A post-COVID plan for the middle class
The acute economic crisis caused by COVID-19 highlighted the chronic economic problems facing million of Americans. Over the last few decades, middle class incomes, after taxes and benefits, have grown half as fast as those of both the rich and poor. To provide immediate assistance to the middle class, we should eliminate income tax for most middle-class households by raising the standard deduction to $100,000 for a married couple, and provide two years of post-secondary education for free, in exchange for a year of national service. These can be funded by higher taxes on carbon, capital, and consumption.