Working Families First:

Julián Castro
3 min readAug 15, 2019

An Economic Plan to Invest in Opportunity for Working Families

We need our country to work again for working people.

My grandmother worked her entire life as a maid, a cook, and a babysitter. She raised my mom on her own, and helped care for my brother and me, always putting other folks ahead of herself. She sacrificed for our family, and while she could not pass on wealth or power, she did entrust us with an inheritance of hard work. This plan is for the working families of America just like mine.

Our economy today is not working for working people, the way it did in the past. The costs of caring for your family are rising year after year, while your paycheck is staying the same. The wealthy few have set up the rules to work for themselves, while working families who labor for a living are left behind. Our economy has changed with technology and automation, but our policies have not kept pace to empower working families with a fighting chance for a better future.

Why in the richest nation on Earth should we tax work more than wealth?

Today, I’m proposing an ‘Inherited Wealth’ tax that ensures folks who receive income in the form of inheritance pay a fair share of taxes, like the rest of us. Income from capital gains and income from labor should be treated the same way: as income. That’s why I’m advocating that we raise the capital gains rate to match the marginal income tax rate for the wealthy. In my plan, I’m also supporting a ‘Wealth Inequality’ tax through mark-to-market system for the richest one-tenth of 1 percent that would tax their capital gains annually. Wealth inequality is a fundamental challenge to our economy, and we must address it. Under my plan, 99 percent of Americans would see their taxes go down or stay the same.

We can ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share and then invest that revenue into relief for working families.

My ‘Working Families First’ Credit includes a universal child credit of $3,000 per child for every family of modest means and a major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. As I’ve previously proposed in my “People First Education” platform, we will provide universal pre-K education, and now I propose expanding that to include universal child care; these programs will lower the cost burden on working families and increase wages for child care workers. Together, the new credit, pre-K education, and child care will help us achieve a bold new goal of reducing child poverty by two-thirds. Furthermore, the foundation of strong working families is gender pay equity, and that’s why my plan includes paid family and medical leave and an equal rights amendment.

This plan is based on the principle of putting working families first and ensuring the wealthiest folks pay their fair share. We can raise wages, reduce inequality, and invest in working families for a thriving middle class and a better future for us all.

We need to:

  1. Require that all workers have paid sick time.
  2. Ensure that people have paid family & medical leave to take care of their loved ones.
  3. Fight for $15, but also be ambitious for more
  4. Close the gender gap and create pay parity.

Read the entire Working Families First Plan here.



Julián Castro

Father, husband, Texan, presidential candidate. He/Him/Él. Former Sec. of Housing & Urban Development, Mayor of San Antonio.