6:18 P.M. PDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Congressman McCarthy. Thank you for your great representation in California and Washington, D.C., and thank you for helping welcome us here to California.
are honored to be here, and I hope you’ll join me in giving a round of applause to great American success story Gil Stroppini. (Applause.) Gil, thank you so much. It’s small businesses and manufacturers like Gil’s company here that are really what make communities work, make economies grow. You’ve been in business now for more than 45 years, and every day all those years, you’ve been making a difference in the lives of your employees, in the life of this community. And we’re truly grateful.
Let me say this morning we’re looking very much forward to a conversation with the families that are gathered with us today. The topic of our discussion is tax relief. President Trump asked me to come here to California. We’ve been traveling around the country because President Donald Trump is committed to work with the Congress and pass the largest tax cut in American history. And we’re going to do it this year. (Applause.)
I’ll describe that in just a moment, but allow me to take a moment to address an issue that’s affecting lives here in California. At this present moment, the wildfires taking place here in California have destroyed more than 2,000 homes. And we just learned today of 10 people having lost their lives. The fires are going to continue.
I spoke to Governor Jerry Brown this afternoon. The dryness of the climate, the strength of the winds, you all in California know much better than this Midwesterner does, but I can assure you — as I did the governor — that the federal government stands ready to provide any and all assistance to the state of California as your courageous firefighters and first responders confront this widening challenge.
We’re aware of the 15 fires currently burning across Northern California. And when we were in Southern California today, we saw additional wildfires. We’re grateful for the firefighters, some of whom we met with today, who are literally putting their lives on the line to protect the people of California and protect property.
I’m pleased to report the National Forest Service has dispatched five firefighting crews, four dozers, two strike teams of type 3 engines. And we recently requested that Congress provide an additional $576 million for wildfire suppression expenses.
It has been a challenging month and a half for natural disasters across this country with hurricanes affecting Texas, the Gulf Coast, Florida, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. But I want to assure the people of California on behalf of President Trump and our entire administration, that we’ll be working very closely with Governor Brown and with California to see you through these challenging times. And I want to say to the people of California and all of those that are in the path of these advancing wildfires that we are with you. We are standing with you, and the American people will have the communities that are affected in our thoughts and in our prayers in the days ahead. Okay?
Now with that, on to the topic of the day, and that is tax relief. The good news about the economy today is that this economy is already responding to President Trump’s bold leadership. Optimism is at an all-time high among businesses in many categories around the country.
We saw — after seeing less than 2 percent growth over the last eight years, we saw 3 percent growth in the second quarter of this year. Working with leaders in Congress like Congressman McCarthy and others, we’ve been rolling back red tape. This President has already signed more bills cutting federal red tape than any President in American history, and we’re just getting started.
But you know it’s not just about regulations and red tape that gets in the way of companies like Stroppini here, it’s high taxes. And so that’s why President Trump — working with the leaders of the House and the Senate — has crafted a plan to reduce taxes and launch what the President likes to call a middle-class miracle.
I want to hear what you all make of that from the standpoint of your businesses and your families, and I want to take that back. Congressman McCarthy and I do want to take that back to the debate in Washington, D.C.
The outlines very simply are this: First and foremost, we’re going to cut taxes on working families all across this country. We’re going to ensure by doubling the standard deduction that the first $24,000 in income for families will be tax-free. (Applause.)
We’ll expand the child tax credit, and we’ll end death taxes once and for all.
Secondly, we’re going to simplify.
PARTICIPANT: You can applaud that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Laughter.)
Secondly, we’re going to simplify the tax code. I often reflect on that fact that it is said that the code of federal regulations is — or excuse me, it’s often said that the tax code itself and our regulations are 10 times the length of the Bible with none of the good news. (Laughter.) So we’re going simplify the tax code. We’re going to from seven marginal rates down to three. We’re going to lower taxes on working families, small businesses, ranchers, and family farms.
In fact, after this tax reform legislation is signed into law, 90 percent of the American people will be able to fill out your taxes on one sheet of paper, saving our economy hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance a year. (Applause.)
And thirdly, we’re going to make sure that businesses can be more competitive — like Gilbert’s business here in California. We’re going to lower the corporate tax rate in America from one of the highest business tax rates in the world of 35 percent down to 20 percent, and we’re going to make sure that small businesses that pay their taxes as individuals will also pay a lower rate of just 25 percent. That will be the lowest rate on small businesses since 1931 when it becomes law.
So all of this part and parcel of the President’s vision for tax cuts for the American people this year. But now we want to hear from you. We want to what’s most important to you as we go into this debate. But I can tell you we’re very encouraged that the Congress is moving forward with budget legislation that will create a framework for tax cut bills to be moving later this year. And we’re grateful to have your input and to have your insights as we go forward.
President Trump is absolutely committed to doing everything in our power to let the American people keep more of what you earn and allow American businesses to be more competitive, to create more good-paying jobs all across California and all across this country. So we look forward to the conversation, and thank you for being here. (Applause.)