Interview With David Webb of Sirius XM Patriot Radio
[The interview was joined in progress.]
Mr. Webb. You know, the last time we talked I think was at a debate, so it's nice to finally, formally say congratulations, Mr. President.
The President. Thank you very much. I appreciate it, David. I appreciate all your support. I mean, you have views similar—I don't even know if we call it support, or if you have views that are similar to——
Mr. Webb. We always had them, and now we're here working on them together.
The President. Thank you.
Tax Reform/Tax Relief
Mr. Webb. That's what I like to call it. We're here to do tax reform. And as you've said, and I agree with you, you know, reform can be bad or good, so let's talk about really fixing the Tax Code for the American people.
I know the business is the biggest chunk economically, and you're a guy who understands the economics of business, and that's great to have in the White House, but I want to talk about the individuals, because that's what I'm getting a lot of calls on.
The folks out there—the average American that you have spoken to so well—they're asking about the effect on their families and what it will do to give them an actual break. I want to talk about the zero bracket and the importance of that.
The President. Okay, good. Well, the zero bracket is a very substantial bracket. We're bringing it down to zero for many people that are right now paying taxes. And we bring the rate down to 12 percent, which is a much higher rate in the old tax law.
In addition to that, we're lowering—a lot of people have said subchapter S and they have flowthroughs, and they have other things, or they have small businesses, not only large business, and those rates are coming way down. So we have—the business rates are coming down, which I think is most important, is businesses are going to be expanding, and jobs are going to be had.
So we're going to have a lot of jobs, David, that we didn't have before. And right now we are the highest taxed nation anywhere in the world—you can even say developed or undeveloped. We're the highest taxed nation in the world. We have to get this tax cut. It's imperative that we get it.
Every country is lowering their taxes but us. We haven't lowered them since Ronald Reagan. I mean, it's been many, many years since taxes went down, and it's a hard—it's hard to believe.
Now, when you mention the word "tax reform," I must tell you, I don't use that word. I use tax cuts.
Tax Relief/Tax Reform Mr. Webb. That's why I brought it up, exactly.
The President. You know why? No, no, I use tax cuts, because a lot of people say to me, you know, tax reform, does that mean our taxes are going up? Because they don't know.
Now, there is a tax reform with it—a very big tax reform—but I talk in terms of tax cuts and reform. It's going to be simplification. We're going to have four brackets, including a zero bracket. We're going to have—you're going to be able to do your taxes literally on one page, no longer hiring H&R Block and spending a fortune on—you know, because nobody understand what they're doing. And it's going to be a really low tax. You're going to have a low tax. You're going to get a substantial tax decrease.
Child Tax Credit/Immigration Reform
Mr. Webb. Let's talk about some of those key deductions that you've talked about and as you just did in Harrisburg with a lot of the truckers, and a lot truckers are listening. The child tax credit structure, that's important to those families—those middle class families—those drivers of our economy, they've got their children; they're just trying to get through their daily lives.
The President. Right. Well, you know, that was so important to my daughter, Ivanka. I must be honest, she doesn't even talk about anything else. That's all she wants. And she wants that credit, and she wants that to take place. And she said, "Daddy wants"—and you know, it's funny, when I speak in speeches, everyone stands and goes wild when I mention the wall——which is happening, by the way; in fact, you see the prototypes being built right now.
Immigration Reform/Child Tax Credit
Mr. Webb. They were just put up and put out in the news.
The President. Absolutely, it's going to happen. And when I mention the Second Amendment, and you know, they want to take away your guns—and nobody talks about with the child and the child tax. Ivanka wants that so badly; she fought so hard for it. And I started to realize that that was something that's so important, and people are loving it.
So people with children are going to be able to benefit for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, in terms of taxes.
Mr. Webb. It's important at the kitchen table. Think about it: Americans sit every day—many of the people that work for you over the years that build the buildings, what do they do? On Saturday, they sit down, they go: "Honey, what do we do? How do we get through this? How we do we get little Johnny"—by the way, congratulations, brandnew grandfather.
The President. Right. That's right. That's right. Thank you.
Tax Reform/National Economy
Mr. Webb. Got to throw that in there.
So let's get a little bit more into the itemized deductions on the individual proposal that you have here, impacting 30 percent of taxpayers, 25 percent of families, and who that affects the most.
The President. Well, it's going to affect everybody. It's going to—actually, we're getting rid of a lot of the big deductions for business, and we're simplifying—we're bringing down the rate, but the rate is actually for rich people, about the same. The big beneficiaries are the middle class; I call it the working people. But the big beneficiaries are the middle class.
Now, when business expands, a lot of times, rich people own businesses, but those are the people that create the jobs. So our businesses are the highest taxed in the world. If they continue to be taxed like this—this is why jobs are flowing out of the United States.
Now, with all of that being said, we hit 3 percent—3.2 percent last quarter in GDP. Our unemployment is at a low for almost 17 years. You know, we're doing really well. We're starting to train people out of that big mass—they call it a 100 million people, but let's call it 50 million people, because some of those——
Unemployment Rate/Job Creation
Mr. Webb. I'll take 50 million more in the workforce.
The President. Okay, you understand what I'm talking about, because, you know, I've always that said that the number of 4-percent unemployment is really not a right number because you have many people, they give up looking for a job because they can't get a job. So you have a lot of people out there that want work.
And as you also see, David, companies are coming here, factories are coming here. Car companies are now rebuilding plants again. This hasn't happened in 20 years. They're leaving, they're going to Mexico, they're going to other places. It's all stopping. And the tax cut will help us. A lot of the people that lost their jobs lost because companies are so highly taxed that they leave the United States, they go to another country—they literally go to another country where the taxes are smaller.
Mr. Webb. All right so, given the time we have, I want to touch briefly on the cooperate tax that gets at the virtuous cycle that you've just described—a good New York phrase that came out of Wall Street. Corporate tax, the idea of bringing that money back. Long-term investment by companies in this country.
The President. Right. Well, one thing—we are bringing back probably 3, $3.5 trillion. So we have $3.5 trillion coming back that will just—literally, you couldn't get it back because of the tax system. It didn't really allow the companies—even, it didn't make sense to bring it back—the number was so high and bureaucracy so great. So all of that money, it could be more than $3.5 trillion.
You know, for years, we've all been saying, $2.5 trillion. Well, let me tell you, it's grown a lot. And it's a least $3.5 trillion will come back into our country and be put to work on jobs and other things.
And the other thing is, we're bringing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 20 percent, and it's going to have a massive impact.
Mr. Webb. Well, it not only has a massive impact, it creates part of the virtuous cycle. And as we've talked about over the years, you need that virtuous cycle from the Main Street to Wall Street—venture capital investment. We've seen trillions of dollars in the growth in the markets—over 20 percent S&P. The indices are showing the effect that—since the election. The President. Well, since the election, we're up $5.2 trillion in value in the stock market. That's the stock market alone. Don't forget you have many other markets; you have the housing market——
Deficit and National Debt
Mr. Webb. [Inaudible]
The President. You add them all up, it's a lot more than we owe. You know, we owe $20 trillion; $10 trillion over the last 8 years. So President Obama doubled our debt—think of it—over the last 8 years. Doubled. I mean, if you think for all of the years—in 8 years, we've doubled our debt. But we've added so much value, so much worth, it's been sort of an incredible thing, and we're very happy about it: $5.2 trillion just in the stock market.
Mr. Webb. Well, we're getting the high sign, with only a minute left to wrap it up, Mr. President. But you know, I want to say one thing on behalf on the American people: We appreciate the frankness with which you speak to us. These are difficult subjects, they're complex subjects, and I like the fact that you're combining regulatory reform, tax reform, bureaucratic reform, technology reform. How important is that to reforming the Federal Government to make it right size and scope?
The President. Well, I think one of the most important things I've done—and I'm pretty much, almost 50 percent there—you know, you have statutory problems in time, but it's all happening, and it's happening fast—is regulatory reform, where your land, where your—everything was being taken away. You couldn't do anything. And whether it's EPA or anything else—we want clean air, we want clean water, crystal clean water—but they were making it impossible for people to produce jobs.
So what we've done is the biggest cut in regulations in the history of our country, in 9 months. I've done more than any other President—and they've been there a lot longer than 9 months. And we continue to do that. And I want regulation, but it's got to be fair regulation.
So that's had a big impact, and I think that's why we hit 3.2 percent in GDP, which has not been hit for many, many years. You know what's been going on. I mean, it's been very sad, what's gone on. So we hit 3.2 last quarter. And this quarter, we'll do fantastically, but we will be affected somewhat by the hurricanes.
Mr. Webb. We're getting the wrap.
The President. That's okay.
Mr. Webb. You see, it still works. You're used to this.
The President. I'm used to it, but you've been my friend, and I appreciate it.
Mr. Webb. All right, great to see you.
The President. Thank you, David.
NOTE: The interview began at 9:58 a.m. in the Indian Treaty Room at the White House. Portions of this interview could not be verified because the audio was incomplete.
Donald J. Trump, Interview With David Webb of Sirius XM Patriot Radio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/331287