The best way to figure out if a political candidate is listening to voters is to examine his policy responses to their concerns. President Trump’s Platinum Plan for Black America is a case study in thoughtful listening and constructive engagement, resulting in a series of proposals that can bring positive change to individual families and the Black community as a whole.
Notwithstanding the president’s penchant for catchy marketing phrases, his Platinum Plan offers a bold vision for real change that demonstrates that Blacks can trust him to lead the country for four more years.
The main pillars of Trump’s plan are opportunity, security, prosperity and fairness. While broad in their meaning, the president’s carefully defines the government’s role in fostering upward progress for Blacks without pushing an agenda that encourages wasteful spending and growing an already bloated federal bureaucracy. Girding these pillars are ways to further improve the economy, education and health care.
For the past four years, President Trump has worked hard to boost a stagnant economy, and his success prior to the pandemic has been remarkable, particularly among Black Americans. The explosive economic growth since 2017 led to the highest Black employment rate in recorded history, accompanied by a rise in Black American household income.
Trump’s Platinum Plan builds on this success, pledging three million new jobs in the Black community by fostering an economic environment for 500,000 new Black-owned businesses. Currently, only 4% of small business owners are Black, and Trump plans to increase opportunity for small business lending by advancing programs and relationships with senior executives from major corporations to improve access to capital.
This includes improving credit scores, a significant obstacle to capital, by recognizing alternative ways to build credit through rent, utility, and phone bill payments. Not only will this help with business development, but it can also lead to increased homeownership and neighborhood revitalization.
His administration will also review regulations, targeting needless occupational licensing restrictions that harm Black working professionals like barbers and braiders; increase local activity for opportunity zones; and provide tax benefits to stimulate hiring and investment.
Racial disparities in health care were made apparent at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the infection rate is twice as high for Blacks than Whites. Trump’s plan for affordable health care will support free-market initiatives to lower the cost of medicine and invest in research for cures of diseases that disproportionately affect Black populations like kidney disease, Sickle Cell Anemia and maternal mortality. The president is also planning to invest in a public-private partnership to build health care facilities in communities without access to healthcare.
President Trump also understands that the single most crucial factor in addressing health and wealth gaps is education. That is why education is a focus of his agenda. For families with children at lower grade levels, the president proposes increased child care tax credits, which can help provide access to quality preschools.
Trump also wants to give Black parents more power to ensure that they are in charge of their children’s futures, not the government. For families looking to higher education, President Trump has provided long-lasting support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and will increase Pell grants, along with more apprenticeship and vocational training programs.
The Platinum Plan is a common-sense approach that understands what ails the Black community and offers solutions. But it includes more than just nuts-and-bolts policy; it recognizes cultural and historic factors unique to the Black community. It respects the special role of Black churches as a cohesive force in the community and includes them in urban revitalization, as well as guaranteeing religious liberties.
Trump’s plan also makes Juneteenth a national holiday, classifies lynching as a national hate crime, and pledges to prosecute the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization.
President Trump appreciates that Black Americans played a critical role in building this country, and his stated policies expand on his efforts to continue the fight towards economic growth and equality for Blacks. He is not just listening; he is taking action, and his plan is the solution Black America needs.
AJ Swinson is chief of staff for the New Journey PAC.