The President: Well, thank you
very much. I feel like home.
Realtors. (applause) Realtors. Great business. We love that business.
I love that business. Every time I go down
in this incredible Beast — you know what the Beast is?
The world’s most expensive car. (laughter) It’s really not a car; it’s an
army tank that rides better. But it’s something.
But I look at the real estate. I’m always looking
at the real estate. I don’t know, I’ll never
get it out of my blood. It’s in our blood, right? (applause) Please, sit down.
Sit down, if you want. Sit down. You know, I tell you to sit down because otherwise they’ll say
he got no standing ovations. (laughter) It’s true. The fake news,
they’ll say, “The crowd didn’t like his
performance. They gave him no…” I had that the other day.
They just wouldn’t sit down. So they said, “It wasn’t
one of his better speeches. He got no standing ovations,”
because they never sat down. It was one. (laughter) But we love you people,
and I know — they were just telling me,
John, that it’s a record. They have people here. They have people
in all the ballrooms all over this beautiful hotel. And they have people outside,
in closed circuits. Somehow you people
know real estate, so you know you have
the best location, right? (applause) But I’m honored to be here with
the hardworking men and women who help millions of families
live the American Dream. And that’s so true.
The incredible members of the National Association
of REALTORS — a name I know very well. I want to thank my friend. He was my friend —
my competitor for a while, but he was still my friend — Secretary Ben Carson
for his tremendous leadership. (applause) Where are you? Stand up.
He’s a great guy. When I put him
in charge of HUD — first of all, he’s a very
smart guy, very adaptable. I said, “Ben, what do you know
about real estate?” “Not much.” “How would you like
to head HUD?” (laughter) And you know what?
Within a — it didn’t take you long,
did it, Ben? And he got some of the smartest
people in the business, and they’re doing
a great job. And everybody
is talking about it. Thank you, Ben.
Great job. (applause) And I also want to thank
the President of the National Association
of REALTORS, John Smaby. (applause) Where is he? Where is he?
Hi, John. Please, stand up. Thank you, John. Great job.
Thank you, John. (applause) Popular. Where is CEO Bob Goldberg? Bob.
Thank you, Bob. (applause) Respected guys.
Vice President Tracy Kasper. (applause) Vice President.
I just met Tracy. (applause) Great family. Thank you, Tracy, and your entire team
for everything that you do to support realtors
around the country. I guess that includes me. (laughter) I took a little sabbatical
for eight years. You know — (applause). But I miss you.
But I miss you. But we got you one hell
of a tax cut, didn’t we? Didn’t we do it? (applause) And the regulation cut
may be more important. You know,
we did regulation cutting, where you couldn’t build jobs,
you couldn’t build anything. You’d have a puddle
on your land and they considered it to be one
the Great Lakes of the world. (laughter) It’s true. You’d have a puddle, and if it formed more
than twice a year — a puddle. We used to call it a “puddle.”
They called it a “lake.” It came in lake restriction. I actually had it happen
to me in Bedford, New York. I was building a development. I was going to build some
really luxury, beautiful houses. A very great area.
And it kept — Audience Member: New York! The President: That’s right.
New York, New York. I’ll tell you, they might be
screwing up New York. We got to be careful, right? (laughter) The taxes are going high.
They’re doing a mansion tax now. You know what that is, right?
They want to be your partner. That’s not good —
the mansion tax. I just heard about that one. But, you know, the environmental
stuff was very tough. It was getting worse
and worse every year. And I actually had
this beautiful piece of land — 216 acres — and I was going
to do something with it, and then I decided to do this. I’m glad I did this,
because I can help more people. But, Tracy,
they had a little area where water would sort of form
when it rained. And all of a sudden, I found out
that I can’t build on the land. Does that make sense to you? I can’t build on the land
because it was considered, for all intents
and purposes, a lake. And how did people
find out about the lake? My consultant told them.
Because, this way, you have to use your
environmental consultant longer, pay them more money
to get you out of the jam. Isn’t that nice? (laughter) I fired his ass so fast. (Laughter and applause.) True story. It’s a true story.
A true story. I’d see them up in Albany.
“What are you doing here?” And they were making it
more and more difficult, so you had to hire
a lot of people. But that’s what
we’re getting rid of. We’re getting rid of a lot
of the regulations. And, frankly, I’ve had
some great business leaders talking to me. And if they had
their choice between — we have the biggest tax cut bill
in the history of our country, and we also, in that bill,
got included ANWR — one of the great oil sites
in all of the world, in Alaska. And we got rid of the
individual mandate, which is, by far, the biggest
problem with Obamacare — the individual mandate —
— (applause) — where you paid a lot of money
for the privilege not to pay a lot of money
for healthcare. How about that one? This is the only thing:
You paid not to have it. You paid a fortune
not to have it. And we got rid of it. So — but we are
doing regulations. And I think regulations,
frankly, maybe are a bigger reason
for our tremendous success as a country over the last two
and a half years. Maybe even bigger
than the tax cuts. I mean, it’s incredible
what’s happening. I just left Louisiana,
and we’re building — (applause)
— oh, wow. Well, then you know
what I’m talking about. Building a tremendous
LNG terminal — LNG refiner.
It’s $10 billion. One of the biggest in the world.
It must be a mile long. I’ve never seen
anything like this. It’s a building,
but it’s all pipes inside. All pipes. There’s no space.
It’s all pipes. They didn’t use any space, Ben. And I’ve never seen anything —
it’s incredible. Ten billion dollars.
Ten thousand jobs. Louisiana. And now they’re going
to do more of them. And if you look over
the last 40 years, I don’t think
we built a refinery, or certainly we built
very few of them. And now we have
a lot of refineries going up in great locations, and it’s really —
it’s really incredible. Nobody thought they’d ever
see a refinery built. But we worked with the EPA and we worked with people
that were really stopping them. These people were in —
they were in the process of getting permits for many,
many years, and we helped them and we got them
very, very quickly, and they’ve invested
tremendous amounts of money. And it’s sold out.
It’s sold out. For 20 years, it’s all sold out. See, that’s no different
than an office building. You sign a lease and you get
your financing, right? These people,
they sign with countries and they get their financing. But I think it’s bigger
and probably even better, if you want to know the truth. And they’re happy, and it’s a
lot of people that are working. And we did that,
but we did many of them. We did the pipeline,
as you know. The big pipelines. The Keystone XL pipeline.
We did the — (applause)
— right. And that was dead. Forty-eight thousand jobs.
And the Dakota Access pipeline. And these are tremendous things, and, frankly,
environmentally great. Better than tracking it down. Better than putting it
in trains. Better than doing any other way. And it goes to the various parts
of the country that need it. They’re fantastic. These are things that would
never have happened if other people got into office. I can almost say if almost
anybody else in the world got into office, I don’t think
it would’ve happened — (applause)
— including Republicans. (applause) But before I begin, I’m pleased
to announce that we’ve just reached an agreement
with Canada and Mexico, and we’ll be selling our product
into those countries without the imposition
of tariffs or major tariffs. Big difference. (applause) As you know, Canada has been,
for years — and we have a great relationship
with Canada and the Prime Minister.
We have a great relationship. But they’ve been charging us
extremely high tariffs — as much as 285 percent or more —
for our agricultural products, which is an absolute barrier.
It’s essentially a barrier. In other words,
when you pay 285, guess what? You know what they’re saying?
“We don’t want your business.” So it was a barrier
to our farmers being able to do business
with them, to our farmers being able
to sell product in there. So that deal is going to be a
fantastic deal for our country. And hopefully Congress
will approve the USMCA quickly. And then the great farmers,
and manufacturers, and steel plants
will make our economy even more successful
than it already is — if that’s possible,
which it is possible. (applause) We could have
the greatest economy in the history
of our country. We could have — if you look
at the unemployment numbers — the best since 1969. (applause) And in a very short period,
it’ll be — assuming we just go
a little bit further — it’ll be the best in history. The unemployment numbers
are great, but the employment numbers
are even better. We have the most people
working today than at any time
in the history of our country. We have almost
160 million people working. (applause) And many of those people are
going to go out and buy a house. Right, Tracy? They’re going
to use you as the broker. (applause) They’re going to call —
“Tracy, I want to buy a house. And I won’t pay you
6 percent, Tracy. I won’t.” (laughter) “I’ll pay you 1 percent.”
I was famous for that. (laughter) Audience: Booo —
The President: No, no. Don’t worry. Nobody accepted it.
Don’t feel — (laughter) — but I tried like hell,
I’ll tell you. (laughter) No, but I’d get it down to 4
or 5; that’s not so bad. I had one case in Palm Beach —
believe it or not — a hundred-million-dollar house.
Can you believe it? And the broker
did a fantastic job. But I told the broker, “I’m paying you more than
you’re supposed to get.” He got millions. He sold the house
for a hundred million dollars. You believe it?
Bought it for 39. Then I sold it for a hundred.
It wasn’t immediate. Took a couple of years.
That’s okay. (laughter) I had to paint it inside
a little bit — a little paint. (Laughter and applause.) A little fix-up.
A little fix-up. I call it a “turnaround.” (laughter) Because I had nothing to — you know,
I had a beautiful house — Mar-a-Lago —
and I said that was — this was one that came onto
the market through a — really, a tragedy.
A very sad situation with the — the owner had
a tremendous problem. And so, anyway, it was put up,
and I got it. And I sold it.
I flipped it. But I had a great broker.
Two good brokers, actually. But I paid them more money
than they actually asked for. I made a deal with them
and I paid them more. And I’ve done that a lot. I’ve also done it the other way,
where I’m not so happy. (laughter) Then I do a little — but I
won’t talk about that today. We’ll save that
for another time. (laughter) But, really, there’s nothing
like a good broker. I mean, you’re no different
than a great surgeon, a great anything.
I mean, it’s true. (applause) It’s true. And you’re not
all brokers; you’re realtors, and you build,
and you rent, and you lease. But you sell. And, honestly, I’ve seen cases where you give it
to the wrong person, and you just sit
and you just die with it. And then the right person comes
along and it’s like genius. It’s like genius. And you have to remember
those people. Those are great people. And you have to
reward them properly. I really mean it; you have
to reward them properly. (applause) So you are really, truly,
fantastically talented people. There are some, probably,
in this room that don’t have
such great talent. You know who I am
and you know who they are. (laughter) But you have some tremendously
talented people in this room. I know this business so well.
I love this business. And you have people
that can really do a job that very few people can do. And, frankly, if you went into
another business, you’d do great with that too. But there’s something about
the real estate world that’s — it’s incredible.
You just love it. It’s in your blood.
It’s in your blood. (applause) So, even as President —
and that’s why I tell you — even as President,
I ride down those streets, and I say,
“Wow, is that place nice. Wow, what could you do
with that? Look at that site.” And then I said, “Wait a minute.
I have to deal with China. Forget about this now.” (Laughter and applause.) So I love your business,
and we’re here today because realtors play a special
role in the American economy. And that’s true. I would think it’s the largest
business in this country, when you add it all up. You add up all the family firms
and the big real estate firms, and the single-family
homebuilders, and the ones that do
a lot of homes — I mean, thousands and thousands. But you add it all up,
and it’s the biggest business. There’s nothing close. It’s bigger than oil and gas,
which is big. It’s bigger than cars.
Bigger than anything. You know, as a group —
as a group, you’re
a tremendously big business and a very powerful business,
politically, because you have numbers.
Numbers is power. When a young family
needs room to grow; when a new job sparks
a new adventure in a brand new,
beautiful city; when parents want to find
the right neighborhood and schools for their children,
Americans put our trust in you — our great realtors.
And that’s true. Very important. (applause) I mean, I’ll just tell you
one little thing. In what business do you have
where you’re selling your home — your home
is very important to you. You may not sell it. Maybe you’ll only sell it
if you get the right price. And you leave the key
under the mat so the broker
can take anybody they want, even though you’re going to
be away for three weeks, right? (laughter) How many people trust people — you would only trust a great
realtor to do that, right? (applause) It’s true.
A lot of truth to that. (Laughs.) (applause) See, I have a speech
and I have great speechwriters, but they don’t know
this kind of stuff. So this is all — (laughter).
So far, this is all off cuff. (laughter) But they don’t know what I know, and they don’t know
what you know because they write speeches
and — “Our economy is great. Our…” But you’ve heard
that before, right? (laughter) But they don’t know these
kind of little things, right? And these are the little things
that make you great. Home is where our hearts are.
And all of you, as Americans, you find a home for the ones
that you love the most. So today, I want
to thank all of you. This is a time of extraordinary
opportunity for our country. And as I said, I think
our country is doing better now than we’ve ever done before,
as an economy. And I think it’s going
to get even better. (applause) We’re the envy of the world. There’s only — truly never been
a better time, in my opinion, to build and break ground
in America. People are making a lot of money
and they’re doing well. And jobs are so good. And so many positive things
are happening. We’ve added nearly 6 million
jobs since my election, including more than
120,000 real estate jobs. You believe that? (applause) See, I view that as a negative. I say, “120,000 more people
that we have to compete with.” Right? (laughter)
What do we need that for? We’ve also gained more than
650,000 new construction jobs. (applause) And, you know —
and if you remember, when I first came here — and if you remember
three years ago, four years ago, five years ago,
it wasn’t so good. But right now,
America really is, once again,
a nation of builders. We’re building again. (applause) More than 5 million Americans have been lifted off
food stamps, and we’re getting Americans
off of welfare and back into the workforce.
That’s a great thing. (applause) Great thing.
That’s a great thing. I mean, you think of that: Five million people
off of food stamps. You know what that costs? First of all, it’s a tragedy.
But you know what that costs? So they’re off
and now they’re working. So they’re actually paying
taxes instead of — really, it’s costing
a lot of money. Food stamps is very expensive. And very importantly, women
filled more than 60 percent of all of the new jobs
created over the past year. Sixty. (applause) So I think the men should sue
the women for discrimination. (laughter) They should sue.
Get a great lawyer. (laughter) And after years of stagnation,
wages are rising fast, with the quickest growth
for blue-collar workers. The best statistic of all —
and people don’t know. Everyone is doing great.
The rich are doing great. The not-so-rich are doing great. The middle income
is doing the best. But the best of all:
The blue-collar worker has the biggest percentage
increase of anybody. And that’s beautiful. (applause) And these things didn’t
just happen by accident. They happened because
we are taking out this power out of Washington —
these bad people — and returning it to the American
people, where it belongs. Just think about Comey
and these characters. Think about Comey
and the gang. (applause) Drain the swamp.
Drain the swamp. Comey, Brennan, Clapper —
we’re draining the swamp, folks. (applause) And you think it’s easy?
It’s not easy. It’s not easy,
but we’re doing it. We’re getting rid
of a lot bad ones. At the heart of America’s
revival are the massive tax cuts that I signed into law
a year ago. And they are like rocket fuel
for America’s economy. The typical family of four
earning $75,000 is now saving more than $2,000
on their income taxes — money they can put
toward anything they want to put it,
including save it. Many small business owners
are here today. And you can now deduct up to 20 percent
of their business income, one of the most significant
small business tax cuts in American history. (applause) Thank you. It’s so good that you see that
because a lot of people — you know, they’re all getting
these tremendous tax cuts, and a lot of people don’t know
they are getting them and sometimes they’re taken out
by the business. So, you know,
they’re getting checks and they notice
they’re a little bit bigger but they don’t really notice. You people — many of you have
your own businesses and you see the kind of money
that you’re making. Much more money. And you’re investing
much more money. But it’s great that
when you see it, you know, you’re very entrepreneurial
people; real estate people are. If you’re not,
you’re in deep trouble. (laughter) If you’re not, you don’t want
to be in this room very long because you won’t last. But it’s pretty amazing. And the other thing that’s
amazing is one-year expensing. How about that?
I mean, one-year expensing, I think,
is one of the biggest things. And nobody talks about it,
really, but it’s a tremendous — (applause)
— you write it off in one year. And nobody thought we’d ever see
the day when you get that. But it spurs growth,
and it’s been fantastic. And we’ve also done something
that, for this room, and for farmers,
and for ranchers, and for, you know,
small businesses — fairly big businesses,
actually — we’ve virtually eliminated
the very unfair estate tax, also known as the death tax. So — —
(applause) — so, if you want to leave
your real estate company to your child
or your children — they like real estate,
they have an aptitude, and you love them,
and they love you; otherwise don’t do it.
To hell with them. (laughter) I’ve seen parents that are so
badly treated by their kids. And the parent comes to me,
“Oh, I love my child.” And I’m saying to myself, “Man,
that child treats them badly.” So I would tell him, “You know,
your child is not a good child. Don’t leave him anything.” (laughter) But for those of you
in the room, and I would say that
includes probably 90 percent — I’d say there’s 10 percent — who does not love
your child or children? Anybody want
to raise your hand? (laughter) No, I can’t believe
that guy raised his hand. (laughter) I’m not going to ask your name.
I’m not going to get you. (laughter) But what we have now
is you don’t have to pay any estate taxes.
You know what that is? That’s a big deal.
Because a lot of times — and it happened
with the farmers, where in some cases,
they’re land rich, but not income rich, but the farm has been
in the family for 150 years, and they love it,
and they do well, and that’s what they do,
and they love it. They wouldn’t want
to do anything else. And they die and it would taxed
on the value of the land, and all sorts
of things happened. Then they go to the banks
and they borrow money. And then they have
a little down spell and they end up losing the farm,
losing the business. You have no tax
to pay anymore. And nobody talks about it,
but to me that’s a big thing. That’s a big thing. (applause) And thanks to
the Opportunity Zones — where Ben Carson has
been working so hard — (applause)
— right? — made possible
by tax reform, we’re making
enormous investments in distressed communities.
Tremendous. I will tell you this — and, Ben,
I think you can agree with me. He has to agree. (laughter) By the way, if he doesn’t,
he will tell me. I guarantee.
He’ll stand up and say, “Sir, I disagree
with you there.” It’s amazing the way
it’s worked out. Do you agree?
I had no idea. Tim Scott
was very much involved. And we did it. And, you know, I’ve been hearing
about these things for 40 years. “Oh, we’re going to do this;
we’re going to do that.” Nothing works. These things have become
tremendously successful. Tremendously successful in areas
where money was never invested. Very, very big, powerful,
rich people are spending tremendous
amounts of money. They have certain
tax advantages, but we’ve got them
to open their wallets, and the jobs that are being
created in neighborhoods where people
wouldn’t go before. The Opportunity Zones —
and it’s starting to be seen, and it’s starting
to be written about — it’s a great achievement
for Tim Scott. It’s a great achievement
for Ben Carson. It’s really a —
some of the people that those — the early people,
Ben, that worked. Who else would you say, Ben? Four or five people that
really were in the front — the forefront. But you two, I’d say,
in particular. I’m going to get myself
in trouble with the other three, but I’m not going to bother because you people don’t care
who the hell they are. (laughter) But they know they did
a good job. Right, Ben? (laughter) They know they did a good job. (applause) So we’re honored
to be joined today by one of the patriots
leading the charge on Opportunity Zone
development. A fantastic man. A fantastic football player,
by the way, for those of you
that remember. He’s still young. A longtime member
of the Association, Bob Turner. Bob, come on up. Let us know.
Come on, Bob. (applause) Let us have a little
information, please. How are you, Bob? Mr. Turner: Thank you,
Mr. President. What an honor
to be here today. Audience Member: Yeah, Bob! Mr. Turner: (Laughs.) Thanks. Thank you so much
for this great economy. When you were elected,
in Memphis, the cloud lifted off of Memphis
and the economy took off. It really did. (applause) And the Opportunity Zones
are creating so many opportunities for
everybody across this country. And you came to Millington,
Tennessee, a couple of years ago. The President: That’s right. Mr. Turner: About a mile
from where you landed, we own 47 acres that are
in the Opportunity Zone. We’re developing
247 units of apartments, and we’re building
71 single-family home lots on this 47 acres. We will create about $40 million
of economic development in Millington, Tennessee. (applause) Millington has not seen
any new developments for over 10 years. No new apartments,
very few houses, and it’s home
of the naval air station — naval base —
with your fine patriots. And it’s going to make
a change in that town. We’re also developing a
large development in Memphis. It’s 1,500 apartments,
a hotel, and about 3,500 square-foot
of retail space that will create about $400
million in economic development. It’s not in an Opportunity Zone, but it’s creating a tremendous
amount of jobs in Memphis. (applause) The President: Great.
Great place. Mr. Turner: Yep. So,
as realtors across this country, we’ve been talking about
this all this week, and I’ve told them
they are the catalyst for this Opportunity Zone
with Mr. Carson and President Trump. And without it,
we would not be able to revitalize these communities
that need help. I had the opportunity to come
to the White House and represent our realtors
in your economic summit for the Opportunity Zone, and I thought it was
all about real estate. But it’s about workforce,
it’s about housing, it’s about every kind
of economic development you can do in these zones. And it’s really going
to make a difference. As you said,
the money is flowing. The day that you all released
those rules, the faucet turned on. There is hundreds
of millions of dollars looking for a place
to invest in your communities. And this group here,
Mr. President, is in the center of it. (applause) Our realtors are going
to create this situation in every city and town
across the country and be the catalyst for building
these Opportunity Zones out to put people to work
and put people in homes, and revitalize our nation. And we — on behalf of the
realtors, we want to thank you. (applause) The President: Thank you
very much. Mr. Turner: And I want to say
one more thing. (applause) Thank you, Mr. President,
for making America great again. (applause) The President: Thank you, Bob.
Wow. That’s from the heart. No notes, no nothing.
That’s from the heart. And I have to tell you,
a man who just — well, I introduced him, but I’m going to ask him to take
a little bit of a stand — your President —
because, John Smaby, you really wanted Trump.
And look how you turned out. (Laughter and applause.) Right? Stand up, John.
Will you, please? (applause) He wanted — he wanted Trump. (applause) He wanted Trump. Thank you. Thank you, John.
Great job, John. So as our economy booms
like never before, we’re lifting millions of our
citizens from welfare to work, dependence to independence,
and poverty to prosperity. But as everyone in
this business knows, nothing kills economic growth faster than government
bureaucrats, regulation. With all that power
and not enough common sense, lots of bad things
can happen quickly. And that’s why we’re waging
a historic deregulation campaign that especially affects
the real estate business. And that’s liberating
our citizens from bureaucracy and freeing our economy
to soar higher than ever. And it can continue to go up. To see the disastrous results
of over-regulation, you take a look at what’s
going on in California. Housing costs are among
the highest in the country. Development restrictions make it
sometimes impossible to build. What they do — I mean,
years and years of turmoil. I have one job, it’s called
the Coastal Commission. Oh, they’re fun
to deal with. (laughter) If you’re really good, you’ll have your permits
within 20 years, or not have them
within 20 years. “We vote no.” “Wait a minute, we’ve been
looking at these things for 20 years.”
“We vote no.” How about that? How about when you’re looking
at a permit, you’ve devoted millions
and millions of dollars, and you go into that hearing,
after years, and you have no idea if they’re
going to vote yes or no? And oftentimes, they vote no.
So we’re trying to end that. State and local regulations
can easily add $200,000
to the price of a single home. And it’s no surprise
that in California — and I don’t want
to single them out, but they have a train
going up now — you know, this fast train?
You heard about this disaster? (Laughter and applause.) I mean, you people know how
to build on time, on budget — preferably ahead of time
and under budget, right? This is a train
that’s not working out so well. It’s a fast train,
but not a bullet train. So it’s not that fast. (laughter) And it was going to go from
San Francisco to Los Angeles. And then, a thing called
cost overruns happened. And many of you know about it — well, it’s in the thing today
because I said, “We’re not paying
any more money for it. California has lost control.” And it’s an incredible thing.
It’s got to be a straight run. And they build a section, and then they build
another section way away, and then another section. And then they want to hook
it up; it doesn’t work. (laughter) “You can’t hook it up.”
(Laughter and applause.) “You can’t. Doesn’t hook.
It’s a little crooked.” (laughter) “The train doesn’t go
good that way.” (laughter) So they say, “Let’s rip
the sucker down; we’ll start all over again.”
This is like a catastrophe. It’ll — like hundreds
of millions over budget. Totally out of control. And we told them
we’re not going to do it. I mean, we’re not going to — it’s been under construction
forever. (applause) So think of this —
think of this: It was going from San Francisco
to Los Angeles. Now, the price had to be
very, very high — much more expensive
than Southwest Airlines, which goes
in one-third the time. (laughter) So I said, “What a minute,
what are they doing? You got an airline
that goes from San Francisco to Los Angeles much faster,
and it’s less money. So how does this work?” And again, it’s not that really
fast train; it’s just a fast train. (laughter) Meaning, it’s slow. (laughter) Meaning — meaning,
it’s obsolete, right? You know, it’s obsolete before —
if you’re going to do it, you do the bullet train.
You do the really fast deal. So it’s obsolete
before they start. But they had a way of doing it. They were going to show me —
the Governor — a nice guy. A nice, young guy. (laughter) Talking about forests —
clean up your forests; you won’t have forest fires.
Clean them up. He blames it on global warming. I said, “No, try cleaning
the floor of the forest a little bit so you don’t have
four feet of leaves and broken trees that have
sit there for 25 years.” (applause) “Try cleaning the floor
of the forest. You won’t have forest fires.” (applause) And I got killed for that.
It’s called “forest management.” I got killed for that. And then,
about three weeks later, they announced I was right. (laughter) Because I was out there
last year and what I saw was so horrific
with some of the fires — so many people killed. The fire was —
you talk about bullets, the fire was like a bullet. So, on the train,
they have a solution. The solution was:
“We’ll make it shorter.” (laughter) So instead of going from
San Francisco to Los Angeles — beautiful; right in the middle —
they cut all of that out. They cut all — and now you go
from this tiny little town to another tiny little town. (laughter) For billions of dollars. And they think they can do it
for just billions of dollars more than
the original projection. These people are crazy.
(Laughter and applause.) So I told the great Elaine Chao,
Secretary of Transportation — doing a fantastic job — I said, “Elaine,
it’s over for them.” This has been going on
for many — it was long before I got there. I would have told them —
I would have said, “Listen, if an airplane is much
faster, what are we doing? No, what are we doing?” And I also would have done
the super-modern thing, and we would have
had it built on time and we would have had it
built on budget. And it just didn’t work out
that way. It’s a mess. And we’re not paying
any more money into that one. That’s a disaster
if you’ve ever seen it. (applause) “Make it shorter.”
How do you like that? John, is that a good idea?
“Cut the big cities out. A little too much,
too expensive. Let’s make it, like,
real short.” You’ll have three people
on it a day. (laughter) So we’re reversing years
of calamitous trade policies that gutted
the American middle class. Nearly two decades ago, politicians in Washington
placed China into the WTO —
the World Trade Organization — one of the great catastrophes
in the history of our country as far as trade is concerned — between that and NAFTA,
you had two real beauties — allowing it to largely do whatever they want to do
to the American marketplace. During that time, we lost nearly
one in four manufacturing jobs and racked up trillions and trillions of dollars
in trade deficits. But those days are now over,
folks. (applause) And we’re taking action. And you see what’s happening;
I don’t have to talk about it. But it’s expensive for them
and it’s going to have to be. It’s going to have to be. We actually had a deal
and they broke it. Okay? I mean, I’m used to that.
I’ve done it many times myself. (laughter) But we had a deal
and they broke it. But I tried to do it
a little bit nicer. (laughter) Then I try and take
the lumps out, you know? Try nice and easy. Just, “Let’s have dinner.
Let’s talk about it.” (laughter) “I want to re-trade you.
Let’s talk about it.” But they took out a lot of
the things that we negotiated
that were done, and I said, “Can’t do that.
Sorry, you can’t do that. You’ve been doing
that too long to our poor Presidents that had no clue
what was happening. And you can’t do that.”
So we’re putting tariffs — we have 25 percent tariffs
on $250 billion. And they’re paying it.
And believe me — you know, so many people
say our people pay. They’ll pay a little bit. But it’s worth it.
It’s really worth it. But, you know, China subsidizes
these big plants so it’s not really coming. And they keep the price the same
and they subsidize it. And also, you take a look
at what’s happening: If we build here,
there are no tariffs. You know,
people don’t realize that. If we build here — you know,
right now we’re — you become dependent
on buying things from outside. If we put a little factory
or whatever, to make whatever product
they’re buying — and a lot of people
are now looking at it. And the other alternative: You buy from another country
where they’re not tariffed, where they’re treating us
more fairly and we don’t tariff them. So it’s hundreds of billions
of dollars. And out of that,
we’re going to give a portion of it to our farmers, because these
are great patriots. These are people
that don’t want anything. They just want
a fair playing surface. And our farmers are doing —
going to do really well. I mean, they’re doing well, but
they’re going to do really well. (applause) Between that and the USMCA, our farmers are going to be
very happy, very shortly. But you’re talking about maybe
$15 billion to our farmers, out of $125 billion. And they’re really —
you have to understand: They’ve taken the brunt
because China, to negotiate with us, said, “Well, we’re not going to buy
any of your farm products.” So I called Sonny Perdue, our great Secretary
of Agriculture, and I said, “Sonny…” —
(applause) — I said, “Sonny, what’s
the biggest amount they’ve ever spent
in this country?” He said, “About $15 billion.
People could say 18, 19. But basically $15 billion.” And I said,
“So let’s take $15 billion, set it aside out of the 100
or 125 billion, whatever it may be,
and what we’ll do is, the farmers will sell at a lower
price because of competition. And what we do
is we make up the difference. We have a little bit
of a difference. We make up the difference.” So they do great;
we do incredibly great. But you have to understand,
they use the farmer because the farmers
were all for Trump. And the farms —
what people don’t realize: You go back 18 years; the farms
have been going like this. Been going steady. It’s not just — you know,
I’m here two and a half years. But you can go back 18 years,
and you see what’s happened. How has it worked out? NAFTA has been bad
for the farmers. A lot of people
don’t realize it. They get stuck on it,
out of habit. But we’re taking care
of our farmers, and everybody is happy about it. I’ve never heard
a complaint, literally. But these are patriots. I watched some people
on television today, because some of them don’t
even know what I just told you. They said, “Yeah, we’re hurting,
but I know that China is doing terrible things
to us for many, many years. And we want our President
to fix it, and this is the only President that’s had the courage
or the guts to fix it. And we’re behind our President
all the way.” (applause) That’s the farmers say that.
That’s the farmers. That’s the farmers.
Farmers are incredible. I don’t know, they may even
be better than the realtors, as far as I’m concerned. Audience: No! The President: I think they’re
better than the realtors. I’ll tell you a quick story
about farmers, though. I had — recently, I had about
22 of them in my office, in the White House,
in the Oval Office, the room right next to
a beautiful conference room. And we were sitting there,
and they’re explaining how, you know, they’re not doing
the business with China; they’re, frankly, not doing the business
with Canada, Mexico. Because immediately, you know,
in order to negotiate, they stopped buying from
the farmer, right? Because that puts
political pressure. You know. They think it’s very unique.
It’s not unique at all. But I said to them,
“So, how’re we doing?” They said,
“Well, we’re not going well.” I said, “Well, we’re
going to help you, and we’re going to
give you subsidy. I’m going to try
and get you subsidy.” And one of them looks at me
and says, “Sir, we don’t want subsidy.
We don’t want a handout. We don’t want that.”
I said, “You got to be kidding. You’re the only group
that’s ever said that to me.” (laughter) Countries come in,
they want help. Everybody wants help.
They want free. “What do you mean by that?” “We don’t want that.
We want to produce — I’ve been on this land
with my family for 150 years.” He said, “My family
has been here for 152 years,” or something. He said, “We just want
a fair playing field. It’s not fair what
they’ve done to us with Canada charging us
285 percent tariffs.” We took care of that. With all of the things
that happens — and then China, every time they want to negotiate
with the United States, they stop buying farm product.
And China is massive. You know, they can buy a lot
or stop buying a lot. And they use the farmers
to negotiate — and especially with me, because
they know I love the farmers. And they know the farmers — you look
in the middle of this country; that whole thing is beautiful
Republican red. That whole thing. (applause) So they use them. But I thought it was incredible. They said,
“We don’t want subsidy. We don’t want a handout, sir.
We don’t want this. We want just
a level playing field. Let us do what we do better
than anybody in the world.” I said, “Man, is that nice.” And every single person
in that room agreed with him. It was great.
So I had to tell you that story. It’s not a real estate story,
but it’s a — (applause). I found it to be pretty amazing, because I’m on the other side
all the time. Every day, people come in
and they all want something. Countries want
military protection. Really? You want it? Wealthy countries.
“You’re going to pay for it?” “No, no, we would
think you’d pay.” “Oh, really?”
Those days are over too, folks. (applause) Those days are over. That’s almost as bad as trade,
if you want to know the truth. But we’re getting it
all fixed up. After years of building up
other countries, we’re finally building
our country. (applause) And I’ve directed
federal agencies — thank you. (applause) Thank you. Audience: USA! USA! USA! The President: You just —
you know — smart people. (laughter) Aren’t we — hey, seriously, aren’t we tired
of being ripped off? (applause) We’re being ripped off
by everybody. You know, I tell people
about NATO — NATO is fine. But I got them to spend
$100 billion more. We were paying, essentially,
for most of NATO. I got them to pay $100 billion. And believe it or not,
that’s not nearly enough. You know, it’s big stuff. But the European Union
treats us, I would say, worse than China.
They’re just smaller. Can you believe it?
They have trade barriers. They don’t want
our farm products. They don’t want our cars.
They don’t want — they send Mercedes Benzes in here
like they’re cookies. (laughter) They send BMWs here. We hardly tax them at all, John.
We hardly tax them at all. Yet, you want to send
our cars over there? Forget it.
You want to send our agricultural products
over there? “Oh, I’m sorry.
We don’t want them. We have our own farmers.”
It’s a very unfair situation. Medical equipment is a big
business, believe it or not. You know, all the big
equipment — medical stuff. They — we make
the best in the world. Well, they changed the standard so that our equipment
doesn’t qualify. They made it not
a higher standard, just a different standard, so that our equipment
now doesn’t qualify without these companies
going and spending a fortune to make equipment
that’s not as good. So it’s a very unfair thing. So we protect them. We spend hundreds of billions
of dollars protecting them. And then they take advantage
of us on trade. It’s not — it’s not fair. We lost $180 billion
with the European Union. And we all love Europe.
We love Europe. I think they got to be careful
with Europe, frankly. But we all love Europe. But it’s not fair
the way they treat us. So I just tell you that. I’ve directed federal agencies
to drastically accelerate the approval process
for new roads and bridges so that our families can get
where they want to go, safely — (applause) — and our economy can keep
running full speed ahead. I mean, highways that
were taking 21 years to get an approval. There’s a highway in a state
not so far away — took 20 years
to get it approved. And they had an opening,
fairly recently — not a big road — it’s, sort of,
not even a highway. It’s less than a highway. But by the time it ended up,
it was 20 years late. They spent tens
of million dollars on environmental impact
statements. The road was
a dead-straight road — the first road, dead straight — so that,
if you had a rough night, you can go straight. (laughter) Now it’s a road
that goes this way — (laughter) — because of nesting —
different things. Nesting. Who the hell knows
what’s nesting? But whatever it is —
(laughter). So the road ends up being twice
as long and curving like hell. And unless you’re 100 percent
sharp, you’re in deep trouble. (laughter) They got these barriers, right? You know, the barriers?
These — bwah, wah. (laughter) So my father and I would have
built that thing for nothing. For nothing.
And it cost, I mean, hundreds of millions of dollars
and just years. And you look at the
environmental impact statements. I actually brought one
to one speech. I brought one. And it was — literally,
it was this high, and there were like
three other sections. It was just — just nonsense,
okay? Just total nonsense. So we’re stopping that.
We’re trying to get it down. It takes 17, 18 years
to get a highway approved. We’re trying
to get it down to one. We have it down to two. We think we can
get it down to one. (applause) And we’re getting rid
of the quadruples. You know, you have
many quadruples. You have some
where you need 10 agencies to approve
the exact same thing. So let’s say you’re doing
really well; you get Carson
to approve it, you get all these different
people to approve it. And then you have one agency
you can’t get. That’s the end
of that project. So we’re simplifying it. And we’ve done, I think, Ben,
a great a job on that. And we have it down
to a much lower number. Probably two years.
We’d like to get it down to one. And it may get rejected. You know, if it’s not
environmentally good, if it’s not good,
we’re going to get — we’ll reject it very quickly.
But at least you know. So we have — we’ve done
a good job with that. A very good job. I think, again,
a lot of jobs are being created. A lot of people
are doing things that they never thought
they could do before. We’ve freed local lenders from the heavy-handed
regulations also — you know what was
going on there — (applause) — that were crushing
community banks and threatening
the housing market. Pocahontas had an agency
that was — (laughter)
— I mean, she was a disaster. She was — she enjoyed
destroying these local lenders. I mean, I think she got pleasure
out of destroying beautiful local lenders who have been
lending to your clients, and probably yourselves,
for years. And they were going
out of business and they were living in fear. Pocahontas —
that’s another beauty. (laughter) She’s doing really well so far,
isn’t she? Her and her beer commercial. (Laughter and applause.) How about the kid? Did you see the way
she got the kid? Did anybody see that?
Did anybody see? Where she wanted the child
brought in front of her. “Fwah!” (laughter) Boy, that kid moved quickly. (laughter) Nah, she’s got a lot of pent
up anger. She’s an angry person.
But you know what? Making it very tough
on people that you know. You know exactly
what I’m talking about. And now we have
that running beautifully and they’re loaning,
and they’re nice people. You know,
they’re nice people again. By some estimates, under
the previous administration, CFPB regulations cost credit
unions a stunning $6 billion. Well, that’s what we’re talking
about. That was her baby. And she had the man
that was in charge of that running in
the great state of Ohio. But Mike did a good job,
and I did good job. We fought, and your current
governor came from behind and he was down by six
or seven points with a couple of days left. We went out, we made a rally
like you wouldn’t believe, in the great state of Ohio. And he ended up winning
by six or seven points. (applause) And that was a great day
for Ohio. We love Ohio.
That was a great day. Last year, we rolled back
the Dodd-Frank regulations that were crippling
local banks — (applause) — that millions of homebuyers
and small businesses rely on. I didn’t know this was
a banking convention. I thought this was — this is
a real estate convention. But, you know, you know what
was happening to bankers, right? John — I mean, you know
what was happening to bankers. The bankers were being crushed
and they were being threatened. And these are people
that were phenomenal. They were being destroyed. Now, small lenders are once
again thriving. They’re free to invest
in our communities and help more families
experience the joy and the pride of homeownership. And I’ll never get credit
for this. The press doesn’t give me
any credit for anything, no matter what I do. (laughter) No, it’s true. Doesn’t matter.
Look, who cares. The people know.
The people know. That’s why I have to go
through a different source. It’s called: Do speeches and go
with our social media stuff, which is quite powerful,
I must say. (applause) But they’re very dishonest. And, you know, we’re right
now dealing with Iran. And they put out
so many false messages that Iran is totally confused. I don’t know,
that might be a good thing. No, they put out —
the fake news — they put out messages —
these people right back here. (laughter) They put out messages
that I’m angry with my people. I’m not angry with them.
I make my own decisions. But I’m “angry with my people.”
I’m “not angry with my people.” I’m “worse than they are;
they’re worse than we are. They’re more militant.” Mike Pompeo is doing
a great job. Bolton is doing a great job. (applause) But they make it sound
like it’s a conflict. And the good news —
I was thinking today, I said, “Gee, what must
our adversaries think?” And then I look and I say, “You know, it’s probably a good
thing because they’re saying, ‘Man, I don’t know where these
people are coming from.’” Right? (laughter) But they put out false —
you know, they say, “confidential sources.” Do you ever notice they never write
the names of people anymore. Everything is “a source says…”
There is no source. The person doesn’t exist.
The person is not alive. It’s bullshit.
Okay? It’s bullshit. (Laughter and applause.) “Three people who were
at that meeting” — you know, a meeting
of like seven — “three people have confirmed
that this happened and that happened.” There were no three people.
They make it up. These are bad people.
These are people — that’s why I came up
with the term “fake news.” It’s a good term. I’ve had
better, but that’s a good term. “Fake news.” (applause) It’s a hoax. My administration is also
committed to reforming our housing
finance system. So important. More than a decade
after the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
are still in conservatorship. Fannie and Freddie
still dominate the market with no real competition
from the private sector. And taxpayers
are still on the hook if another crisis should happen. And this is a pretty
urgent problem. We’re doing well with it now.
It’s well managed now. We have great people,
but it’s a pretty big problem. And it’s really a problem that other than government
should be doing, so we’re looking
at different alternatives. We have many geniuses
looking at it and we’ll figure something out. But Fannie and Freddie can do
a lot better than they’re doing, although now they have some
very good people running it. And that’s why
I recently directed the Department
of Treasury and HUD — Ben — to develop a framework for
a modern housing finance system. And you’re working on that, Ben. I know you have some incredible
talent from Wall Street coming in. (applause) We actually call on
very smart people. You know, somebody said,
“Why are you using Wall Street?” I said, “Because I want
to get very smart people.” I want to get people
that do this and one that welcomes
the private sector, competition,
protects taxpayers, and preserves homeownership
for future generations to come. (applause) So we will be working
closely with Congress to pass
these critical reforms, and we will consider taking
other administrative actions to modernize
our housing programs and to ensure
more affordable housing to get rid of
ridiculous regulations so you can build and build
quickly and build beautifully. Actually, you’ll put
more money into the house, because instead of spending
on a ridiculous paperwork, you’ll be able
to buy better lumber and better flooring
and better windows. (applause) And just as we believe
that every American should have the chance
to own a home if they work hard
and follow the rules, we’ll also believe
that every American should have the right to choose
their own healthcare. We’re going to become, really,
the party of healthcare. (applause) That includes our newly created “association health plans”
that a lot of you are using. (applause) And just very quickly,
with us today is Teresa Beth McKee, Chief Executive Officer
of Nevada — I love Nevada —
Nevada REALTORS. (applause) Come on up. Please, Teresa.
Please. Thank you. Please. Ms. McKee: Thank you,
Mr. President Trump. It’s such an honor to be here. And we thank you for the work
with the Department of Labor to open up association
health plans for our members. In Nevada, we have
statewide association health plans offered with — for our members
from Nevada and Las Vegas. We cover, currently,
over a thousand lives in just the last couple of
months that we’ve had this open. Twenty-seven percent
of those people were uninsured before our plan —
completely uninsured. For those that were insured, they are saving an average
of $150 to $300 a month. (applause) It’s saving an estimated
$2 million in Nevada this year. And that money goes right back
into their businesses and right back
into their communities, helping our economy. (applause) The President: That’s great. Ms. McKee: I have one member
who could not afford to insure his family. He let his health lapse, needing
urgent hip and back surgery. When he was able to finally
get this affordable, full-coverage care in Nevada, under the association
health plan, he was able to, in his words,
get back on track, be the breadwinner
for his family again, and make himself great again. (applause) Another really critical part
of association health plans is what it’s done
for our rural communities. Before association
health plans, our rural communities
had one choice — one product, one plan. Through HomeTown
Health, we have — they have offered multiple
insurance products to the rural areas.
That gives our rural realtors a choice now
of their health plans — a choice of the products that
they use to insure themselves and their families. We recently went — a couple
of colleagues and I went and met at the White House
with the Department of Labor because association health plans
are under attack. And we’re working with
the Department of Labor to ensure that
this critical need for our realtors
is allowed to continue. It’s critically important
to our realtors to have choices
to fully affordable and full-coverage health plans. Thank you again, Mr. President.
It’s a great honor. (applause) The President: Thanks, Teresa.
It’s a great state, too. Great.
And it is under attack — you know,
these health plans are — because they want to keep
the public deal going. And it’s a shame.
And they’re fighting it so hard. But we’re going to win,
and we are winning. And it’s saving a tremendous
amount of money for firms, but it’s also getting
great healthcare like you haven’t had before. And we also have to protect
the 180 million people with private healthcare.
They want to destroy that. I must tell you, we have
an election coming up that’s going to be
very important for you people, because they want
to take it away. They want to bring your taxes
up to 80 or 90 percent. They started,
a couple of months ago, at 70. But they really mean
80 or 90 or 95 — and that won’t pay for it,
by the way. That won’t —
you’d need twice that. So you have to be very careful. But we’ll always be defending
America’s rights to have low-cost, high-quality healthcare
of your choice. So important. And sadly, when you look at
what’s going on with Washington, you see a lot of positives, but you also see people
that are fighting very hard. They have 25 people now running
for the Office of President. And some of these people
are stone-cold crazy. (Laughter and applause.) I mean, they’re promoting
the biggest socialist takeover in the history,
really, of the world. Because, if you think — I mean,
this is the United States. And they have a
hundred-trillion-dollar Green New Deal. Nobody has any idea
what the hell it is. (laughter) They know that you can’t
take a plane anymore; you have to take
a train to Hawaii. Train. (laughter) A train to Australia
and a train — hey, if they can’t build from
San Francisco to Los Angeles — (laughter and applause) — what’s going to happen
when they say, “Let’s build a train to Europe”? “Let’s build one up to Europe.
We’ll do a fast train.” (Laughs.)
A hundred miles an hour. Let’s see.
Well, a plane goes six [hundred], so you got
a long trip on a train, I’ll tell you. This is crazy. This is crazy. But I don’t want
to hit it too hard. I want to save it
for the election, because I don’t
want them to change. (Laughter and applause.) You know?
I don’t want them to change. I don’t want them
to have time to pivot. I want them to go
with this stuff. But we still have to be careful. And it’ll never happen
as long as I’m President, so you can bet on that. (applause) So, just to finish up —
you’re friends of mine; I know a lot of people
in the room. And homeownership
and what you do as realtors and as real estate people,
this is a part of Americana. This is a great,
great thing you do. You work hard. You love people.
You love this land. You love this country.
You take care of employees. In some cases,
you are employees, and you love the person
that takes care of you. But you’re very,
very special people. I know so much about what you do
because I did the same thing. Can you believe it now?
It’s almost three years. Can you believe this? Who knew this was
going to happen? (applause) It just shows how smart you are
when you can go and do this. And they say, “But he doesn’t
have any experience.” But, you know, intelligence
is a very, very good substitute sometimes. (Laughter and applause.) And I’m gaining a lot
of experience very fast. I have a lot of experience. And I had a lot of experience
because I was in your business. And you do everything. You build, you lease,
you rent, you negotiate, you deal
with foreign people, you deal with people
that live right next door — you do everything. You’re very smart
and you love your business. And I loved being here. And John and everybody,
thank you. And Ben Carson, thank you. (applause) And this was great. And go and enjoy your lives
and keep building, and we’ll keep
the economy strong so that you will go
on and on and on. (applause) Have a great time.
It’s been my great honor. Thank you very much, everybody.