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Pete Buttigieg unveils plans to invest in housing and child care



Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg unveiled plans to invest more than $1 trillion 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 provided more details on how he would lower the cost of college, saying that he would eliminate tuition at public colleges for families earning less than $100,000 and reduce costs for those earning up to $150,000. Historically black colleges and universities will receive $50 billion under his administration, 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 said in the plan. “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 per year in spending on child care and education and $45 billion per year on affordable housing measures. They cost about the same as rival plans put forward by fellow contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who announced a plan to spend $70 billion per year on child care in February and $50 billion per year on housing in March.

The Buttigieg campaign said that it will pay for its plans by reforming the way that capital gains are taxed among the top 1%.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders have not released comprehensive child care plans. Biden has expressed support for universal prekindergarten. Sanders introduced legislation in 2011 that would fund universal child care through kindergarten. That legislation never came to a vote.

Sanders has also proposed investing $250 billion in affordable housing measures per year as part of a “Housing for All” plan. Biden has not released a housing plan, though his criminal justice plan calls for ensuring that all formerly incarcerated individuals have housing upon their release.

Austan Goolsbee, who served as chair of Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors and is now advising Buttigieg, said that the plans highlight a fundamental philosophical difference between Buttigieg and candidates like 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 attempts to break out of the single digits in the final months before Democratic primary voters cast their first votes.

Buttigieg has plateaued in national polls since formally launching his campaign in April, though he has recently seen a surge in support in Iowa, which hosts the first nominating contest of the cycle.

The child care plan calls for $700 billion in spending over the next decade on “affordable, universal, high-quality early learning” as well as “outside-of-school learning opportunities in K-12 education.”

The campaign said that learning and care for lower-income families will be free through age five, and “affordable for all families.” Buttigieg will also fund “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 calls for $450 billion in spending on programs to lower housing costs. Buttigieg “will unlock access to” affordable housing for seven million families 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 campaign said.

The spending will be directed toward federal programs that support affordable housing, including the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. It will also go toward a tax credit that supports rental housing for lower-income households.

Buttigieg, who has come under scrutiny over the lackluster impact of his signature housing policy as mayor, has also proposed a sweeping law to promote home-ownership for families living in redlined neighborhoods as part of his racial justice plan.

On Friday, the campaign also announced its support for expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. The campaign said that its proposal, in line with the one put forward by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, would boost incomes for 75 million Americans by an average of $1,000 per year.



Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials — November 11, 2019



Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic: Evo Morales Finally Went Too Far for Bolivia

The socialist president claimed authoritarian powers in the name of the popular will. But average citizens were fed up with arbitrary rule.

Evo Morales has been attacking Bolivia’s democracy for many years. Since coming to office in 2006, the socialist president has concentrated ever more authority in his own hands, denounced the opposition in aggressive terms, and placed loyalists in key institutions, from the country’s public broadcaster to its highest court.


Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials — November 11, 2019

Maduro’s military stands in the way of a Bolivia repeat in Venezuela — Brian Ellsworth and Vivian Sequera, Reuters

Released Lula in for greatest fight of his life — Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Back to jail, or run for president: the legal maze facing Brazil’s Lula — Ricardo Brito, Reuters

Should China Police the Strait of Hormuz? — Lyle J. Goldstein, National Interest

Saudi Arabia’s Newest Tactic To Hush Dissidents — Michael Kern, Oil Price

Saudi Arabia’s Terrible War in Yemen Isn’t Going as Planned — Matthew Petti, National Interest

Iraq protests should be moment of truth for US State Department — Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner

‘Too late’ for Hong Kong government to gain citizens’ trust — William Yang, DW

Despite big bangs, Thai Muslim rebels fading away — Anthony Davis, Asia Times

How the Wagner Group Expands and Inflates Russia’s Influence — C. Rondeaux, WPR

Russia has joined the ‘scramble’ for Africa — Patrick Gathara, Al Jazeera

Russia Positioning Itself in Libya to Unleash Migrant Crisis Into Europe — Paul D. Shinkman, US News and World Report

Poll brings Spain no respite from political uncertainty — Barry Hatton and Ciaran Giles, AP

Socialists win repeat Spanish election, Vox becomes third-biggest force in Congress — El Pais

Why Britain’s Election Is So Unpredictable — Matthew Goodwin, Chatham House

What Should Donald Trump Really Be Impeached For? — Amitai Etzioni, National Interest


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Deval Patrick, Ex-Governor of Massachusetts, Is Considering White House Bid



Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s presidential primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Patrick has told party leaders that he doesn’t think any of the candidates running have established political momentum and that he thinks there is an opening for somebody who can unite both liberals and moderate Democrats, according to Democrats who have spoken to him.

At the same time, Massachusetts Democrats close to Mr. Patrick have started to reach out to prominent party leaders in early nominating states to alert them that he may run, according to one Democrat who has received an inquiry.

His candidacy could complicate the strategic assumptions for a number of candidates, including the two who have led most national and early-state surveys: Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren. Mr. Patrick could threaten Mr. Biden’s support from black voters and also make inroads in New Hampshire, where Ms. Warren is counting on a strong performance in the southern part of the state that borders Massachusetts.

He and Ms. Warren have had an amicable, if not personally close relationship, and when she was asked at an event last week to name African-Americans she’d have in her cabinet she included Mr. Patrick.

Were he to run, the former governor may find it difficult to create a full-fledged campaign organization so late in the process. Two of his longtime Massachusetts aides are already committed in 2020: Doug Rubin is working for businessman Tom Steyer’s presidential campaign and John Walsh is overseeing the re-election of Senator Ed Markey, who is being challenged by Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III.

According to Massachusetts Democrats, though, Mr. Patrick has lined up at least one former adviser: Jennifer Liu, who worked for his political arm when he was governor and was recently laid off from Senator Kamala Harris’ campaign, where she had been finance director.

Mr. Patrick traveled to some early nominating states last year but decided against a presidential bid last November, saying at the time that he did not want the “cruelty of our elections process” to adversely impact his family.

The governor did not immediately reply to a text message seeking comment on Monday. Last month, when he was asked to fully rule out the prospect of a last-minute entry, Mr. Patrick said: “Don’t ask me that question.”

Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.


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