Even as Democrats continue to obstruct and play politics, I have never stopped fighting for the people, and I have no intention of changing course. I promised Jan. 20, 2017, would be remembered as a new day for all Americans – the day the people became the rulers of this nation once again.
For the past 365 days, that promise has been my guide.
We are putting America first, making real change in Washington, and creating opportunities for all of our people. From coast to coast, there is a renewed spirit. Our country is roaring back more quickly than anyone could have predicted. The American Dream is real again.
Estimates predict the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of more than 3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year – just like it did in the two quarters before that. The economy has created more than 2 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate in 17 years: 4.1 percent. We have achieved the lowest African-American unemployment rate on record, and the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans has also hit historic lows. Chrysler has announced plans to bring jobs and production back to the U.S. from Mexico. And the stock market continues to set record high after record high.
Just before Christmas, we enacted massive tax cuts and tax reform for the American people. For the first time in 30 years, we reformed the tax code to make it simpler and fairer. We have lowered rates for both individuals and businesses, expanded 529 education savings accounts to be used for K-12 education, and doubled the child tax credit. These changes will not only allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money, but they will help make American workers and businesses competitive again. This sweeping reform also repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate – an unpopular, cruel, and burdensome tax that hit low- and middle-income Americans the hardest.
Over the year, as Americans have seen increases in their paychecks and retirement accounts, American companies in every sector have grown their business and created more jobs. I have created a more business-friendly environment by mandating, early on in my administration, that for every one regulation an agency proposed, two regulations must be eliminated. Many said that could not be done. Not only did we meet that goal, we far exceeded it, eliminating 22 regulatory actions for every new regulation.
As your president, I have unleashed our abundant American energy by ending the war on coal and approving major projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. After 40 years of fights with those who want to keep America’s potential locked in the ground, we have opened a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to safe and responsible exploration and development.
Americans are living in communities that are safer, stronger, healthier, and more secure. We are rooting out violence and restoring the rule of law. The federal government will not turn a blind eye to the widespread opioid epidemic that has caused too many funerals for too many families. I directed my Cabinet to make responding to the public health emergency one of their most urgent priorities, and I provided more than $1 billion in funding in 2017 to address opioid addiction and other drug-related problems.
Real change is happening on the world stage as well.
Immediately upon taking office, I directed the rebuilding of our military, a new national security strategy, a comprehensive nuclear posture review, and the fielding of state-of-the-art ballistic missile defenses. I personally engaged with 150 world leaders at home and abroad, and our great military is executing new strategies that have liberated Mosul and Raqqa, retaken almost 100 percent of the land that ISIS had seized in Syria and Iraq, and lifted restrictions on U.S. forces in Afghanistan to defeat the terrorists and create conditions for a negotiated political settlement.
In recognition of the amazing job our military does protecting the homeland, a debt we can never truly repay, I am making sure this government fulfills its obligation to our veterans. We have already enacted major reforms to strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability to provide high quality healthcare and benefits to millions of veterans and their beneficiaries. We have increased accountability, as the VA has fired 1,440 failing employees, suspended 430, and demoted 79, all as part of my efforts to make sure veterans get the help they need, in the time frame they deserve.
Finally, I have filled numerous vacancies in our federal courts with judges who will interpret the law as written – including our exceptional new Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch.
After one year, I am proud to report to the American people that we truly are making America great again – for all Americans!
Donald J. Trump is president of the United States.