Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigeig introduced a $1 trillion plan Friday that he says will enhance middle-class America with what he termed as investments in child care, housing, and tuition-free college and secondary education.
The plan outlines hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds to help pay for child care, as well as making public public colleges available for students whose families make less than $100,000 a year. The plan also calls for expanding the earned income tax credit.
Also, the plan includes a housing credit for more than 7 million families and after-school programs for children of middle-class families.
The plan is called “An Economic Agenda for American Families: Empowering Working & Middle Class Americans to Thrive.”
“As president, I will measure success not just by the size of the stock market or gross domestic product, but by whether working and middle-class families are succeeding,” Buttigieg said.
“I will use public enforcement, public investments, and public options to make the economy deliver for all Americans, not just those at the top,” he added.
Adviser Austan Goolsbee said the plan will target critical needs, unlike proposals from other candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“By focusing on the people who have the greatest need, or for whom this is the most relevant – the middle class and below – that allows you to do this with pay-fors that are realistic,” Goolsbee, an adviser to former President Barack Obama, said.
The plan also calls for creating a public healthcare option while pushing pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices. It would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour while establishing a national fund for medical and family leave for lower income workers.
The plan also sets up stronger protections for unions and provides a means for gig economy workers to organize.
“The next generation has always been better off than the previous, but we risk breaking that compact and deepening inequality if we don’t change course fast to make big, innovative and effective public investments in the next generation and in the economy they will inherit,” Buttigieg states in the outline of his plan.
It wasn’t clear how Buttigieg planned to pay for the program.