President Donald Trump has unveiled a new economic plan aimed at Black voters. Trump's "Platinum Plan" aims to increase Black employment and provide Black-owned businesses access to $500 billion in funds. It also looks to increase "activity" in Opportunity Zones, an investment program created by his 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Other aspects of the plan include increased lending through community development organizations.
"Today is historic because for the first time you have a Republican president and a Republican agenda that's focused on the economic empowerment of the Black community," White House advisor Ja'Ron Smith said.
Unveiling the plan in Atlanta on Friday, Trump hopes that he is able to improve upon his past poor performances with Black voters. During the 2016 election, he won just 8% of the Black vote.
As it pertains to the economy, he has performed poorly among Black Americans as well. In January, The Washington Post found that 77% of Black Americans felt that he deserved “only some” or “hardly any” credit for any recent American economic success.
Throughout his term, Trump has routinely touted that he saved the economy and pushed unemployment to its lowest in history. During his first term, Black American poverty reached 18.8 percent, the lowest on record. Last September, Black unemployment hit 5.5 percent, the lowest on record. However, these are both trends that began under his political foe, President Barack Obama. Under President Obama, Black unemployment right decreased from 12.6% to 7.5%. Furthermore, average income of Black households has remained 60% less than that of their white counterparts under Trump.
In addition to addressing Black American's economic concerns, Trump's "Platinum Plan" hopes to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. The movement to make the day a federal holiday has met criticism from some for a variety. of reasons First and foremost, the day is intended to celebrate the end of slavery, but some Black Americans remained enslaved after June 19, 1865. Moreover, the constitution still allows for slavery in the form of imprisonment, which disproportionately affects Black Americans. Other concerns include companies providing paid holidays for non-Black employees celebrating a holiday intended for Black Americans.
Trump will have an opportunity to expand upon his new economic plan on Tuesday during his first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden.
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