Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump outlined an “America first” foreign policy approach in what was billed as a major address at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Here is a full transcript of the speech.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you, and thank you to the Center for National Interest for honoring me with this invitation. It truly is a great honor. I’d like to talk today about how to develop a new foreign policy direction for our country, one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.
TRUMP: It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy. It’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold, something we have to do. The direction I will outline today will also return us to a timeless principle. My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. It has to be first. Has to be.
That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make. America…
America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.
In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. Democrats and Republicans working together got Mr. Gorbachev to heed the words of President Reagan, our great president, when he said, tear down this wall.
History will not forget what he did. A very special man and president. Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.
They just kept coming and coming. We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.
We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.
They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy. Today I want to identify five main weaknesses in our foreign policy.
First, our resources are totally over extended. President Obama has weakened our military by weakening our economy. He’s crippled us with wasteful spending, massive debt, low growth, a huge trade deficit and open borders. Our manufacturing trade deficit with the world is now approaching $1 trillion a year.
We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own. Ending the theft of American jobs will give us resources we need to rebuild our military, which has to happen and regain our financial independence and strength. I am the only person running for the presidency who understands this and this is a serious problem.
I’m the only one — believe me, I know them all, I’m the only one who knows how to fix it.
Secondly, our allies are not paying their fair share, and I’ve been talking about this recently a lot. Our allies must contribute toward their financial, political, and human costs, have to do it, of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so.
TRUMP: They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us. In NATO, for instance, only 4 of 28 other member countries besides America, are spending the minimum required 2 percent of GDP on defense. We have spent trillions of dollars over time on planes, missiles, ships, equipment, building up our military to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia.
The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.
The whole world will be safer if our allies do their part to support our common defense and security. A Trump administration will lead a free world that is properly armed and funded, and funded beautifully.
Thirdly, our friends are beginning to think they can’t depend on us. We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon.
All of this without even mentioning the humiliation of the United States with Iran’s treatment of our ten captured sailors — so vividly I remember that day. In negotiation, you must be willing to walk. The Iran deal, like so many of our worst agreements, is the result of not being willing to leave the table.
When the other side knows you’re not going to walk, it becomes absolutely impossible to win — you just can’t win. At the same time, your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place. President Obama gutted our missile defense program and then abandoned our missile defense plans with Poland and the Czech Republic. He supported the ouster of a friendly regime in Egypt that had a longstanding peace treaty with Israel, and then helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in its place.
Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity. Just a few days ago, Vice President Biden again criticized Israel, a force for justice and peace, for acting as an impatient peace area in the region.
President Obama has not been a friend to Israel. He has treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power. Iran has, indeed, become a great, great power in just a very short period of time, because of what we’ve done. All of the expense and all at the expense of Israel, our allies in the region and very importantly, the United States itself.
We’ve picked fights with our oldest friends, and now they’re starting to look elsewhere for help. Remember that. Not good.
Fourth, our rivals no longer respect us. In fact, they’re just as confused as our allies, but in an even bigger problem is they don’t take us seriously anymore. The truth is they don’t respect us. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, to leader was there, nobody, to greet him.
Perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia. It’s called no respect. Absolutely no respect.
TRUMP: Do you remember when the president made a long and expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, to get the Olympics for our country, and after this unprecedented effort, it was announced that the United States came in fourth — fourth place? The president of the United States making this trip — unprecedented — comes in fourth place. He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world, as we have been many, many times.
The list of humiliations go on and on and on. President Obama watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression and expands further and further with its nuclear reach. Our president has allowed China to continue its economic assault on American jobs and wealth, refusing to enforce trade deals and apply leverage on China necessary to rein in North Korea. We have the leverage. We have the power over China, economic power, and people don’t understand it. And with that economic power, we can rein in and we can get them to do what they have to do with North Korea, which is totally out of control.
He has even allowed China to steal government secrets with cyber attacks and engaged in industrial espionage against the United States and its companies. We’ve let our rivals and challengers think they can get away with anything, and they do. They do at will. It always happens. If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.
Finally, America no longer has a clear understanding of our foreign policy goals. Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy. One day, we’re bombing Libya and getting rid of a dictator to foster democracy for civilians. The next day, we’re watching the same civilians suffer while that country falls and absolutely falls apart. Lives lost, massive moneys lost. The world is a different place.
We’re a humanitarian nation, but the legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before. We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.
We have done nothing to help the Christians, nothing, and we should always be ashamed for that, for that lack of action. Our actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have helped unleash ISIS, and we’re in a war against radical Islam, but President Obama won’t even name the enemy, and unless you name the enemy, you will never ever solve the problem.
Hillary Clinton also refuses to say the words radical Islam, even as she pushes for a massive increase in refugees coming into our country. After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep. Incredible.
Clinton blames it all on a video, an excuse that was a total lie, proven to be absolutely a total lie. Our ambassador was murdered and our secretary of state misled the nation. And, by the way, she was not awake to take that call at 3 o’clock in the morning. And now ISIS is making millions and millions of dollars a week selling Libya oil. And you know what? We don’t blockade, we don’t bomb, we don’t do anything about it. It’s almost as if our country doesn’t even know what’s happening, which could be a fact and could be true.
TRUMP: This will all change when I become president.
To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.
We’re getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world. Our moments of greatest strength came when politics ended at the water’s edge. We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties — Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies.
This is how we won the Cold War and it’s how we will win our new future struggles, which may be many, which may be complex, but we will win if I become president.
First, we need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam. Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.
In this, we’re going to be working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world, all of which are at risk from radical Islamic violence, attacks and everything else. It is a dangerous world, more dangerous now than it has ever been.
We should work — thank you.
We should work together with any nation in the region that is threatened by the rise of radical Islam. But this has to be a two-way street. They must also be good to us. Remember that. They have to be good to us, no longer one way. It’s now two-way. And remember, us and all we’re doing, they have to appreciate what we’ve done to them. We’re going to help, but they have to appreciate what we’ve done for them. The struggle against radical Islam also takes place in our homeland. There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens and dozens more. We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. We have no idea where these people are coming from. There’s no documentation. There’s no paperwork. There’s nothing. We have to be smart. We have to be vigilant.
A pause for reassessment will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or frankly, much worse. All you have to do is look at the World Trade Center and September 11th, one of the great catastrophes, in my opinion, the single greatest military catastrophe in the history of our country; worse than Pearl Harbor because you take a look at what’s happened, and citizens were attacked, as opposed to the military being attacked — one of the true great catastrophes.
And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must…
… we must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now.
But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.
TRUMP: Secondly, we have to rebuild our military and our economy. The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.
And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.
We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.
But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again.
This will ensure that our own workers, right here in America, get the jobs and higher pay that will grow our tax revenues, increase our economic might as a nation, make us strong financially again. So, so important. We need to think smart about areas where our technological superiority, and nobody comes close, gives us an edge.
This includes 3D printing, artificial intelligence and cyber warfare. A great country also takes care of its warriors. Our commitment to them is absolute, and I mean absolute. A trump administration will give our servicemen and women the best equipment and support in the world when they serve and where they serve. And the best care in the world when they return as veterans and they come back home to civilian life. Our veterans…
Our veterans have not been treated fairly or justly. These are our great people and we must treat them fairly. We must even treat them really, really well and that will happen under the Trump administration.
Finally, we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests. Businesses do not succeed when they lose sight of their core interests and neither do countries. Look at what happened in the 1990s. Our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania — and this was a horrible time for us — were attacked. and 17 brave sailors were killed on the USS Cole.
And what did we do? It seemed we put more effort into adding China into the World Trade organization, which has been a total disaster for the United States. Frankly, we spent more time on that than we did in stopping Al Qaida. We even had an opportunity to take out Osama bin Laden and we didn’t do it
And then we got hit at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Again, the worst attack on our country in its history. Our foreign policy goals must be based on America’s core national security interests. And the following will be my priorities.
In the Middle East our goals must be, and I mean must be, to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. We need to be clear sighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies. And believe me, we have groups that no matter what you do, they will be the enemy.
TRUMP: We have to be smart enough to recognize who those groups are, who those people are, and not help them. And we must only be generous to those that prove they are indeed our friends.
We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests.
Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.
Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.
Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.
We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it.
No respect for this country or this president. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways. If need be, that’s what’s going to have to happen.
After I’m elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges. For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO’s outdated mission and structure, grown out of the Cold War to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism.
I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win.
I will never sent our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.
Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction. The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy. With President Obama and Secretary Clinton we’ve had the exact opposite — a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy, one that has blazed the path of destruction in its wake.
After losing thousands of lives and spending trillions of dollars, we are in far worst shape in the Middle East than ever, ever before. I challenge anyone to explain the strategic foreign policy vision of Obama/Clinton. It has been a complete and total disaster.
I will also be prepared to deploy America’s economic resources. Financial leverage and sanctions can be very, very persuasive, but we need to use them selectively and with total determination.
TRUMP: Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me.
However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength. Although not in government service, I was totally against the war in Iraq, very proudly, saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East. Sadly, I was correct, and the biggest beneficiary has been has been Iran, who is systematically taking over Iraq and gaining access to their very rich oil reserves, something it has wanted to do for decades.
And now, to top it off, we have ISIS. My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war. We have to look to new people.
We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in the New York Times or being watched on television.
Finally, I will work with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions. Instead of trying to spread universal values that not everybody shares or wants, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions.
These are my goals as president. I will seek a foreign policy that all Americans, whatever their party, can support, so important, and which our friends and allies will respect and totally welcome. The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends and when old friends become allies, that’s what we want. We want them to be our allies.
We want the world to be — we want to bring peace to the world. Too much destruction out there, too many destructive weapons. The power of weaponry is the single biggest problem that we have today in the world.
To achieve these goals, Americans must have confidence in their country and its leadership. Again, many Americans must wonder why we our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than in defending their own. Americans…
Americans must know that we’re putting the American people first again on trade.
So true. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy. The jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority.
No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down and will never enter…
TRUMP: And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.
NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states — literally emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs. And I’ve just gotten to see it. I’ve toured Pennsylvania. I’ve toured New York. I’ve toured so many of the states. They have been cleaned out. Their manufacturing is gone.
Never again, only the reverse — and I have to say this strongly — never again; only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies. Never again.
Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of a foreign country.
I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.
The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again.
And always — always, always, we must make, and we have to look at it from every angle, and we have no choice, we must make America respected again. We must make America truly wealthy again. And we must — we have to and we will make America great again. And if we do that — and if we do that, perhaps this century can be the most peaceful and prosperous the world has ever, ever known. Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate it. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Guess what Ohioans are finding out about after the law was passed? Common Core. Sound familiar?
In 2009, Ohio accepted “Race to the Top” Funds for education to the tune of $400 million. Now we are paying the feds back with loss of local control of our schools!
The folks in favor of Common Core will condescendingly pat us on the head and assure us that standards are not the same as curriculum; but come on, when I need to pass a test, I buy the books that teach to it!
Could someone please tell me why we accepted national standards graded “B” by the Fordham Foundation when there are states with standards graded “A” by the same folks? My answer: Follow the money. By the time local schools have paid for the required computers and curriculum, they will have lined the pockets of some very suave special interest groups.
Don’t worry though, there are some very invested progressives who will not gain money. They will profit from the satisfaction of knowing that our children can only answer the politically correct way, or they will fail the high stakes tests that must be passed! If those tests aren’t passed, we will be given a bad rating. We will lose our funding. Our teachers will be evaluated poorly!
In the 17 years I have been a school board member, I have watched local control dwindle. I watch millions of dollars get spent studying what we already know. Money doesn’t lead to a good education. Parental involvement and a teacher relationship is the key!
Education is for the enlightenment of the mind! In the United States we educate for the preservation of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Our unique creations are not slabs of human resources for the workforce!
No problem here with a young person being capable of supporting themselves. I just value the American Dream and abhor the thought of a compliant citizenry!
If I am being too passionate to hold your interest, let me try this angle: Where will parents turn if they want to address any issues they have with Common Core? Do they have to track down a non-elected consortium of 40 states that are using Common Core?
Do you trust the government with 400 data points to be collected on your children and shared with the IRS and HHS?
Maybe a simple reminder that the 10th Amendment has always left education to the States will help you see that moving decisions away from parents, teachers, and the local community will only hurt, not help.
Regardless of how I reach you, the minds of our children are at stake and we need to wake up. It is indeed an issue of national security!
About The Author:
Mary Pritchard has been married for 28 years, is the mother of 3 adult children, and a foster parent of burn victims from Central America, treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.
Mary has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University and is an elected member of the governing school board of the Butler County Educational Service Center (over 17 years). Mary is currently the board president and has served in this capacity for 11 years.
Senator Mike Lee had a critical response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address (SOTU). Here are some highlights, video of his speech and a full transcript of the aforementioned critical speech.
Those individuals and families who work hard, play by the rules, balance their budgets, honor the Golden Rule … and don’t understand why their government in Washington can’t do the same.
In America, the test of any political movement is not what that movement is against, but what it is for.
…the President’s lofty rhetoric ignored the fact that his administration continues to leave poor and middle-class families further behind…
Critics might push back and argue that my own party has been part of the problem, too often joining the Democrats to rig our economy to benefit the well-connected at the expense of the disconnected.
Senator Mike Lee’s Response to the State of the Union Address
I’m Senator Mike Lee, from Utah.
In the few minutes I have tonight – I’d like to speak especially to those Americans who may feel they have been forgotten by both political parties:
Those individuals and families who work hard, play by the rules, balance their budgets, honor the Golden Rule … and don’t understand why their government in Washington can’t do the same.
You are probably as frustrated as I am about an ever-growing government that somehow thinks it is okay to lie to, spy on and even target its own citizens. Many hard-working Americans are discouraged and wondering what, if anything, can be done.
I believe we need to do what Americans have always done – come together and press for positive change. Protesting against dysfunctional government is a great American tradition, going back to the original Tea Party in Boston, about 240 years ago. Americans have a natural instinct to stand up and speak out when they know something is wrong.
In 1773, Americans had simply had it with a London-based national government that had become too big, too expensive and far too intrusive.
It is important to note, however, that had the founding generation stopped at just protesting against the kind of government Americans did not want, the Boston Tea Party would have been little more than a footnote in history. At most, it would have been remembered as just one more futile protest against an abusive national government.
Fortunately for all of us, those early patriots moved on from Boston and moved past their protest against the government they didn’t want. They marched forward on a road toward the kind of government they did want.
It took them 14 long years to get from Boston to Philadelphia, where they created, with our Constitution, the kind of government they did want.
In America, the test of any political movement is not what that movement is against, but what it is for. The founders made a point at Boston Harbor, but they made history in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.
Unfortunately, in recent years, we have had no choice but to engage in a number of protests against our current president’s Washington-centered agenda.
As Americans we must always be willing to fight the Boston-type battles — boldly calling out bad policy whenever we see it – but we must do so with an eye toward Philadelphia, maintaining a positive focus on the kind of nation we want to be and become.
Today, Americans know in their hearts that something is wrong. Much of what is wrong relates to the sense that the “American Dream” is falling out of reach for far too many of us. We are facing an inequality crisis – one to which the President has paid lip-service, but seems uninterested in truly confronting or correcting.
This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms:
immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.
To be fair, President Obama and his party did not create all of these problems. The Republican Establishment in Washington can be just as out-of-touch as the Democratic Establishment.
However, tonight, as on numerous occasions of late, the President’s lofty rhetoric ignored the fact that his administration continues to leave poor and middle-class families further behind, while he and his allies insist that the real problem is “inequality” itself.
But where does this new inequality come from? From government – every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests.
Inequality – real inequality – is trapping poor children in failing schools to benefit bureaucrats and union bosses. It’s penalizing low-income parents for getting married, or getting better jobs.
It’s guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.
Inequality is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists.
Inequality is denying viable, unborn children any protection under the law, while exempting unsanitary, late-term abortion clinics from basic safety standards.
It’s denying citizens their right to define marriage in their states as traditionally or as broadly as their diverse values dictate.
It’s the federal government hurting rural communities, especially in the west, by controlling and mismanaging public lands.
It’s changing laws without congressional approval, and spying on American citizens without constitutional authority.
And of course, Obamacare – all by itself – is an inequality Godzilla that has robbed working families of their insurance, their doctors, their wages and their jobs. Many Americans are now seeing why some of us fought so hard to stop this train-wreck over the last four years.
Government-driven inequality is the reason why, as hard-working families across the country struggle to make ends meet, six of the ten wealthiest counties in America are now suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Throughout the last five years, President Obama has promised an economy for the middle class; but all he’s delivered is an economy for the middle-men.
And tonight his party cheered as he asked for more of the same, as if the solution to inequality were … well … more inequality.
Critics might push back and argue that my own party has been part of the problem, too often joining the Democrats to rig our economy to benefit the well-connected at the expense of the disconnected.
I know, because I’m one of those critics.
But I’m speaking to you tonight because I think maybe – just maybe – that’s finally starting to change.
As a nation we are, once again, at a critical turning point.
Now, as in 1773, Americans have had it with our out-of-touch national government. But if all we do is protest, our Boston Tea Party moment will occupy little more than a footnote in our history.
Hopefully our leaders, reformers and citizens will join the journey from Boston to Philadelphia – from protest to progress. Together we can march forward and take the road that leads to the kind of government we do want.
We have a new generation of leaders in Washington with positive, innovative ideas – thoughtful policy reforms to, as my friend Senator Ted Cruz says -”Make D.C. listen.” Reforms to help poor families work their way into the middle class, to help middle-class families start to get ahead, and to level the playing field and put corporate and political insiders back to work for the rest of us.
Conservative reformers like Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Paul Ryan and Congressman Jim Jordan are working on new welfare-reform ideas to help underprivileged families escape poverty.
Senator Rand Paul and I are working with some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress to reform the federal criminal-justice system – to help keep violent predators behind bars while creating opportunities for reformed, non-violent offenders to return to the families and neighborhoods that so desperately need them.
Senator John Cornyn has legislation that would empower states to improve K-12 education across the country.
Senator Tim Scott has reforms to improve our job-training programs. And I’ve introduced a bill to modernize higher education, making it more accessible and affordable for lower-income and non-traditional students.
Congressman Tom Graves has a transportation-reform bill to ensure our infrastructure dollars are invested in roads and bridges, and not wasted on bureaucrats and special interests.
Congressman Mike Pompeo introduced a bill to end all federal subsidies for the energy industry. And others are working on proposals to do the same for every industry – so that business profits are won from customers, not through political connections. After all, if we’re going to reform welfare, we really should start with corporate welfare.
One proposal that should directly help you and your family is a bill I have introduced to simplify our tax code, and provide relief from the hidden double-tax Washington currently imposes on working parents, especially moms and dads in the middle class.
When it comes to healthcare, we know the best way to repeal Obamacare is to deliver better solutions.
We can’t just return to the old system. Healthcare policy used to give too much power to insurance companies; Obamacare now gives far too much power to government. We know that real reform will put healthcare dollars and decisions where they belong, in the hands of patients and families and their doctors and nurses.
So reformers in both the House and the Senate are hard at work developing new, patient-centered reforms to control healthcare costs, ensure access to affordable coverage for all Americans, and provide extra help for the poor and the sick.
All of these proposals within this new conservative reform agenda, along with many more to come, mark the road to Philadelphia. These principles and these policies will work – and will put Americans back to work.
Not just by cutting big government, but by fixing broken government. Not just by making government smaller but by promoting bigger citizens, stronger families and more heroic communities. Our goal should be an America where everyone has a fair chance to pursue happiness – and find it. That’s what it looks like when protest grows into reform.
So if you’re one of those Americans that big government is leaving behind… if you work hard, play by the rules and teach your kids to do the same, I want you to know that your family will not be forgotten anymore.
This new generation of reformers still has a long way to go to win over our Party in Washington, and even further to go to earn your trust.
I am confident that our best days as a nation are ahead of us – not because of government, but because within America’s diverse society of individuals and families, neighborhoods and churches, businesses and communities, freedom doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Freedom means we’re all in this together.
I invite you to join us on the road to a more prosperous America – together we can create the kind of government we do want and the kind of nation our children and grandchildren deserve.
Thank you very much for your time. Good night, and God bless.
From Ignoreland: “They are wrecking all things virtuous and true, and TV tells a million lies. The paper’s terrified to report.” It sounds like Stipe is talking about the Mainstream Media and New York Times today.
REM members Berry, Buck, Mills and Lead Singer Stipe wrote. “Ignoreland” a rambling, nonsensical protest song against Conservative Politics of Reagan and Bush I. The song could be applied to the Obama Administration just as easily today.
These bastards stole their power from the victims of the Us v. Them years, Wrecking all things virtuous and true The undermining social democratic downhill slide into abysmal
These first few lines could have been written by Hillary Clinton 2008. She doing so well in the autumn of 2007 when she was leading by a wide margin, all other Democratic candidates in national polls. But by March of 2008, Obama was undermining Hillary’s vision of social democracy. Obama was wrecking all things virtuous and true like Hillary’s presidency being sent into an abyss.
They hypnotised the summer, 1979 Marched into the capital brooding duplicitous, wicked and able, media-ready, Heartless, and labeled. Super US citizen, super achiever, Mega ultra power doesn’t relax.
Americans were hypnotized again in the summer of 2008 when Obama was labeled a media ready, Super US citizen, a super achiever. He never relaxed, even plays basketball and golf all the time.
Anything that isn’t handed on a presidential spoon, I’m just profoundly frustrated by all this.
Many are profoundly frustrated about spying, lying, Obamacare and the spoon many in the media hand him.
If they wasn’t there we would have created them. Maybe, it’s true, But I’m resentful all the same. Someone’s got to take the blame I know that this is vitriol. No solution, spleen venting, But I feel better having screamed. Don’t you?
Best ‘anger management’ practice says …just scream, you’ll feel better even in 2014. Resentful all the same, trapped in circumstance they they were promised would not happen. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Was nothing short of an outright lie. I need to scream again. Don’t you?
Defense, defense, defense, defense. Yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland Yeah, yeah, yeah, ignoreland. Yeah, yeah, yeah I did not do the revolution Thank you
I did not do the revolution, I just like to sing this part. Ignoreland, yeah, yeah yeah!
Here is the fact, Benghazi’s smoking gun if you will; only the president, the Commander-in-Chief can give the Cross-Border-Authority, he is the only person who has the authority to give or deny the CBA. This puts the spotlight directly where it should be, without any of the conjecture, back story of motive or intent. The buck really does stop with the President, the Commander-in-Chief.
I thought every American could recite at least the first two amendments of the constitution.
A whole class of Ohio 4th Graders know more about the constitution than Doug Shulman, the IRS Commissioner who was at the helm when his IRS employees violated several constitutional amendments of United States.
During the House Oversight Committee’s second IRS hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) asked former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman if he knew the first, second and 19th Amendments to the Constitution.
Rep Bentivolio was trying to determine if the IRS required any Constitutional training at all. The answer is clearly a no. No there is absolutely no training at all. And worse yet from the top down everyone in the IRS needs formal constitutional training.
Here is the text of the embarrassing exchange where the former head of the IRS proves he knows nothing about the rights of US citizens.
“Did you study the Constitution?” Bentivolio asked.
“I went to law school,” Shulman responded.
“You went to law school. Did you study the Constitution?”
“I believe I took Constitutional law, but I’m not prepared to take an exam at this time,” Shulman said with a chuckle. “Meaning I’ll answer any of your question but I can’t promise that I’m an expert.”
“Well, you know the First, Second Amendment and one of my favorites, the 19th, right? You know those?” Bentivolio asked.
“Excuse me,” a seemingly confused Shulman responded.
“You know those amendments. The Constitutional amendments,” Bentivolio said matter of factly. “You know the First, you know the Second, and you know the 19th.”
“I don’t necessarily have the Constitution memorized, sir.”
“Okay, well, they’re pretty general in what each one is. Like the First Amendment is the freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. First Amendment, right?”
“I really can’t recite the Constitution, sir,” Shulman concluded.
I’m appalled! The former head of the IRS may have been involved in the infringement of Tea Party groups’ constitutional rights by not approving their legal right for tax exempt status ! Specifically denying applications on the basis of Tea Party politics may be denying Tea Party groups’ rights of free speech (1st Amendment), the right to bear arms (2nd Amendment) and perhaps even the right to vote on the basis of sex (19th Amendment). (Addl’ Ref: Face of the Tea party is female)
Here we have evidence of repression of Tea Party political groups from the most powerful agency of the executive branch.
The constitution of the United States is law. The IRS is part of the Executive Branch of government. Essentially if the buck stopped with the president, as it did when Truman held office, the president would responsible for failing to have his people uphold the constitution. The president needs to do the right thing. Heads need to roll at the IRS, criminal charges should be considered for those involved.
Instead no one is responsible, no one is held responsible, heck no one even knows the laws they are sworn to uphold! Is it a coincidence that those being denied were political enemies of the Obama administration?
The Marketplace Fairness Act, best known as the Internet Sales Tax would be too burdensome on the small business like mine. Most sales from small internet companies are just a few dollars in lots of different places.
To require sale tax recordkeeping, collection and distribution of sales tax in the thousands of sales and use taxing districts throughout the United States is far too burdensome for all small companies.
It takes hours to complete forms for California alone. How much time is it reasonable to ask the small businessman to spend on collecting taxes? How much business will be lost if there is no economic advantage to doing business with the small businessman?
Many of California’s cities, counties, towns, and communities have special taxing jurisdictions (districts), which impose a transactions (sales) and use tax. These districts increase the tax rate in a particular area by adding the district tax to the combined statewide rate of 7.50%. The rates for these districts range from 0.10% to 1.00% per district. More than one district tax may be in effect in a given location.
As a seller or a consumer, you may be required to report and pay district taxes for your taxable sales and purchases. Source: California Board of Equalization
How complex it it to pay sales tax? In California for example there are 6 pages of ‘special tax rates,’ that every penny of every sales has to be accounted for, collected and then individually accounted for when paying. Any mistakes will be penalized.
Have you ever paid sales tax to California? Every quarter they torture you with the complex long accountability form that takes these 5 pages of rates into account. But its not that easy because there are taxing districts and taxing zones. I don’t know how anyone can figure this stuff out.
Click on the form to the left to download the PDF of the
California District Taxes, Rates and Effective Dates…. Poetry
California isn’t the only state with multiple tax jurisdictions.
It is far less burdensome to place the burden of paying USE TAX rather than requiring companies to collect and pay SALES TAX.
If states want to collect tax, let them collect these taxes directly from it’s citizens. Use taxes are functionally equivalent to sales taxes.
There is no reason to make a federal case out of states sales tax. The feds should stay out. Let each individual state decide what is a fair… tax sales or use or neither. Then the citizens can decide where they want to live or who they want to vote for.
However if congress does decide to go through with the insane legislation, make it fair to the smallest of companies. ” ..if Congress passes online sales tax legislation, we believe small businesses with less than 50 employees or less than $10 million in annual out-of-state sales should be exempt from the burden of collecting sales taxes nationwide.” Ebay President John Donahoe