Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg unveiled programs to spend more than $1 billion in child care and affordable housing over the next decade as part of a package of proposals targeting the middle class released on Friday.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor also supplied more details on how he would lower the expense of college, stating that he would remove tuition at public schools for households earning less than $100,000 and decrease prices for those earning around $150,000. Historically black colleges and universities will receive $50 billion under his government, he said.
“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 stated in the strategy. “I will use public enforcement, public investments, and public options to make the economy deliver for all Americans, not just those at the top.”
The plans call for $70 billion each year in spending on child care and education and $45 billion annually on affordable housing measures. They cost about the same as rival plans put forward by fellow rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who announced a plan to invest $70 billion each year on child care in February and $50 billion each year on home in March.
The Buttigieg campaign stated it will cover its plans by reforming how capital gains are taxed among the top 1 percent.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders haven’t released comprehensive child care programs. Biden has voiced support for universal prekindergarten. Sanders introduced laws in 2011 that could finance universal child care . That legislation never came to a vote.
Sanders has also suggested investing $250 billion in affordable housing measures annually as part of a “Housing for All” plan. Biden hasn’t released a housing program, though his criminal justice strategy calls for ensuring that formerly incarcerated individuals have home upon their release.
Austan Goolsbee, who served as chair of Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors and is currently advising Buttigieg, stated that the programs highlight a basic philosophical difference between Buttigieg and applicants such as Sanders and Warren.
“It’s more targeted,” Goolsbee said. “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.”
The slate of proposals addressing so-called kitchen table economic issues comes as Buttigieg tries to break from the single digits in the last months prior to Democratic primary voters cast their first votes.
Buttigieg has plateaued in national polls because officially launching his campaign in April, though he’s recently seen a surge in service in Iowa, which hosts the first nominating contest of this cycle.
The child care strategy calls for $700 billion in spending over the next ten years on “affordable, universal, high-quality early learning” and “outside-of-school learning opportunities in K-12 education.”
The campaign said that studying and attention for lower-income families will be free through age five, and “affordable for all families.” Buttigieg will also finance “a new innovative program to provide cost assistance to working and middle class families for afterschool care and summer programming, helping to combat the summer learning loss that disproportionately hurts low-income and minority youth.”
The affordable housing plan requires $450 billion in spending on programs to lower housing prices. Buttigieg “will unlock access to” affordable housing for seven thousand households and “will enable 2.3 million more units of affordable housing to be built or restored.”
“He’ll end homelessness for youth and families with children and fully fund lead paint remediation to protect our most at-risk families,” the effort said.
The spending will be directed toward national programs that encourage affordable housing, such as the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. Additionally, it will go toward a tax credit that supports rental home for lower-income households.
Buttigieg, who has come under scrutiny over the lackluster effects of his signature home policy as mayor, has also proposed a sweeping law to market home-ownership for households living in redlined areas as part of his racial justice program.
On Friday, the campaign also declared its support for expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. The campaign said that its proposal, consistent with the one put forward by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, would increase earnings for 75 million Americans with an average of $1,000 annually.