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Bloomberg says the economy is the way he will take on Trump—and his future VP pick will be responsible for education

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg addresses a news conference after launching his presidential bid in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., November 25, 2019.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Michael Bloomberg, billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor, launched a campaign for president on Nov. 24.

Since then, Bloomberg, who is estimated to be worth over $57 billion, has spent record-breaking amounts of his personal funds on TV ads. The former mayor's team has previously said he plans to spend over $100 million on his campaign.

Still, Bloomberg has released relatively little information about his specific policy proposals, compared to Democratic front-runners like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — who have been campaigning for significantly longer, thanks to Bloomberg's late entrance.

On Jan. 8, Bloomberg released information about his "All-In Economy" agenda. The preliminary plan includes a wide range of proposals aimed at providing "jobs and economic opportunity to the people and communities left behind by President Trump." It centers around the philosophy that beating the president on economic issues will pave a path to the White House for Bloomberg.

Trump is "counting on the economy to lift him to victory, and he's hoping to face a career politician who's never created any jobs," Bloomberg told reporters on Jan. 7. "Well, I will take him on over the economy, and I won't let him get away with selling the American people more empty promises. When I win, I'll get to work building an economy where all Americans, not just people like me, can share in our prosperity."

While Bloomberg touted his track record as a businessman, and his agenda offers a glimpse into the economic priorities of his campaign, he did not offer any hard numbers on his proposed policies, aside from his commitment to a $15 per hour federal minimum wage that is indexed to inflation.

Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg addresses the press from his Philadelphia field office on December 21, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela | Getty Images

Bloomberg's agenda includes increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, creating "Business Resource Centers" to provide assistance to entrepreneurs and affording workers — including gig, contract and franchise employees — the right to organize and bargain collectively.

When it comes to education, the former mayor also made general promises to "send billions of dollars to communities across the nation to help create jobs and grow incomes" and to "invest in college partnerships and apprenticeships that connect people with identifiable jobs and career paths."

The agenda calls skill-building "a national priority" in the face of a growing skills gap, but comes short of offering any figures for his education proposals and says that he would assign skill-building and education as a major focus for his vice presidential pick.

In contrast, other candidates have released specific details about their education proposals.

Former Vice President Biden has called attention to an estimated $23 billion annual funding gap between majority white and non-white public school districts and has proposed tripling federal funding to low-income schools and districts from $16 billion to $48 billion per year.

Sen. Sanders has proposed cracking down on charter schools, increasing funding for magnet schools by $1 billion and boosting starting salaries for teachers to $60,000.

Sen. Warren has released extensive education plans, including a detailed outline of her higher education plan, which proposes tuition-free college and student loan debt forgiveness. The plan has details including how much it will cost ($1.25 trillion over 10 years) and how she will pay for it (a 2-cent wealth tax on assets over $50 million).

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