Michael Bloomberg attacked President Trump's economic record as he unveiled his newest 2020 policy on Wednesday, calling for a handful of new initiatives to fix what he called a “badly broken” system.
“The U.S. economy is working just fine for people like me,” the 77-year-old billionaire said on Wednesday while speaking in Illinois, part of a three-stop swing through the Midwest. “It really is. But it is badly broken for the vast majority of Americans.”
Bloomberg is a late entrant to the Democratic presidential primary, and as a result, is not participating in the Iowa caucuses and won't be on the ballots of other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Instead, the former New York City billionaire is focusing his attention — and vast fortune — on Super Tuesday states. (So far, he’s spent $13 million apiece in each state).
Dubbed the “All-In Economy,” Bloomberg’s plan included a list of initiatives to better prepare the American workforce for the future and to help rural areas catch up with prosperous cities, though it’s unclear how some of the proposals would be paid for.
A major focus of Bloomberg’s plan is sending billions of dollars to communities to help create jobs and grow incomes, including launching a major public research and development initiative in industries like agriculture, manufacturing and medicine that rewards cities for the best plans for inclusive growth.
Bloomberg also called for raising the federal minimum wage, which has remained stagnant for the past decade, to $15 per hour, and for enhancing the federal earned income tax credit, which increases the take-home pay of low-income workers. He also endorsed expanding the child tax credit. His plan would grant all workers, including gig, contract and franchise employees, the right to organize and bargain collectively.
“We spread good jobs with good salaries to every corner of the city, and places that had been abandoned and short-changed before,” he told reporters Tuesday. “And I know we can do that all across America, especially in small towns, rural areas and neighborhoods that are getting squeezed out by globalization.”
His campaign did not provide cost estimates or funding sources for the proposals listed in his plan.
Trump has hitched his re-election chances to the strength of the U.S. economy, and frequently touts record-low unemployment, solid job growth and a healthy (if unnoteworthy) GDP.
“The president says this is the greatest economy in the history of America,” Bloomberg said. “Well, yeah, the stock market is at an all-time high: but almost half the country doesn’t own any stocks.”