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A Fair Shot At A Better Life

While the wealthy have seen an economic recovery, many people who go to work every day are facing diminishing opportunities. Steve believes we must make sure every American who works hard has a fair shot at success. That means creating the opportunities that come from a great education and job training, reliable and affordable healthcare, a good job, and retirement security.

Here’s where we are today:

  • Prime-age workers in the bottom 60% have had no real income growth since 1980 (inflation adjusted). In that same time period, the income for the top 10% has doubled, and the top 1% has tripled.
  • For the population as a whole, the percentage of children who grow up to earn more than their parents has fallen from 90% in 1970 to 50% today. For those in the lower 60%, the prospects are worse.
  • 40% of adults wouldn’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense.
  • 62% of jobs do not pay enough to support a middle-class lifestyle.
  • 57 years after Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, women still make just 80 cents on the dollar compared to men.
  • Republicans in Washington gave a tax handout to their biggest donors—adding $2 trillion to the national debt— then Senator Mitch McConnell says paying for the handout will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  
  • Today, the median Black family owns around $3,600 in wealth, while the 400 richest families in America own more wealth than all Black families in the U.S. combined, and a quarter of Latino families.
  • The proportion of all U.S. households with zero or “negative” wealth (meaning their debts exceed the value of their assets) has grown from 1 in 6 in 1983 to 1 in 5 today.

Steve will do better. He will support workers and economic development and reward hard work at all levels of the economy.

  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour recognizing some regions may need to go higher. As a private citizen, Steve led the successful effort to raise the minimum wage in Montana (and tie it to inflation) and he’ll push to raise it nationally because too many Americans, especially women and people of color, aren’t getting paid an honest day’s wage for a hard day’s work.
  • Work with Congress to strengthen and modernize labor laws and employment benefits so people working in the gig economy, contracting, or working multiple jobs receive the benefits everyone deserves—and we’ll ensure these benefits are portable as people change jobs.
  • Create a Working Families Tax Credit to reward those who work hard but barely earn enough to get by.  Steve will make the tax credit available when paychecks arrive so money gets in the hands of workers when they need it to pay for rent, groceries, or medicine.  
  • End the assault on unions and make it easier for men and women to decide whether to organize.
  • Restructure our tax code so big businesses pay their fair share and reward companies for investing in workers. Under the current tax code, companies are rewarded when they buy a new piece of equipment.  Steve will reward companies who invest in their employees with proper benefits and workforce training. And Steve will ensure our tax code promotes economic growth for all, while encouraging investment in employees and infrastructure—not just stock buy-backs.
  • Increase federal and private lending to underserved communities and rural counties that foster entrepreneurship and are in need of capital investments. Entrepreneurs of color and rural entrepreneurs are ready to grow — and a Bullock administration will help increase investments from government and business lenders. Steve will also increase government contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned and rural businesses.
  • Promote apprenticeships and opportunities to develop new skills for workers in transitioning industry.
  • Direct the Justice Department to enforce antitrust laws and ensure true competition throughout the economy — airlines, telecommunications, agribusiness, financial services, technology, and medical care and services.
  • Work with Congress to pass a fully refundable child care tax credit so workers with children can afford necessary child care while they are in the workforce.
  • Support the FAMILY Act, creating a national family and medical leave program covering 50% of wages for 12 weeks. This will make sure that Americans who work can take time to care for a loved one or address serious medical needs without fear of losing their source of income.


  • Strengthen Social Security and improve opportunities for Americans to save for retirement.
  • Work with Congress to create portable workforce benefits so that workers in the changing economy can still count on the retirement security provided to previous generations through employer pensions.
  • Work with Congress to address the 130 private, multiemployer pension plans at risk of failure in the next 20 years.  
  • Establish a multi-agency federal commission examining disparities in healthcare, housing, employment, education, and entrepreneurship and task the commission with laying out a clear plan to immediately address these disparities.


  • Lead a national infrastructure renewal that will tackle climate change and put Americans to work. These jobs will help communities pave a path to the future by modernizing our electric grid, rebuilding bridges and roads, ensuring clean and safe drinking water, bringing broadband to every part of our country, and improving energy efficiency.
  • End the tariff wars that are hurting families across America — especially farmers and ranchers — while negotiating new agreements that expand markets for American businesses while avoiding a race-to-the-bottom that hurts workers’ wages and rights.

A Record of Building an Economy that Works for All

  • Created the Main Street Montana project to ensure government was responsive to the private sector, fostered economic growth policies, and created an education system that met the needs of employers.
  • Built an economy where more people are working in Montana than ever before. With an unemployment rate of 3.5%, Montana has added 34,000 private sector jobs since Steve took office.
  • Grew wages and created an environment in which his state is consistently ranked at the top of business and innovations rankings. Today the average worker earns $108 more each and every week than they did six years ago.
  • Middle-class households in Montana grew more between 2013-2016 than in any other state while median household income grew at nearly two and a half times the national average.
  • Repealed hundreds of unnecessary rules and regulations that stood in the way of economic growth, while protecting consumers and our environment.
  • Passed Montana’s first ever Earned Income Tax Credit, helping middle-class families keep more of their paychecks.
  • Led business trade missions to Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
  • Increased apprenticeship programs by over 50% to connect businesses with skilled workers, creating more good-paying jobs, and establishing the first ever tribal college apprenticeship programs in the nation.
  • As Chair of the National Governors Association, Steve led the “Good Jobs for All Americans” initiative that focused on job creation in rural America, job training for mid-career workers seeking new opportunities, and ensuring that folks entering the workforce have quality career training opportunities.