The American middle class is in trouble. In 1970, 62 percent of Americans could be counted as middle class, but that number has plummeted to a measly 43 percent.1 This means that fewer than half of families make between 67 percent and 200 percent of the American median income, adjusted for family size. For a family of three, “middle class” translates to a household income of $42,000 to $126,000 per year.
How did we lose our middle class? Donald Trump knows that the middle class has been gutted by failed policies written and implemented by politicians and Washington insiders who don’t know the first thing about business. Trump is the only candidate who has actually hired workers. He’s the one person who can actually deliver on the promise of restoring the middle class. Here are five of his proposals that will do just that.
1. Rebuilding America
When he’s President, Donald Trump will invest in America’s infrastructure. In his book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, he writes, “Fixing our infrastructure will be one of the biggest projects this country has ever undertaken.” Every dollar spent on infrastructure will put $1.44 back into the economy. Trump writes, “You know what that is? Jobs.” Fixing bridges, airports, and roads – which Trump rightly calls a disaster – and building new power systems and better high-speed Internet can’t be outsourced to China or anywhere else. Those will be good, high-paying American jobs. They will be jobs that help rebuild our infrastructure and our middle class.
2. Bring Back Jobs from China
Over the past 15 years, more than five million American manufacturing jobs have been shipped over to China. Trump knows that China takes advantage of America’s open markets, but that China doesn’t reciprocate. Instead, they levy tariffs on American goods and keep American companies out of China. Trump’s plan to renegotiate trade agreements with China will help American workers – and businesses – compete on a level playing field. Like he says, “They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.” These jobs will help fuel a middle class resurgence.
3. Lower the Corporate Tax Rate
Our corporate tax rates are so high that companies move what could – and should – be good American jobs offshore. As one of the best – if not the best – businessmen in the world, Donald Trump knows how to make businesses bring back jobs, which in turn will shore up the middle class. He will do this by lowering the tax rate on businesses to 15 percent, and then tax U.S. companies for their foreign subsidiaries.
4. Reform Immigration
America lets in more than a million new legal immigrants each year. Those people keep wages down. Donald Trump knows that we need to stop the influx of new legal immigrants so that we can help Americans get in and stay in the middle class. That’s why he’s called for a pause in legal immigration. For how long? In a March debate, Trump said, “I’d say a minimum of one year, maybe two years.”
5. Stop Temporary Worker Visas
H-1B visas allow foreign workers to come in from other countries. That denies Americans entry-level jobs that pave the way to the middle class. Donald Trump says that he’s brought foreign workers in on H-1B visas. He said, “And it’s something that I frankly use and I shouldn’t be allowed to use it.” Trump is a businessman, and it makes sense that he should use the laws to his advantage. But he’s also the one who knows which laws should be repealed.
America was great because it was a land of opportunity. It was great because parents knew that their children would be better off than they were. Thanks to the disappearing middle class, that’s no longer true. But Donald Trump will make America great again by implementing these and other policies designed to generate American jobs and protect American workers.