Pete Buttigieg wants to help low-income families with free college tuition, free childcare, and expanded tax credits, according to a $2.1 trillion economic plan announced Friday. The plan includes free tuition at four-year public colleges for families earning up to $100,000, reduced tuition for those earning up to $150,000, and student debt forgiveness for people in "low quality" programs, reports the Washington Post. To help pay for it all, Buttigieg wants the top 1% of earners to pay more in capital gains taxes, per CNBC. "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," says the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., who's seen a spike in support in Iowa.
Per the Post, the plan puts Buttigieg left of Joe Biden but not as far left as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have called for free college tuition for all. Yet Buttigieg's plan to spend $700 billion on child care and education and $430 billion on affordable housing over the next decade, allowing for 2 million more housing units, is similar to a plan offered by Warren, who NPR reports is neck and neck with Buttigieg in Iowa. The Afghan war veteran also wants to invest $200 billion in job training, $50 billion in historically black colleges, and $5 billion in ensuring every American has access to an apprenticeship within 30 miles. And like Julián Castro, he suggests an expansion of the earned income tax credit. One analysis suggests 35 million US households with earnings under $55,000 would get an average tax credit of $1,000 under the plan. (Read more Pete Buttigieg stories.)