Friday, March 1, 2019

West Wing Reads: Thank You, Tax Reform

West Wing Reads

Thank You, Tax Reform

“The American economy is a tremendous engine of prosperity when politicians get out of the way, and for proof look no further than Thursday’s report on fourth-quarter growth,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes. “Tax reform and deregulation, take a bow.”

Yesterday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers reported that America’s economy achieved 3 percent growth for the first time in 13 years in 2018. Its Chairman, Kevin Hassett, “made these predictions in the heat of the 2017 tax reform debate and was ridiculed by progressive economists . . . But the evidence of the last two years is that deregulation and tax reform spurred private capital investment exactly when a long-in-the-tooth expansion needed it to avoid recession.”

Click here to read more.
“Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times,” President Donald J. Trump said as he prepared to leave Vietnam following his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un this week. Good for the President, the New York Post editorial board says. “Just what we expected in noting the other day that ‘his history suggests he’s always willing to walk away from a deal that’s not good enough.’” 
In USA Today, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) write that students deserve freedom to choose their education options—and the government’s outdated approach to education too often limits their full potential. That’s why the Administration is putting forward “a historic investment in America’s students: the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act.” These scholarships “would annually give hundreds of thousands of students across the country opportunities to find the right fit for their education.”
The New York Police Department has received information that members of the MS-13 gang are “looking to ‘hit’” police officers in certain parts of Long Island “to enhance their credibility within the gang,” Tina Moore and Stephanie Pagones report in the New York Post. “The violent gang, which started on the West Coast and has ties to Central America, has been expanding its brutal activities in New York City recently and has been coming into more frequent contact with the NYPD.”
“After the Space Shuttle program concluded in 2011, it appeared that Florida’s Space Coast would turn into a ‘Ghost Coast,’ a graveyard of abandoned dreams . . . But not anymore. Thanks to the combined innovation and ingenuity of private companies and NASA, the United States’ space industry is transitioning from public sector dependence to private sector dominance,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross writes in the Orlando Sentinel.

First Lady Melania Trump to Attend the 2019 International Women of Courage Celebration

Office of the First Lady
First Lady Melania Trump to Attend the 2019 International Women of Courage Celebration 

 In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Office of the First Lady announces Mrs. Trump’s participation in the 2019 International Women of Courage Celebration on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Mrs. Trump has presented the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award for the past three years and will return to the State Department to give remarks and participate in presenting the IWOC Award to a remarkable group of women.

“It is a great honor to meet and celebrate in the incredible achievements of these women and the challenging endeavors they have undertaken,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “I am proud to be the First Lady of a country where our democracy not only allows, but empowers, the ability to defend and promote all of our rights.   These women are beacons of hope for many around the world.” 

Over the last 13 years, the IWOC Award has honored more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries.  It is the State Department’s only all-female award and it serves as an opportunity to recognize women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership.

This event is open to the press.  All interested outlets should apply through the State Department.

American Red Cross Month, 2019 - A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America

Office of the Press Secretary

American Red Cross Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     Guided by her passionate devotion to humanity, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881 as a charitable organization to provide services to people in need.  After 138 years, her historic legacy of selfless service still inspires hundreds of thousands of Americans to give their time, resources, and energy to help people in the United States and around the world, aiding those facing natural disasters, donating and supplying blood, and serving our military families.  During American Red Cross Month, we recognize and honor the lifesaving work of the dedicated employees and volunteers of the American Red Cross, as well as the remarkable kindness of the American people who give so generously to this organization.

     Each year, the American Red Cross provides care, relief, and comfort to Americans who are suffering from natural disasters.  Just last year, massive wildfires and major hurricanes caused catastrophic damage, taking numerous lives and leaving communities scarred and families forever changed.  In California alone, residents faced some of the most destructive wildfires in their State's history.  Through all of these, thousands of American Red Cross volunteers mobilized to provide around-the-clock shelter for victims, work with government and community partners to serve millions of meals and snacks, and distribute other emergency supplies and relief items.

     The American Red Cross also maintains a strong presence throughout the world.  As part of the world's largest humanitarian network, the organization helps people in some of the most at-risk communities.  Last year, the American Red Cross deployed emergency responders to disaster zones in 7 countries and sent humanitarian aid, including financial assistance and lifesaving supplies, to more than 18 countries.  In the wake of emergencies and disasters, American Red Cross volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that those affected are able to receive the best possible help during the most challenging of times.

     As the single largest supplier of blood products in the country, the American Red Cross is critical in processing, distributing, and ensuring the safety of our Nation's blood supply.  Through its collection of more than 4.7 million blood donations and more than 900,000 platelet donations each year, the organization helps accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, and those receiving cancer treatments.  In the aftermath of the tragic shootings that occurred last year in Parkland, Florida; Santa Fe, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Thousand Oaks, California, the American Red Cross provided blood and blood products to the injured and wounded.  Every year, nearly 2.7 million compassionate volunteer donors give blood and platelet donations that make these lifesaving services possible.

     For more than a century, the American Red Cross has maintained a strong partnership with the brave men and women of our Armed Forces.  Each day, the American Red Cross serves military personnel and veterans by providing 24/7 global emergency communication services and support in healthcare facilities across the country and around the globe.  Since 2001, the American Red Cross has served more than one million military families, helping them cope with the challenges of deployment and supporting combat veterans as they return and transition back into civilian life.

     President Herbert Hoover said:  "The greater glory of the Red Cross belongs to the people themselves.  It is a living embodiment of their heart and soul."  This month, we acknowledge the indispensable value of the American Red Cross, the numerous ways in which the organization's endeavors enhance the well‑being of Americans and others worldwide, and the generosity of all those who support its important mission.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as American Red Cross Month.  I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and to support the work of the American Red Cross and their local chapters.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

                             DONALD J. TRUMP

Women's History Month, 2019 - A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America

Office of the Press Secretary
Women's History Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     During Women's History Month, we celebrate the countless women whose courage and resolve have contributed to the character and success of our Nation and the entire world.  The equal opportunity of women in every facet of daily life is an essential feature of a free and prosperous society.  This month, we honor women who have fought for equality and against the status quo, and who have broken the bonds of discrimination, partiality, and injustice for the benefit of all.  These women created a legacy that continues to inspire generations of women to live with confidence, to have a positive impact on their communities, and to improve our Nation every single day.

Throughout our history, women have dedicated their lives to achieving equal rights for all Americans.  They envisioned a society where women could pursue a formal education, start a business, serve in the military, or run for elected office.  The example of each of these women motivates successive generations to aspire to greatness and to stand tall in the face of adversity.  We remember all the American women, past and present, who have inspired and empowered today's women to advocate for their beliefs and pursue their dreams without hesitation.

Catherine Brewer, who in 1840 became the first woman to earn a bachelor's degree, and Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who graduated from medical school to become America's first recognized female physician, are in the pantheon of great American women.  Both pursued their passion to learn and to achieve advanced degrees in an unprecedented way.  Their achievement marked the beginning of our society's move toward equality among men and women in education.  They would be proud to know that, today, female students constitute the majority of undergraduates in our colleges and universities.

Women also have a rich history of civilian and military leadership, service, and sacrifice.  The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), for example, were remarkable pioneers in military aviation.  Founded by Nancy Love and Jacqueline Cochran in 1942, WASP grew to a fleet of 1,102 women pilots who flew every type of World War II military aircraft for non-combat missions domestically.  These women were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their service, and they paved the way for women pilots like Captain Rosemary Mariner, the Navy's first female fighter pilot and first woman to command a naval aviation squadron.  Over the course of her 24 years of honorable service, Captain Mariner broke many barriers for women in the military.  When she passed away on January 24, 2019, the Navy conducted an all‑female flyover in her honor, a first in the history of the Armed Forces and a fitting honor for a woman of her stature.

Leaders of our Nation also stand on the shoulders of women like Jeannette Rankin, who became the first woman to hold Federal office in 1916.  She predicted:  "I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won't be the last."  This year, a century after the Congress passed the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote, more women are serving in the Congress than at any time in our history.

My Administration continues to empower women by creating unprecedented opportunities for them.  The United States economy is booming like never before.  An all-time record number of women are employed, and, just last year, women filled 58 percent of new jobs.  Our economic agenda, including the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the elimination of unnecessary and burdensome regulations, has driven women's unemployment to the lowest level in 65 years.  My Administration fought to provide tax relief to parents by doubling the child tax credit and preserving the child and dependent care credit.  To help women thrive in the labor force and provide for their families, we developed a tax credit for employers who offer paid family and medical leave, and I have called on the Congress to pass a nationwide paid family leave program.

Prioritizing the economic empowerment of women has also helped to boost our Nation's economy and security.  My Administration is committed to working with States to reform occupational licensing laws, which disproportionately affect women.  States and licensing boards can and must do more to eliminate unnecessary barriers to career opportunities and improve license portability to facilitate career continuity.  Promoting women's economic empowerment abroad enables developing countries to increase their global financial stability.  When women are fully empowered to reach their economic potential, they invest back into their families and communities, which helps their countries thrive.  That is why I signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum to launch the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which is the first-ever whole-of-government approach to advancing global women's economic empowerment.  The W-GDP Initiative aims to benefit 50 million women across the developing world by 2025.  It will help women prosper in the workforce by improving their access to quality education and skills training, funding and supporting women's entrepreneurship and access to capital, and working to address legal, regulatory, and cultural barriers that hinder women from fully and freely participating in the economy.

     This month, we express our gratitude for all American women who continue to strengthen our families, communities, and workforce.  Our future is brighter because of their contributions.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as Women's History Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, 2019, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

                             DONALD J. TRUMP


Office of the Press Secretary

“It’s clearer than ever that business investment has rescued the U.S. economy by shifting into a higher gear. Tax reform and deregulation, take a bow.”

Thank you, tax reform
The Wall Street Journal
February 28, 2019

The American economy is a tremendous engine of prosperity when politicians get out of the way, and for proof look no further than Thursday’s report on fourth-quarter growth. It’s clearer than ever that business investment has rescued the U.S. economy by shifting into a higher gear. Tax reform and deregulation, take a bow.

Growth in the fourth quarter came in higher than expected at 2.6% … and the internals were better than the top line. Consumer spending declined a bit but was still strong. Growth from government spending was negligible—so much for claims of a deficit-led boom in “demand.”

The best news was business investment, which contributed 0.69-percentage points to GDP growth.

Housing and consumer spending helped the economy dodge recession in 2016, but the expansion was tired and needed a lift from capital investment. That arrived in 2017, helping to offset a housing drop-off, and accelerating into 2018 when housing growth was negative.

So what changed in 2017? Well, there was that change of Administration that brought a major policy shift—specifically, an end to willy-nilly regulation and harassment of business. Deregulation reduced the political uncertainty that had caused businesses to delay or reduce investment.

Tax reform arrived in 2018, removing the roadblock of the highest corporate tax rate in the world and inviting companies to repatriate profits held abroad. Investment picked up almost exactly as chief White House economist Kevin Hassett predicted it would. He predicted growth for the year would rise by 3.1% in 2018 on a fourth-quarter to fourth-quarter basis, and growth came in exactly at 3.1%.

Read the full editorial here.


A Proclamation :Irish-American Heritage Month, 2019 - - - - - - - By the President of the United States of America

Office of the Press Secretary
Irish-American Heritage Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     During Irish-American Heritage Month, we celebrate the indispensable contributions Irish Americans have made to every chapter of our Nation's history.  Generations of Irish immigrants have carried to our shores character, culture, and values that continue to play pivotal roles in the strength and success of America.

     Irish Americans helped define and defend our great Nation in its earliest days.  The Continental Congress appointed more than 20 generals of Irish descent to lead the Continental Army through the Revolutionary War.  The courage of these Irish generals on the battlefield was as inspiring as it was fierce.  The Pennsylvania Line, the backbone of George Washington's Army and one of its largest and hardest‑hitting units, consisted of so many soldiers of Irish descent that it was often called the "Line of Ireland."  After they fought for our Independence, Irish Americans helped enshrine the visionary principles of self‑government outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

     Many Irish Americans immigrated to the United States during the terrible years of Ireland's Great Famine in the middle of the 19th century.  Despite facing discrimination and poverty, Irish Americans persevered thanks to their industry, leadership, and integral involvement in society.  In 1868, Irish‑American businessman Edmund McIlhenny grew his first commercial crop of peppers in Avery Island, Louisiana, and created "Tabasco" hot sauce.  Andrew Mellon, the grandson of Irish immigrants, built a thriving business empire before becoming the Secretary of the Treasury, during which time he advocated for economic policies that sparked the tremendous prosperity of the 1920s.  In 1937, he funded the construction of the National Gallery of Art and donated his extensive art collection to the museum.

     Today, more than 31 million Americans look back with pride on their Irish heritage and the legacy of their ancestors.  The faith, perseverance, and spirit of Irish Americans across our country is indelibly woven into the tapestry of the American story.  As we spend this month honoring the incredible history of Irish Americans, especially on St. Patrick's Day, we look forward to a bright future of continued friendship and cooperation between the United States and Ireland.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as Irish‑American Heritage Month.  I call upon all Americans to celebrate the achievements of Irish Americans and their contributions to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

                             DONALD J. TRUMP

Presidential Message on National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
Presidential Message on National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, 2019

During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Melania and I join in supporting all of those who are battling colon and rectal cancer.  We stand in solidarity with the families and friends of those we have lost to this disease, and we rededicate ourselves to freeing the world from cancer.

Expected to claim more than 50,000 lives in the United States this year, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men and women.  Individuals who are over the age of 50, have a family history of colorectal cancer, or are from African-American or Hispanic backgrounds are at a higher risk of developing this disease.

All Americans can work together to defeat cancer by learning about their family medical history, maintaining healthy lifestyles, scheduling regular checkups, and receiving colorectal cancer screenings from the age of 50 onward.  These simple actions can help make our families and our Nation more effective at preventing and treating colorectal cancer and supporting the recovery of those diagnosed with this terrible disease.

My Administration is working to ensure that medical health professionals and research institutions have the resources they need to win the fight against colorectal cancer.  Through the 21st Century Cures Act, we are accelerating new innovations and advances in medical technology, clinical trials, and treatments.  We will continue to encourage screening for all Americans at higher risk of colorectal cancer and improve the quality of care for those battling this disease.

As we recognize National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we applaud the researchers and medical and public health professionals who work tirelessly to develop treatments, provide care for those battling cancer, and advance programs to facilitate screening and save lives.  Most importantly, we stand beside all those diagnosed with cancer, and we join their families, friends, and communities in praying for a brighter and cancer-free future for all.

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP TO U.S. SERVICE MEMBERS Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Anchorage, Alaska

Office of the Press Secretary

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Anchorage, Alaska

February 28, 2019

9:50 A.M. AKST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Wow.  Thank you very much.  So, we're coming in and we're landing and I say, "You know, I have a choice: I can stay on the plane and relax as we fuel up, right?  As we fuel up."  Or, I said, "How good are they out there?"  Somebody looked at me and said, "They're the best."  You're supposed to the best, right?  You're right on the front.  (Applause.)  I said, "All right, so let's go."  Put on the tie.  Put on the shirt.

But I wanted to be with you.  And it's an honor to be with you, I have to tell you.  Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, right now, at ease.  Let's have a little fun, right?

     AUDIENCE:  Hooah!

     THE PRESIDENT:  We'll have a little fun.  Listen to you.  You are something.

     Well, I want to thank General Tom Bussiere for the introduction, and done a really great job.  Highly respected man.  I know the ones that are highly respected and I know we have some others.  But usually when you get to general, you're right up there.  But he's done a fantastic job.  And, General, thank you very much.  Appreciate it very much for the introduction.

And also, I want to thank all of the folks with the NORAD.  And when we talk NORAD, we're talking about big stuff.  I learned so much about NORAD so many years ago, studying different things.  You know, I love -- I love this world.

And, actually, over here, my grandfather was up in Alaska for a long time.  He was looking for gold.  He was searching for gold.  He didn’t find it, but he started opening up little hotels for those looking for gold, and it worked out.  But he was up in -- and maybe that's why I've always had a very special place in my heart for Alaska.
And when election time came along, somehow the people of Alaska knew that and they voted very, very -- it wasn't even a little bit close.  So I just really appreciated that always.  And, you know, it's a very special place.

And I don't know if some of the folks -- the military folks care about this, but the people of Alaska really care about it.  I just approved, recently -- and almost one of my earlier acts in office, ANWR, which is one of the largest deposits anywhere in the world.  And for many, many years they've been trying to get it approved, since before Ronald Reagan.  And they couldn't get it done.

And we were just talking to your great governor.  He is doing a very special job.  And he said, "We really appreciate that you got that done."  And we got some other things done for Alaska too.

But when you look at that, ANWR is one of -- if you're in the oil industry you know a lot about ANWR.  One of the most important finds anywhere.  They just couldn't do anything about it, but now we can.  So that's going to be great.

But I also -- and I mentioned Mike Dunleavy.  I just want to say he has been an incredible warrior.  He ran an incredible campaign.  He won easily.  He's not only one of the best governors in the United States; he's definitely the largest.  Where is Mike?  Look at that man.  He's all man.  Look at him.  Congratulations, Mike, and thank you for being here.

He heard I was going to stop, and he got on a plane and he was able to get here.  And that's a great honor.  It's always nice though -- when you endorse somebody, it's always nice when they want to be there when you make a speech, right?  And he's always there.  He's there anyway and he's done an incredible job for Alaska.

And I will tell you, in front of all of these great troops, I'll say: Mike, anytime you have a problem, you call me.  You know that, okay?  And we'll take care of it for Alaska.  Right?  You know that.

As you know, I'm on my way back from Vietnam.  I wanted to stop here to share my gratitude to every brave soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, and National Guardsman who serves in the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”  What a beautiful term.  It's what it is, too.

It’s great to be standing in this hangar with an F-22 Raptor, the mighty sound of American freedom.  That's pretty good stuff, huh?  (Applause.)  That's pretty good stuff.  I'll tell you, look at it.  Even your fire engine looks pretty good, right?  (Laughter.) 

Well, the fact is, we've increased your budget from not too much to $700 billion.  And then, from $700 billion, we went up to $716 billion.  And I won't tell you this year's surprise, but the generals are going to be very happy when they hear because it's going up yet again, because we have no choice.  You know, I'm a cost cutter but we have no choice.  Without a military, what do we have?  We have to have a great military.

And you notice your equipment has been getting better and better, newer and newer?  When I got in here, you were having jet fighters that were so old -- you know, you heard the story -- the grandfather flew some of the planes -- some of the bombers.  The grandfather, then the son, then the grandchild is here with us now.  And I don't like that.  I don't like that.  So we've ordered massive numbers of new planes and new everything.

It's just an honor to come by the joint base and be with you.  I guess we call -- we say "J-Bear," right?  J-Bear.  (Applause.)  That's what -- that's what we want to do -- J-Bear.

In 2017, our wonderful First Lady visited J-Bear and met with the children of deployed service members, and had a fantastic time.  When she hear I was going to be here, she said, "Say hello."  And she's been a really fantastic First Lady.  Our military families are a true national treasure.

And without all of the people backing you brave men and women, you know, it wouldn’t work so well for you.  Your life would be a lot more difficult.  It wouldn’t be the same.  You all know that.  Maybe we should give them a round of applause, right?  Come on.  (Applause.)  It's true.

There are many incredible patriots to recognize here today, beginning with the outstanding Airmen of the 11th Air Force.  Give yourselves a hand.  (Applause.)

The Airmen of the 3rd Wing, and their Commander, Colonel Bob Davis.  Bob, thank you.  Thank you, Bob.  Great.  (Applause.)  Is he doing a good job?  Huh?  Yes.  They're all saying "yes."  (Laughter.)

The 673rd Air Base Wing and your Base Commander, Colonel Patricia Chank.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Patricia.  Thank you very much.

The soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska, and their Commander, Major General Mark O’Neil.  Mark.  Thank you, Mark.  (Applause.) 

And the paratroopers of the 4-25 Airborne Brigade Combat Team, the “Spartan Brigade,” and their Commander, Colonel Jason Jones.  (Applause.)  Colonel, thank you.  Thank you, Jason.

Thank you as well to every warrior -- and that's what you are; you're warriors -- in the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Finally, I want to thank all of the members of the Alaska National Guard who defend our nation against missile attack, and their Adjutant General, Brigadier General Torrence Saks.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, General.  As well as Brigadier General Darrin Slayten -- (applause) -- Darren -- thank you, Darren -- Commander of the 176th Wing Alaska Air National Guard.  Great job.

The men and women who serve at J-Bear share one vital mission: to serve in our country’s “Last Frontier” as America’s first line of defense.

Since the Second World War, our intrepid service members in Alaska have proudly stood at the "top cover for North America.” You are a powerful warning to the world to never strike American soil.  You are a warning that everybody knows about and nobody wants to play with.

Here with us today are paratroopers of the Spartan Brigade who wear the maroon beret.  Where are they?  Where are they?  (Applause.)  They look pretty good.  Should I wear one of those things?  Huh?  It's good when it's windy out, I'll tell you.  It's good.

They recently returned from the Brigade’s third deployment to Afghanistan.  And they've seen a lot.  I've actually spoken to a couple, and I know how they feel.  It's going on for 19 years.  Made a lot of progress, but 19 years.

We just took over -- you know, you kept hearing it was 90 percent, 92 percent -- the caliphate in Syria.  Now it's 100 percent.  We just took over.  A hundred percent caliphate.  That means the area of the land.  We just have 100 percent, so that's good.  We did that in a much shorter period of time than it was supposed to be.  It was supposed to take -- I won't tell you what a certain general told me.

But I went and met a couple of other generals, and I said, "How long do you think it can take, General?"  "One week, sir."  I said, "One week?  I heard two years."  "One week, sir.  Let us do it the way we want to do it."  I said, "General, do it."  And you saw what happened.  Right?  Everybody saw.  We have the whole thing.

Among those with us is Sergeant Sean Rogers, who, a few weeks ago, received the Bronze Star for Valor.  Where is Sean?  Where is Sean?  Sergeant Sean, around here someplace.  Where are you, handsome devil?  (Applause.)  Come up here.  Come up.  Should I bring him up?  I won't bring the generals.  (Applause.)  I won't bring the generals up, but come on, Sean, get up here.  Don't worry about Secret Service.  You can take them, Sean.  (Laughter.)  Secret Service immediately runs up.  (Laughter.)

SERGEANT ROGERS:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  You want to say something?  Come on.

SERGEANT ROGERS:  No, I'm fine, sir.  (Laughs.)  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Listen, come on.  Maybe he's a natural politician.

     SERGEANT ROGERS:  Just thank you, I guess.  (Laughs.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good job, right?

     SERGEANT ROGERS:  Yes, sir.  (Applause.)  Thank you, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

     That was a good response, (inaudible).  (Laughter.)  Brave guy.

While he was in Afghanistan, Sean and his team occupied a rooftop and provided cover for a Special Forces team.  Sean rushed into the enemy fire to rescue a member of his team, Specialist Gabriel Condy.

Now, I don’t know, is -- let's see, who else is here from that area, from that part, Sean?  Anybody with you?  Anybody else?  Yeah.  Okay.

Tragically, Specialist Condy did not make it alive.  And, today, we remember the heroic sacrifice of this incredible American hero.  We are eternally grateful in his debt.

And, Sean, I want to thank you and everybody else involved.  But that's really -- really something.  And we pay great respect.  You know that.

To everyone here today who fights for our flag across the globe: Thank you for bravely facing down the danger to protect -- and have such danger out there -- the lives and liberty of all Americans.  Our country is stronger now maybe than it's ever been.  Our military is being rebuilt at a rapid pace.  Our economy is powerful.  Our economy is probably as good as it's ever been, or better.

Unemployment numbers are historic.  You've been seeing black unemployment, African American unemployment -- lowest levels in the history of our country.  Hispanic unemployment -- lowest levels in the history of our country.  Lowest levels.  Best they've ever been.  Women -- lowest in 61 years.  Sixty-one years.  Asian unemployment -- lowest in history, history of our country.  And we're just doing great.  We're setting records.

The stock market is, right now, almost at an all-time high.  I have about 18 records.  It then went down a little bit because we had to a couple of trade deals, and people didn’t understand.  Now they're starting to say, "You know, that was pretty good.  That’s good what he is doing."

     We’re negotiating now with China and others -- Mexico, Canada.  We've done those deals.  They have to get approved by Congress.  We'll see what happens.  Dealing with Congress is never easy.  I don’t think they like me too much.  (Laughter.)  But they have to do -- ultimately, they have to do what's right.  But I will say that you're looking at a country now that's doing better than ever.

     And there's something -- it has to be -- you're protecting our country.  You're protecting us.  And I would think it must feel good to know that the country is doing really well, as opposed to really badly, like it has done not so long ago.  So you're protecting something that's very special.

All over the world, they're talking about us.  I go and I meet the prime ministers and presidents, and kings and queens, and they all say, "Mr. President, congratulations on your economy -- especially on your economy.  We're trying to copy it, and it's not working."  It's just not working for other countries.  Other countries are not doing well.  And I want them to do well.

But China is way down.  The EU is down.  A lot of countries are very much down.  Most of them.  And we're hitting new highs.  So we're doing a lot of things right, and you folks are a big reason for it.

Also with us today are the amazing people and airmen of the 673rd Air Base Wing.  In the wake of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which was just recent, and I remember seeing it.  I said, "Boy, oh, boy. That’s a big one -- 7.0."  Took place in November.  They successfully restored airfield operations here at J-Bear in under one hour.  That’s pretty quick.

Did you -- what did you do to do that?  That's -- well, number one, I gave you good equipment, right?  Huh?  (Laughter.) Safeguarding NORAD’s vital homeland security mission.  Thank you for your incredible work.  That’s incredible.  I heard that you were up and running in about an hour.  And it was pretty -- you were hit hard.

Alaska hosts the largest combined training area for American air, ground, and maritime forces.  You know the best way to Keep America safe is to keep America strong.  And the stronger we get, the less likely it is that we'll have to use that strength.  Right, generals?  It's an incredible -- it's an incredible -- we learned that in high school, we learned that way before high school.  But the stronger you are, the stronger you can be, the less likely it is you'll have to use that strength and that power.  And that’s what we're doing.  We're making you so strong.  And soon, I can honestly say, strong like we've never been strong before.

That's why, in the last two years, I've spent -- when you think about it -- over $1.5 trillion.  Next year, the 11th Air Force, headquartered right here at J-Bear, will receive the first of 54 brand-new -- never used before -- F-35 fighter jets.  You like them?  (Applause.)

Well, for the pilots -- you know, I've seen a lot of the pilots throughout the country when I stop at different places, and I say, "How do you like the F-35?"  "We love it, sir."  "Well, how good is it compared to the enemy aircraft?"  "Well, sir, you can't see it."  I said, "Explain that to me."  "You know, it's stealth."  It's the stealthiest plane, by far, in the world.  So they say, "Well, when we have battles, you can't see it."  I said, "Huh, that would be tough."  Wouldn't it be tough if you have somebody and you can't see it?

So all I say is this: You get 54 brand new ones.  I won't tell you what they cost because it's too much.  (Laughter.)  But it's a lot of money.  But they're very special and you're getting very special planes, and you're getting a lot of them -- 54.  So they'll be arriving here very soon.

And all of the generals, I hope you're going to give them all to the best pilots, and you're going to take good care of those planes and good care of those pilots.  Right?  Okay?  It's really an honor.  But you're getting a big, big number.

We'll also deploy 20 more ground-based interceptors to Fort Greeley, which will further strengthen our missile defense system.  So important.  Missile defense system is also being rebuilt very substantially.  And we're going to have the latest and the greatest.  Unfortunately, as soon as you have it, you have to redo it because, after about six months, everything becomes obsolete in this world.  Right?  We do that, they do this.  We do that, they do this.  It's never ending.  But that’s the way it goes.  It's a cycle.

Our goal is very simple: to ensure that we can monitor, detect, and destroy any missile launched against the United States, no matter what speed we're talking about.  Any missile.

We're spending a tremendous amount of money now on missile technology and also missile defense technology, at my very strong urging.  And what they're able to do now is incredible.  It's like shooting a needle in the haystack.  It's incredible technology they have.  And I said, "Upgrade it further and further.  Advance it."

America does not seek conflict, but if we are forced to defend ourselves, we will fight and we will win in an overwhelming fashion.  That’s where we are.

We will forever be grateful for your service and your sacrifice.  And we will always ensure that you have the tools, resources, and support you need to defeat our nation’s enemies and safeguard the freedoms given to us by Almighty God.

To everyone at J-Bear: We salute you.  We thank you for your incredible service.  We love you.  God bless you.  And God bless the men and women of the armed forces.  God bless America.  And thank you for doing such a fantastic job.  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

                         END            10:10 A.M. AKST



Office of the Press Secretary

“We propose that students should be free to learn in ways that work for them, no matter where they pursue their education or how they learn.”

America’s students deserve freedom to choose their education options
By Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Rep. Bradley Byrne
USA Today
February 28, 2019

We believe that every student deserves a great education, because we believe that every student has the innate potential to change the world, if given opportunities.

Today, too many young Americans are denied those opportunities. The numbers tell a grave story. We’re 24th in reading, 25th in science and 40th in math when compared with the rest of the world.

That’s not because our students aren’t capable of being No. 1. They are. But our government’s antiquated approach to education limits their ability to achieve their true potential.

That’s why on Thursday we are putting forward a historic investment in America’s students: the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act.

Education Freedom Scholarships would annually give hundreds of thousands of students across the country opportunities to find the right fit for their education. The program would offer a dollar-for-dollar federal income tax credit for contributions to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships for individual elementary and secondary school students. These scholarships would most benefit America’s forgotten students who would finally have opportunities to pursue the best education for them in ways that rich, powerful and connected families always have.

Every student deserves freedom and options

We recognize that each student is unique and deserves an education personalized for them. Scholarships could help students access a whole menu of opportunities, including dual enrollment, special education services, advanced or elective courses not available in their assigned school buildings, transportation to out-of-zone opportunities, among many others. All Americans need to be equipped for successful careers, and vital workforce preparation is in high demand. That’s why students could use scholarships to access career and technical education and apprenticeships, as well.

The key element of the proposal is freedom for all involved. Eligible students, families, teachers and schools, as determined by their states — all can participate at will and any can elect not to participate if that’s the better choice for them.

The highly paid school union bosses will falsely argue that is an attack on public education. That couldn’t be further from the truth. This program won’t take a single cent from local public school teachers or public school students. In fact, some states may choose to use the scholarships to enhance and improve already existing public school options.

Our proposal only requires one thing: Students and parents must be empowered to make decisions. America’s families — not entrenched special interest groups — should decide how education dollars are spent for their own children.

Read the full op-ed here.


Office of the Press Secretary


“We’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions.” – President Donald J. Trump


ACHIEVING 3 PERCENT GROWTH: For the first time in 13 years, the economy reached 3 percent growth in 2018.

  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has announced that GDP grew by 3.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018.
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis:  “During 2018 (measured from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018), real GDP increased 3.1 percent.”  
  • This marked the fastest fourth quarter to fourth quarter growth since 2005.  
  • 2018 was the second year in a row that the economy exceeded market expectations.
  • The impressive economic growth in 2018 was a strong improvement from the trend prior to when President Donald J. Trump took office.
    • Had the pre-2017 trend continued, growth would have been only 2 percent in 2017 and 2018.  Economic output was also $280 billion larger than it would have been. 
  • Growth matched the forecast of 3.1 percent predicted in the President’s 2018 Budget.    
  • The fourth quarter GDP growth last year far exceeded market expectations. 
THE ECONOMIC BOOM CONTINUES: Last year’s impressive GDP growth continues the incredible economic success the country is experiencing under President Trump. 
  • President Trump’s policies of tax cuts, deregulation, and trade reform have generated a booming economy.   
  • So far, more than 5.3 million jobs have been created since President Trump’s election.  
  • The unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for the past 11 months. 
    • September 2018 and November 2018 saw unemployment rates of 3.7 percent – the lowest rate in nearly 50 years.
  • The number of job openings for American workers reached a record high 7.3 million in December of last year.
  • The economy continues to exceed expectations across the board.
    • Job growth in January was more than 300,000 – far exceeding expectations.
    • Unemployment stands at 4 percent – the Congressional Budget Office predicted in January 2017 that it would be 4.4 percent this quarter.
DEFYING DOUBTS: President Trump’s policies have achieved economic growth that critics continually denied would happen.
  • Critics (especially from the previous administration) repeatedly denied that the President’s policies would lead to this kind of economic growth.
  • Larry Summers, President Obama’s National Economic Council Director, dismissed the prediction that President Trump’s policies would lead to 3 percent growth.
    • Summers wrote in 2017: “Apparently, the budget forecasts that U.S. economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration’s policies — largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies. Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics.” 
  • This criticism is especially outrageous considering the previous administration never reached growth this high during the four quarters of any calendar year.