Donald Trump on Budget & Economy
2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
BIDEN: This HEROES Act has been sitting there. And look at what's happening. When I was in charge of the recovery act with $800 billion, I was able to get $145 billion to local and communities that have to balance their budgets. [If they cannot], then they have to fire firefighters, teachers, first responders, law enforcement officers, so they could keep their cities and counties running. They have not done a thing for them. And Mitch McConnell said, "Let them go bankrupt. Let them go bankrupt."
BIDEN: When you allow people to get back in the game and have a job, everything moves. Right now, you got the opposite. Last year during this pandemic, the wealthiest billionaires in the nation, made another $700 billion. He talks about a V-shape recovery. It's a K shape recovery. If you're on the top, you're going to do very well. If you're in the middle or the bottom, your income is coming down. You're not getting a raise.
TRUMP: They're doing well.
Q: But we've only gotten half the jobs back.
TRUMP: Stocks are owned by everybody. They talk about the stock market is so good, that's 401(k)s. As long as they didn't sell when the market went down, if people held onto their stocks, people that aren't wealthy have done well because of the stock market. I've set records on the stock market even during the pandemic. And that doesn't happen by accident. If Joe Biden ever got this position--and that's a headwind on the stock market-- our stock market would be much higher if it weren't for that [pandemic]. If Joe Biden ever got in, I think you'd have a depression the likes of which we have never seen in this country.
Trump: "The country's in great shape; the market's in great shape"
Text: L.A. Times: Investors Panic Over Stock Market Free-Fall"; DJI -7.77%
NBC News headline: "Dr. Fauci on Virus Testing: 'It Is a Failing'."
Text: Mar.3: 359 cases; more than 20 deaths
Trump: "No, I don't take responsibility at all."
Text: Mar.16: 4,019 cases
Reporter: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your response to this crisis?"
Trump: "I'd rate it a 10; I think we've done a great job."
Washington Post headline: Squandered Time: Trump Lost Control of Coronavirus
Text: Spinner exceeds 5,000 then 6,000 then 7,000 cases
CNN headline, Mar.14: "NIH's Dr. Fauci: It's Going to Get Worse; Possible Millions Could Die"
Voiceover: And now, here we are. Trump canot be trusted, with our economy, our health, and our future
Text: Paid for by AB PAC, www.AmericanBridgePAC.org
TRUMP: I think people are viewing us as having done a very good job. Nobody is blaming us for the virus. People are now staying in the US, spending their money in the US, & I like that. You know, I've been after that for a long time. They've sort of been forced doing that. It's all going to work out. I just made a great China deal. China is paying us billions of dollars because of what I did to them with tariffs. I mean, to a point where my farmers are in love with me because I took some of that money and gave it to them.
Q: Do you care about the national debt?
TRUMP: I do. Very much. Now, the good thing about the debt is we're paying very little interest--almost nothing. In fact, I want to refinance the debt.
Q: So this would be a focus of a second term?
TRUMP: Oh, absolutely. Now, again, we were disturbed by what's going on with the virus, but that's going to be fine. But, you know, that was a disturbance.
Here's how the plan's architect described it: "By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90% of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan. The other 99% of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes."
His name? Donald Trump.
Trump's idea was that paying off the national debt would reduce federal interest rate costs, allowing for a middle-class tax cut. Instead, the debt volume has increased dramatically since 1999, but federal debt service payments as a share of GDP are actually lower than they were back then, since interest rates have fallen dramatically.
"We've accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions," Trump said in a July 2018 Rose Garden press conference.
This is false. The economy wasn't hurting when Trump took office, and it hasn't turned around in just two short years. The economic turnaround Trump refers to is actually credited to his predecessor, President Barack Obama, who steered the country from a devastating recession into booming growth.
Economists told NBC News that Trump might have given the economy a boost with the tax cuts and dampened it with the trade war, but he didn't turn things around. Economies do not turn on a hair with a new presidency. While Obama can look back on his eight years and see his leadership play out, Trump's effect is still not yet known.
We've lost more than 1/4 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.
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.
Trump wants rates to remain low to prevent the dollar from appreciating, which would bring "major problems." But another consideration, he noted, was the [interest payments on the] national debt: "What do we do with all of the money that we owe everybody when rates go up and now all of a sudden we have to borrow at two points more? One point more, even, is devastating. It has to be handled very, very carefully." For the Fed to base interest-rate decisions on the national debt would blur the lines between monetary and fiscal policy. It's heresy by today's standards, but [was done in the 1960s].
In America, people with lots of money can easily avoid the consequences of bad bets and big losses by cashing out at the first sign of trouble. The laws protect them through limited liability and bankruptcy. But workers who move to a place like Atlantic City for a job, invest in a home there, and build their skills have no such protection. Jobs vanish, home values plummet, and skills are suddenly irrelevant. They're stuck with the mess. Bankruptcy was designed so people could start over. But these days, the only ones starting over with ease are big corporations, wealthy moguls, and Wall Street, who have had enough political clout to shape bankruptcy law to their needs.
TRUMP: OK, I would use the debt limit. I want to be unpredictable, because, you know, we need unpredictability. Everything is so predictable with our country. But I would be very, very strong on the debt limit. And I could see asking for a very big pound of flesh if I were the Republicans.
Q: But we just had 4% the last quarter.
TRUMP: But if you look at the overall average, we're doing less than 2% for the year. If China can do 7% -
Q: Right, but an emerging economy is always going to do 6%, 7%. Our sweet spot is 3% to 5%.
TRUMP: Right. If we do 6% or 7% under my plan, everybody benefits in jobs.
Q: We've never had a year of 6% or 7%. How is that gonna look?
TRUMP: Well, number one, corporate inversion is a big deal. There are many companies right now that are talking about very seriously leaving this country. And you're talking about thousands of jobs.
Q: What you're saying is, you make it all up with growth.
TRUMP: Not all up with growth. We also start cutting.
TRUMP: I would get rid of some. For example, the Department of Education. I would certainly get rid of a lot of it. I want local education. We could save a fortune with Environmental Protection--
Q: what is another agency you'd get rid of?
TRUMP: Even in the military, I'm going to build a military that's much stronger than it is right now. But you know what? We can do it for a lot less.
Q: So you believe you can spend less money on defense than we do today?
TRUMP: I think we can make our defense much stronger and spend somewhat less money.
Here's my view of this situation. We survived and prospered after 9/11, and we will do the same this time. The components are different, but I believe the government is doing the right thing with this financial mess. They have worked hard and long, but a mess is a mess. I won't equivocate on that. I saw the indications that the world was in for a tough period of time, so I can't say I'm terribly surprised.
Rent control is a disaster for all but the privileged minority who are protected by it. As much as any other single factor, rent control is responsible for the desperate housing crisis that has plagued NYC for the past 20 years. Like a lot of failed government programs, rent control grew out of a decent idea that ended up achieving exactly the opposite of its intended effect.
Unlike most developers, I donít advocate eliminating rent control. I just think there ought to be a means test for anyone living in a rent-controlled apartment. People with incomes above a certain sum would be given a choice between paying a proportionally higher rent for their apartment or moving somewhere else.
Trump paid federal income taxes in three out of five years from 1975 to 1979, according to a report to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which viewed Trump's tax returns when the Trump Plaza Corporation applied for a casino license in the state in 1981.
Although the returns were not disclosed, the report indicated that Trump paid $18,714 in taxes on $76,210 in income in 1975, $10,832 in taxes on $24,594 in income in 1976 and $42,386 in taxes on $118,530 in income in 1977. Trump reported income losses of $406,379 in 1978 and $3,443,560 in 1979, and thus paid no federal income tax for those years.
TRUMP: That makes me smart.
CLINTON: So if he's paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he's not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something that he's trying to hide.
TRUMP: I'm going to be bringing back jobs from China, from Japan, from India, from Brazil. This is going on at a level that you have never seen before. We now have corporate inversions, where companies are moving out of the United States. And they will be moving out in big numbers if we don't do something quickly. And my plan stops all of that.
Q: So, you want to close the loopholes for tax havens?
TRUMP: And I want to bring back trillions of dollars that is stuck in other countries that we won't let back in because we don't have intelligent people running our country.
Q: What about other loopholes on the personal side? Mortgage interest stays in there? Charitable giving?
TRUMP: That's right. Mortgage interest deduction would stay, absolutely. Carried interest, though, would not stay. One of the ways that the hedge fund guys who make a lot of money pay very little tax, the carried interest deduction. I'm knocking that out.
FIORINA: I think Mr. Trump is a wonderful entertainer. He's been terrific at that business. One of the benefits of a presidential campaign is our judgment and temperament is revealed over time and under pressure.
Q: And his temperament regarding the nuclear codes?
FIORINA: That's not for me to answer; it is for the voters of this country to answer.
TRUMP: As far as temperament, I think I have a great temperament. I built a phenomenal business with incredible, iconic assets. And I may be an entertainer, because I've had tremendous success with #1 bestsellers all over the place. But I will tell you this: What I am far and away greater than an entertainer is a businessman, and that's the kind of mindset this country needs to bring it back, because we owe $19 trillion right now, $19 trillion, and you need this kind of thinking to bring our country back.
Firing an employee can leave your business in a hole; that's why so many companies hang on to less- than- desirable workers. To replace an employee, you have to go through the entire costly and time- consuming hiring process again. But frequently, you have no choice. If your business is to move forward, unproductive people must go.
Firing can be an essential and responsible business decision. It isn't pleasant, but lopping off a branch can save the tree.
In reality, most of us need to make money; we have bills to pay. However, other objectives can be equally, or more, important, including the stimulation and satisfaction you receive from your work and its challenges. There's also the pleasure of helping others and doing good or the opportunity to learn, grow, and deal with outstanding people, to name just a few.
I honestly believe that my attitude, willingness to work hard, and determination pulled me through. Things are so much better now than they were back then, and I came out of it better than I had been at my previous best.
The most important lesson I learned from that ordeal was that I could handle pressure. At that time, many of my friends also fell deeply in debt. Some went bankrupt. Despite my tremendous debt and all the pressure, I never went bankrupt. I was able to work it out, and I learned I could take the heat. You don't know what pressure is until you owe billions of dollars to banks and they all want their money at once.
NPR summary of HR133:
Argument in opposition: Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV-2) said after voting against H.R. 133: "Congress voted to spend another $2.3 trillion [$900 billion for COVID relief], which will grow our national debt to about $29 trillion. The federal government will again have to borrow money from nations like China. This massive debt is being passed on to our children and grandchildren. With multiple vaccines on the way thanks to President Trump and Operation Warp Speed, we do not need to pile on so much additional debt. Now is the time to safely reopen our schools and our economy. HR133 was another 5593-page bill put together behind closed doors and released moments prior to the vote."
Legislative outcome: Passed House 327-85-18, Roll #250, on Dec. 21. 2020; Passed Senate 92-6-2, Roll #289, on Dec. 21; signed by President Trump on Dec 27 [after asking for an increase from $600 to $2,000 per person, which was introduced as a separate vote].
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2020 Presidential Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)
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Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
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Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
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Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
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