Donald Trump on Corporations
2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
If we raise tax rates, companies will leave the country
Q: What do you say to Americans why you want the corporate tax rate lower and why that helps them?
TRUMP: Our corporate taxes were the highest in the world, and now they're among the lower taxes. They're not the lowest, but they're among the lowest.
That means jobs. If we get in, we're going to do the middle income tax package. If [Biden] comes along and raises rates, all those companies that are coming in, they will leave the U.S. so fast your head will spin. We can't let that happen.
BIDEN: About $1.3 trillion of the $2 trillion in his cuts went to the top one-tenth of 1%. That's what I'm talking about eliminating, not all the tax cuts. You have 91 out of the Fortune 500 companies not paying a single solitary penny.
If you raise the corporate tax back to 28%, which is a fair tax, you'd raise one trillion, three hundred billion dollars. If you made sure that people making over $400 grand paid what they did [under] Bush, 39.6%, you would raise another $92 billion
Source: Second 2020 Presidential Debate/NBC Town Hall Miami
, Oct 15, 2020
No more estate tax on small farms, small business
And, by the way, speaking of farmers, something they don't know but they're learning fast: No more estate tax on your small farm, small businesses, small other things. No more estate tax. People don't talk about it. It's a big thing--big provision.
Big provision. If you love your children, it's great. If you don't love your children, it's irrelevant. Don't leave the money to them. No more estate tax or, as we call it, "death tax."
Source: Remarks by President Trump at the 2020 CPAC Conference
, Feb 29, 2020
Companies will pay dearly for moving jobs out of US
A country announces they're closing their plant, going to move to Mexico. They're going to move to China. They're going to move someplace else. They fire all their workers. And then they sell their cars, no tax; just make them in Mexico, sell them back
to here. Those days are all gone. In the new deal with Mexico and Canada, it's very, very hard for a company to fire its 4,000 workers and move to Mexico or some other location. They can do it, I guess, if they want. But it's costly. It's painful.
Last year, we lost 800--this for many years--almost $800 billion on trade. It's not sustainable. You can't do that. And now we're making great trade deals. I say, India is a very high-tariff nation. They charge us a lot. When we send a motorcycle to
India, it's 100 percent tariff. They charge 100 percent. When India sends a motorcycle to us, we brilliantly charge them nothing. I want a reciprocal tax, or at least I want to charge a tax. It's called a mirror tax, but it's a reciprocal tax.
Source: White House press release, "Remarks at CPAC 2019"
, Mar 2, 2019
Historic tax cuts and reforms for American businesses
This Tax Day, President Donald J. Trump and Members of Congress are highlighting the benefits of historic tax cuts and reforms for American families and businesses.
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP said, "Tuesday is a day hardworking Americans may dread
more than any other. Tax Day. A day that individuals and families, small business owners and part-time workers struggle to conquer a burdensome, complex and extremely unfair tax code to determine how much money they owe the government.
But we are changing Tax Day for Americans across the country. This is the last year Americans will fill out outdated, complicated tax forms. In the years ahead, because I signed one of the largest tax cuts in history and the
most sweeping tax reform in a generation, many Americans will complete their taxes on a simple, single sheet of paper."
Source: White House press release on 2020 Alaska Senate race
, Apr 17, 2018
Business tax rate slashed from 35% to 21%
We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.
Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses--many of them thousands of dollars per worker.
Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.
This is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.
If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.
Source: 2018 State of the Union address
, Jan 30, 2018
Reducing taxes from 35% to 15% will be a job creator
Under my plan, I'll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses. That's going to be a job creator like we haven't seen since Ronald Reagan. It's going to be a beautiful thing to watch.
Companies will come. They will build. They will expand. New companies will start. And I look very, very much forward to doing it. We have to renegotiate our trade deals, and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs.
Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University
, Sep 26, 2016
Get U.S. money back into U.S.: address corporate inversion
What's happening right now is something that not been a subject of conversation by politicians. They haven't talked about a corporate inversion. Companies are leaving the United States to go to other countries.
They have trillions of dollars in those other countries. They can't get their money back in. It's probably two and a half trillion. All of that money could be used to rebuild our country.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate
, Nov 10, 2015
0% corporate tax would create millions of jobs
We need to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 39 percent to zero. America's corporate tax rate is the second highest on the planet. The international average is 26 percent.
How can we expect companies to hire American workers and locate their business in America when our government taxes them at exorbitant rates for doing so? That's crazy. I want to encourage American companies to stay here and hire
American workers, and I want foreign companies to relocate their businesses to the United States and create jobs here.
We are the greatest country on planet earth--the world's companies want to be here. A zero percent corporate tax would create an unprecedented jobs boom. Millions of jobs would materialize.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 63
, Dec 5, 2011
Fight crony capitalism with a level playing field
One thing the Tea Party folks and the Occupy Wall Street people can and should agree on is tackling the rampant problem in the Obama administration of crony capitalism. We've already seen with Solyndra and
Fisker how the president's pals and big time campaign donors all got sweetheart loans and deals and stuck taxpayers with the bill. I predict we haven't heard the last of it and that the
Obama administration engaged in many more cases of funneling money to companies connected to the president and his donors. Mark my word.
I love capitalism enough to protect it. There has to be a level playing field where everyone can compete fairly.
The guy swinging a hammer all day shouldn't have the government reaching in his pocket and handing his taxes to Obama's big shot donors. It's wrong and unfair.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.188
, Dec 5, 2011
Wealthy move assets around globally based on tax incentives
[Trump's tax proposal] in 2000 was to impose a one-time 14.25% tax on the assets of people and trusts worth $10 million or more. Conservative critics attacked the plan, using arguments similar to those made by Trump today to deride Obama's proposal. Pat
Buchanan, who was then Trump's main opponent for the Reform Party nomination, said the tax proposal would prompt the wealthy to move their money out of the U.S.
When questioned, Trump also argued that the tax would drive the wealthy to shift their
assets, the developer dismissed those concerns: "Well, I just think that the booming economy that we create by my plan would keep the money here because it's incentive. They're going to want to be where the action is. They're going to want to be where
the good economy is. And they move their money around, hey, including me. You move your money around where the action is, and now it's a real world economy. But this country would be booming. We'd have no debt. It would be unbelievable."
Source: Marcus Baram on Huffington Post
, Apr 26, 2011
Litigation system is abused to force deal negotiations
Litigation has gotten totally out of control. It has actually become an accepted business practice for people to use the court's time, money and energy in order to effect deals, break up deals, and receive money unjustly. I know people who virtually
can't function without starting a lawsuit, thinking that this will give them the upper hand in even the most simple of negotiations.
Politicians ought to be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating this ridiculous situation. Court systems have become
backlogged for years with superfluous cases. In New York in particular, a case will often take seven or eight years to actually get to court. This is certainly not the judge's fault, because most of the judges in New York are hardworking, diligent men
and women with brilliant legal minds. The fault lies in a system that is meant to be abused, and which is costing states and the country hundreds of millions of dollars. Perhaps more important, its creating centuries worth of delay.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.104
, Oct 27, 1997
Any business of any size will pay no more than 15% tax
My approach to tax policy will do just what needs to be done.
For all Americans the uncertainty and complexity of a tax code written for special interests and the very rich will be removed and a clear future will be available for all.
The plan states that any business of any size will pay no more than 15 percent of their business income in taxes. This low rate will make corporate inversions unnecessary and will make
America one of the most competitive markets in the world. This plan will also require companies with off- shore capital to bring that money back to the United States at a repatriation rate of only 10 percent.
Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.152-6
, Nov 3, 2015
Donald Trump on Business Advice
Attended Wharton but unimpressed by academic credentials
Trump saw Wharton from the beginning as a place to pick up a patina of prestige. "Perhaps the most important thing I learned at Wharton was not to be overly impressed by academic credentials," Trump said. "There was nothing particularly awesome or
exceptional about my classmates; I could compete just fine. The other important thing I got from Wharton was a Wharton degree. In my opinion, that doesn't prove much, but a lot of people I do business with take it very seriously."
Yet Trump himself would come to take Wharton very seriously Wharton became a name to be dropped, another 'best' to burnish the Trump brand. For a time. Trump bragged of being a top student among his 333 Wharton classmates. But Trump is not included in
the Honor Roll printed in the Daily Pennsylvanian. [In fact, according to one] classmate, "Trump was not what you would call an intellectual. I don't think he ever studied for an exam. He did what it took to get through the program."
Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Marc Fisher, p. 47-8
, Aug 23, 2016
I've used bankruptcy laws to do a great job for my companies
Q: Trump corporations, casinos and hotels, have declared bankruptcy 4 times. Why should we trust you to run the nation's business?
TRUMP: Because I have used the laws of this country, the chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for
my employees, for my family. I have never gone bankrupt, by the way. I have never.
Q: But your companies have gone bankrupt.
TRUMP: Out of hundreds of deals that I've done, on 4 occasions I've taken advantage of the laws of this country, like other
people. The difference is, when somebody else uses those laws, nobody writes about it. When I use it, they say, "Trump, Trump, Trump."
Q: Trump Entertainment Resorts went bankrupt in 2009; lenders to your company lost over $1 billion and more than
1,100 people were laid off.
TRUMP: These lenders aren't babies. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, OK? I had the good sense to leave Atlantic City; every company virtually in Atlantic City went bankrupt
Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript
, Aug 6, 2015
Pragmatic positive: be positive, but be realistic
I'm a pragmatic positive thinker. When I hear people saying that anything you what to do is possible, that seems childish or at least uninformed to me. Some things are not going to happen.
For example, if I suddenly decided tomorrow that I wanted to win a gold medal at the Olympics as a swimmer, and I was sure I could because I was so positive about it, well, I think I'd have to have some mental checks.
It's not going to happen, no matter how hard I train. Or if I decide I was going to give Tiger Woods a run for his money as a golfer, starting tomorrow,
I think I'd have to worry about being a little irrational. Be positive, but be realistic.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p.140
, Apr 27, 2010
Being a know-it-all shuts the door on new ideas
It's important to remain open to new ideas and new information. Being a know-it-all is like shutting the door to great discoveries and opportunities. Keep your door open every day to something new.Once in awhile ask yourself this question: What do I
need to know more about?
If I'd started in business thinking I knew everything, I'd have been sunk. Don't make that mistake. There are a lot of hidden aspects in every industry, and you will find out how complex seemingly simple things can be.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 15-6
, Apr 27, 2010
In the game of life, money is how you score
Don't think about how you can make money. Instead think about what you can produce or what service you can offer that is valuable and useful to people and to your community.
Sure, you need to get paid for your work, and you will if you provide
something valuable. In the game of life, money is how you score. Yet the real fun is not in simply scoring; rather it is in the excitement you will have coming up with creative ways to get the ball in the goal.
Find your passion in doing something useful for people and the money will follow.
It may sound simple, but I have become a billionaire many times over by sticking with this simple philosophy. Many people believe that I started out with a lot of money
from my father. The truth is that when I started out in business, I was practically broke. My father didn't give me much money, but what he did give me was a good education and the simply formula for getting wealthy: work hard doing what you love.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 43-4
, Sep 8, 2008
A great deal when both sides win? That's a bunch of crap
One of my greatest passions is making deals. I love to make the big score and to make the big deal. I love to crush the other side and take the benefits.
Why? Because there is nothing greater. For me it is even better than sex, and I love sex. But when you hit, when the deals are going your way, it is the greatest feeling! You hear lots of people say that a great deal is when both sides win.
That is a bunch of crap. In a great deal you win--not the other side. You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself. In negotiations I love to go for the complete win.
That is why I have made so many good deals.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 48
, Sep 8, 2008
I trust my instinct on business deals as well as personal
When I was acquiring 40 Wall Street, literally every person recommended that it be turned into residential units, but I did not agree. My gut instincts told me it was a great business location. I trusted my instincts and the building now houses many
When I first started building golf courses, my instincts told me it was a good business decision. I knew if I combined my passion for golf with my knowledge of real estate, I would succeed. The results have been spectacular.
Practice listening to your instincts. Play with this skill, and test it out on small decisions. Learn to trust it. You will acquire a real edge in both your business and your personal life. Use this skill to choose who you date and who you trust
to babysit your children.
Many things are hidden from us that we cannot articulate logically, but somehow we know they are there. We have a vague feeling that cannot be explained. Your instincts are there to guide you. Use them.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 91-2
, Sep 8, 2008
How big you think determines how big a success you become
In a lot of ways it is easier to do things on a large scale. It is easier to build a skyscraper in Manhattan than it is to buy a bungalow in the Bronx.
Bankers would much rather lend money for a big project than for a small one. If you succeed with
the big project, you stand to gain a lot more money.
The first step to success is to make the leap from being nobody to being somebody. Most people are afraid to think big. They just can't do it. Why? Because they cannot imagine themselves doing
big things; they do not have the knowledge, experience, or track record. They have none of the trappings that a successful big- thinking person has. When it comes to thinking big, you are your own worst enemy.
Do you believe that thinking big is
reserved for people with money, college degrees, family connections, or even intelligence? That is not true. Anyone can think big. The most important thing is the size of your thinking. How big you think determines how big a success you become.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.268
, Sep 8, 2008
Learning to be spontaneous takes preparation & practice
When I started in business, I spent a lot of my time researching every detail that could affect the deals I was considering. I still do today. People often comment on how quickly I think on my feet, and they think I've had this gift from birth. Actually,
I make decisions quickly because I always do my homework. Outsiders never see the thorough research, analysis and all the other preliminary work. They only see the results, which are just the tip of the iceberg. Ironically, learning to be spontaneous
takes preparation and practice.
Few people are naturally gifted extemporaneous speakers, but most can learn. It usually takes training, experience, and discipline. If you want to learn how to talk on your feet, know your subject inside out so that you
will never have to hesitate or bluff because questions will not surprise or stump you. You'll know every answer, and each question will give you a great opportunity to show how good you are and how much you know. Master your subject; know it cold.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 64-5
, Oct 20, 2006
Move quickly from seeing problems to seeing solutions
Pay attention to your business. Find out what problems exist and anticipate those that are likely to arise. Nip problems in the bud before they grow into more serious and hard- to- solve issues. In other words, take responsibility.
People who take responsibility have no need to blame or continually find fault with others. Naysayers rarely contribute much, and they usually don't amount to much.
By now, I've been in business long enough to have had ups and downs. I've enjoyed magnificent victories and suffered painful defeats.
I've learned to go quickly from seeing problems to seeing their solutions. The secret to resolving problems is to emphasize the solution more than the problem; accentuate the positive without ignoring the negative.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.141-2
, Oct 20, 2006
12-hour working days are my norm, not an exception
People are surprised to learn that I put in 12- hour working days. For me, that's the norm, not the exception. To remain successful, I have to be persistent and work hard; I work long hours to get everything done.
If you usually work a 40-hour week and then add on another 20 hours a week for a few weeks, you'll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish. Productive people accomplish more for a reason--they work long and hard.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.146
, Oct 20, 2006
Sue scoundrels but settle with the rest
There will be times when lawyers are essential. Some people are scoundrels. In those instances, sue the bastards. But whenever possible, settle.
It saves a lot of time for everyone involved.
I have come to hate doctors. I think that, generally, they are a bunch of money-grubbing hogs.
I can tell you about countless instances when doctors have ruined people's lives. As an example, a person I am very fond of had a foot injury that I believe should have healed naturally, but instead, the doctor operated on it,
fitting pins and plates into the foot. Now, after over a year of convalescence, this person is having a hard time walking. I think that suing a doctor like this would qualify as worthwhile legal expense.
Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, p.106
, Mar 23, 2004
Sometimes I wait 5 minutes for a deal; sometimes 15 years
I like to move quickly, but if a situation requires patience, I will be patient. The speed depends on the circumstances, and I keep my objective in mind at all times. This alone can be a patience pill. I've spent from 5 minutes to 15 years waiting for a
One good tactic for speeding up a deal is to show a lack of interest in it. This will often make the other side rekindle their efforts to get something going. I was very interested in a deal once, but I said I'd been traveling for a couple of
weeks and would get back to them after that. While I was "traveling," they used the time to modify their position and present to me almost precisely what I'd been hoping to get.
A good tactic for slowing down a deal is to distract the other side.
One way is to drop hints about whether a certain aspect of the deal should be looked into further, or to mention other deals. That will set them off in a direction that consumes their time. While they're off on a tangent, you'll still be on target.
Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, p.133
, Mar 23, 2004
Personal bankruptcy is a negotiating tool; I'd never do it
In March of 1990 I told Wall Street I might miss Trump Castle's $43 million principal and interest payment. This announcement reverberated around the world because I had never missed any payment before.
Suddenly bankers--some I'd worked with for a decade--were doubting my ability to make upcoming payments on my other loans. They were right to be skeptical. I wasn't sure myself where the money would be coming from.
The problems at the Castle could have triggered a series of defaults, forcing me into personal bankruptcy. And there was no way Donald Trump was going bankrupt!
I would talk about bankruptcy and I would use that possibility as a tool to negotiate, but I'd never do it. That would end the game.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 12
, Oct 27, 1997
We've all been victims of herd mentality on Wall Street
Business was great. So I said, "Let's go. It's time to go public." At the height of the market, we hit. I raised over $2 billion. While my casinos are individually doing very well, casino stocks have been hit very hard. Wall Street has been tough on us.
I find this somewhat unfair, being grouped with a lot of companies that are fundamentally different. The only thing we have in common is that we run casinos. My company, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, is incredibly liquid, with four magnificent casinos,
including one in Buffington Harbor, Indiana, right outside of Chicago. To a large extend, we've all been the victims of Wall Street. There can be a bit of a herd mentality there. Once on analyst starts dumping on an industry, often the others follow.
Right now, as I write this chapter, the casino markets have been lousy. They will come back, though. I have tremendous confidence in the future of Atlantic City and my hotels in particular. Time, I believe, will prove me right.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 41-3
, Oct 27, 1997
Signed bill for regulatory relief for smaller banks.
Trump voted YEA Banking Bill
Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act
- TITLE I--IMPROVING CONSUMER ACCESS TO MORTGAGE CREDIT: [for small banks,] requirements are waived if a loan is originated by and retained by the institution
- TITLE II--REGULATORY RELIEF AND PROTECTING CONSUMER ACCESS TO CREDIT: [deregulate] reciprocal deposits [if they] do not exceed 20% of its total liabilities.
- TITLE III--PROTECTIONS FOR VETERANS, CONSUMERS, AND HOMEOWNERS
- TITLE IV--TAILORING REGULATIONS FOR CERTAIN BANK HOLDING COMPANIES
- TITLE V--ENCOURAGING CAPITAL FORMATION
- TITLE VI--PROTECTIONS FOR STUDENT BORROWERS
Supporting press release from Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-6): This legislation will foster economic growth by providing relief to Main Street, tailor regulations for better efficacy, and most importantly it will empower individual Americans and give them more opportunity.
Opposing statement on ProPublica.org from Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5): The bill includes many provisions I support: minority-owned banks and credit unions in underserved communities have legitimate regulatory burden concerns. Unfortunately, exempting mortgage disclosures enacted to detect discriminatory practices will only assist the Trump Administration in its overall effort to curtail important civil rights regulations. I simply cannot vote for any proposal that would help this Administration chip away at laws that I and my colleagues worked so hard to enact and preserve.
Legislative outcome: Passed House 258-159-10 on May 22, 2018(Roll call 216); Passed Senate 67-31-2 on March 14, 2018(Roll call 54); Signed by President Trump. May 24, 2018
Source: Congressional vote 16-S2155 on Mar 14, 2018
Signed bill to reduce corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%.
Trump voted YEA Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Summary by GovTrack.US: (Nov 16, 2017)
- Reduce the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.
- Overseas earnings would be taxed at 15.5% as opposed to the current 35%. This may seem like an enormous reduction, but current law only taxes overseas earnings if they are returned to the US; the 15.5% rate would apply regardless.
For Individuals:Case for voting YES by Heritage Foundation (12/19/17):This is the most sweeping update to the US tax code in more than 30 years. The bill would lower taxes on businesses and individuals and unleash higher wages, more jobs, and untold opportunity through a larger and more dynamic economy. The bill includes many pro-growth features, including a deep reduction in the corporate
tax rate, a scaled-back state and local tax deduction, full expensing for five years, and lower individual tax rates.
- Lower the rate for the highest earners from 39.6% to 37%.
- Nearly double the standard deductions for individuals but repeal personal exemptions.
- The Affordable Care Act's individual mandate would be repealed.
Case for voting NO by Sierra Club (11/16/17): Republicans have passed a deeply regressive tax plan that will result in painful cuts to core domestic programs, to give billionaires and corporate polluters tax cuts while making American families pay the price. Among the worst provisions:This plan balloons the federal deficit by over $1.5 trillion. Cutting taxes for the rich now means cuts to the federal budget and entitlements later.The bill hampers the booming clean energy economy by ending tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and for wind and solar energy.The bill opens up the Arctic Refuge to drilling, a thinly veiled giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.
Legislative outcome: Passed House, 224-201-7, roll call #699 on 12/20; passed Senate 51-48-1, roll call #323 on 12/20; signed by Pres. Trump on 12/22.
Source: Congressional vote 17-HR1 on Nov 16, 2017
Page last updated: Apr 29, 2021