Left disagrees with President Trump. Some of the protests are nonviolent and make their points admirably. Many, however, are straight-up riots. There is an attitude of entitled lawlessness that has taken over this country. Once more, is a precedent being set? My way or you can watch the place burn down around you?

Now let’s talk about free speech for a minute. Safe zones so you don’t have to hear things you don’t want to hear, shouting down guest speakers you don’t agree with, name-calling and demonizing those who voice politically incorrect ideas and opinions. Seriously? Do you not see that all those behaviors are destroying free speech? And guess what? We have Freedom OF Speech, not Freedom FROM Speech. That means that I can speak from the Left or the Right, about religion or atheism. I can talk about Pollyanna or the devil. I can be kind or offensive. If you do not like what I have to say, you have the right to walk away. You do NOT have the right to stop me from saying it. I hear many people talking about their fear of losing their right to free speech. Everyone in this country has been losing that right for years. But no one cared, as long as they agreed with what people were being told not to say. If we want the right to speak freely, we must give the right to speak freely. Even if we find it offensive.

I’ve seen several posts recently offering ideas for confronting bullies, particularly those bullying Muslims. Bullying of any sort is unacceptable. That means Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, children, teenagers, adults, Democrats, Republicans, Hillary Supporters, Trump Supporters, Liberals or Conservatives, Vegans and Meat Eaters! I’ve seen zero videos of Muslims being bullied since Donald Trump’s election but I’ve seen several of Trump supporters being yelled at, harassed, spit on and even beaten. Some of the antibullying suggestions will work very well in those situations.

Some of them might even be applicable to the bullying I’ve seen on FB the last couple of years. Check your Newsfeed. Look at the last time someone turned their back on their child at the zoo for just a moment and that child fell…into a gorilla cage or a pond. The vile, hateful comments are beyond belief. On the worst days of people’s lives, the scars they are left with are not just the memory of what they did do, didn’t do or could have done. Now, it’s also the memory of the judgmental cyber hatred that rained down on them while they went through it. We are becoming a nation of faceless bullies, brave enough only to be nasty from behind a computer keyboard. Wake up, people! The Left says “Love Trumps Hate”. But all I see is hate. And it’s not trumping anything.

Rant over.

35 Percent Of Americans Are At Least 180 Days Past Due

Many of us have found the last eight years to be very tough financially – I had a record year in my business 7 years ago. The following year, things started to slow down and things have been tougher each year since then.  After a major health crisis last year which quite literally decimated my small business – I’ve had to struggle to keep even more than normal to pay every bill. Its truly crazy to have to struggle so much and I’m very aware that I’m not alone in this struggle. The statistics in the following article were definitely eye opening and I had to share it. Please take a few minutes to read it – I’ve been watching the election coverage and the rallies. The idea of creating jobs, rebuilding a strong America and finally increasing our economy is music to my ears —

Drowning In Debt: 35 Percent Of All Americans Have Debt That Is At Least 180 Days Past Due

More than a third of all Americans can’t pay their debts.  I don’t know about you, but to me that is a shocking figure.  As you will see below, 35 percent of the people living in this country have debt in collections.  When a debt is in  collections, it is at least 180 days past due.  And this is happening during the “economic recovery” that the mainstream media keeps touting, although the truth is that Barack Obama is going to be the only president in United States history to never have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent.  But at least things are fairly stable for the moment, and if this many Americans are having trouble paying their bills right now, what are things going to look like when the economy becomes extremely unstable once again.

The 35 percent figure is a nugget that I discovered in a CNN article about Detroit that I was reading earlier today

And the city’s troubles have left a mark on the financial stability of its residents in a big way, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

About 66% of residents have debt in collections — meaning more than 180 days past due — at a median amount of $1,847. Across the U.S., 35% of Americans have debt in collections.

It is hard to believe that 66 percent of the residents of one of our largest cities could have debt in collections, but without a doubt the city of Detroit is a complete and utter economic wasteland at this point.

But to me, the 35 percent figure for the nation as a whole is a much greater concern.

And much of the debt that is in collections is credit card debt.

In the immediate aftermath of the last financial crisis, many Americans started getting out of debt, and that was a very good thing.

Unfortunately, that trend has completely reversed itself over the past few years, and now credit card balances are rising at a pace that is quite alarming

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, ValuePenguin found that the average credit card debt for households that carry a balance is a shocking $16,048 — a figure that has risen by 10% over the past three years. At the average variable credit card interest rate of 16.1%, this translates to nearly $2,600 in credit card interest alone. And many credit cards have interest rates much higher than the average.

Even scarier, consider that based on the average interest rate and a minimum payment of 1.5% of the balance, it would take nearly 14 years for the typical indebted household to pay off its existing credit card debt, at a staggering cost of more than $40,200. Keep in mind that this assumes no additional credit card debt is added to the tab along the way.

Those that have been there know exactly how it feels to be drowning in credit card debt.

You know, they don’t teach you about credit cards in high school or in college.  At least they didn’t in my day.  So once I got out into the “real world” and discovered the joy of instantly getting whatever I wanted with a credit card, I didn’t understand how painful it would be to pay that money back someday.

If you have credit card balances that are out of control, they can keep you up late into the night.  The worry and the fear can eat away at you like a cancer, and many people play a game of moving balances from one card to another in a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

Fortunately I learned my hard lessons at an early enough age to get things turned around.  Now I warn others about the danger of credit card debt through my writing, and my hope is that the things that I share on my websites are doing some good for others that may be struggling financially.

When you are deep in debt, it is exceedingly difficult to build up any wealth of your own.  This is one of the primary reasons why 69 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings today.

In essence, more than two-thirds of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, and that is a recipe for disaster when the next major economic downturn in the U.S. strikes.

Overall, household debt in America has now reached a grand total of 12.3 trillion dollars.  When you break that down, it comes to $38,557 for every man, woman and child in the entire nation.

So for a family of five, your share of that total would be $192,785.

And remember, that is just household debt.  That total does not include any form of business debt or any form of government debt.

We truly are a “buy now, pay later” society.  We were the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the entire planet, and previous generations handed us the keys to the greatest economic machine in world history, but that wasn’t good enough for us.

We always had to have more, more, more – and now we have accumulated more debt than any society in the history of the globe.

It is inevitable that this giant debt bubble is going to burst.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that.

What we experienced in 2008 was just a preview of the hard times that are coming.  The next recession is going to be even worse, and most economists are convinced that it will happen within the next four years no matter who is elected president in November.  The following comes from the Wall Street Journal via the Calculated Risk blog

Economists in The Wall Street Journal’s latest monthly survey of economists put the odds of the next downturn happening within the next four years at nearly 60%.

Just like the last time around, millions of those that are “living on the edge” financially will fall out of the middle class and into poverty when they lose their jobs.

Hopefully most of you that have been reading my work for an extended period of time have already been getting out of debt and have been building up a financial cushion.

Sadly, most of the country continues to act as if they are living in a pre-2008 world, and the economic wake up call that is coming is going to be incredibly painful for those that thought they could get away with being exceedingly reckless financially.

Originally posted on the Economic Collapse Blog – http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/drowning-in-debt-35-percent-of-all-americans-have-debt-that-is-at-least-180-days-past-due

California Primary Field Guide

PRESENTING YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIMARY FIELD GUIDE
SAN DIEGO – Heading into today’s California Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders pushed hard to forge through the rough terrain of the West in an effort to strike gold on the California coast.

But it’s looking more like the Donner party than the lucky 49ers.

Although today’s contest could be very close, California has always been solid territory for the Clintons in the past and this cycle is looking to be no different.

Hillary Clinton may see a narrower margin than the 8-point victory against then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, but her pull with the state’s large swath of Hispanic voters combined with her stronger performances among older, better-educated voters, means she’s likely to win.

And so she’d better!

As of Monday, Clinton has claimed delegate majority and her party’s nomination. But today very much matters for momentum and narrative.

A Clinton win in the Golden State would officially shut down the Sanders machine. Though some may continue on with calls of unfair rules and issues with superdelegates, the rest of the Democratic Party, looking at facing Donald Trump, will coalesce for the sake of a November victory.

A big enough win could even take her to the nomination without relying on “superdelegates,” party elders who head to the Philadelphia convention technically unbound but substantially behind Clinton.

If Clinton loses today, however, her demand for Sanders to get out is much weaker, and his influence over her at the convention becomes stronger.

But Nate Silver’s argument as to how she won the nomination will be what gives her the likely win for today: More Democrats will vote for her. Yes, the margins will likely be closer than 2008 (see Nevada’s closer-than-expected results from a few months ago), but she has more pull with more voters in the state than Sanders.

For our final field guide of the 2016 cycle, let’s take a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway ahead of today’s California primary.

CALIFORNIA FIELD GUIDE
The politics of California is as diverse as the landscape: Booming cities, rough-riding cattle ranchers, coastal idylls, heart-swelling mountain vistas and desert wastelands.

But most of the voters live in and around the Bay Area in the central coast or Los Angeles and SoCal. And like the Giants and the Dodgers, they tend to disagree.

Bay Area: Baking for Bernie
The most “loyally liberal” part of the state, according to the Public Policy Institute of California’s 2012 study, is where Barack Obama did the best in 2008 and where Bernie Sanders will see his berniest bros come out for him.

Within the Bay Area, however, there is a split. In 2008, San Francisco County and Alameda County, two of the three most populous counties in the region, both went for Obama, but Santa Clara County, where Silicon Valley calls home in South San Francisco Bay, went for Clinton.

Hmmmmm…

There will be a strong cohort of Bernie loyalists that recall the heydays of Haight-Ashbury and will come out in droves for the socialist who spent time in a hippie commune. And there’s the new age wave of eco-friendly, reusable-bag toting Millennials who think redistributing wealth is a swell idea from their studio apartments on Telegraph Hill.

But Clinton’s strongest pull in this part of California is Donald Trump. It’s hard to imagine how Trump could have helped Clinton more in the final week of the primaries than by repeated declaring germane the ethnicity of a federal judge presiding over a fraud suit against Trump for allegedly ripping off vets, single moms and the elderly with a fake college.

Los Angeles: Stars shine for Hillary
The City of Angels has the largest vote share in the state’s Democratic primary, accounting for 25 percent of today’s vote share. Eight years ago, Clinton won Los Angeles County by over 13 points in the last Democratic primary, and back in 1992, her husband also won the county by 13 points against once-and-future California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Nearly half of the county is Hispanic, a group which came out for Clinton in Nevada earlier this year and has seen a sharp uptick in voter registration both in the state and nationwide.

Again, Trump does Clinton’s work for her.

This region of California and further south into Orange County and San Diego County tend to be the more conservative parts of the deep blue state and account for less Democratic primary votes.

These areas are among the wealthiest in the state and are not inclined towards Sandersian economics. Clinton won both Orange and San Diego counties in 2008 with a sweep of Southern California. She will likely perform similarly today.

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