NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders reinforced his plan for fixing income equality in America, where he said the bottom 90 percent of Americans combined own less wealth than the top one-tenth of one percent.
Sander's website lists "Income and Wealth Inequality," as the first issue on his website as the senator pushes this a central goal for his campaign.
"The truth is that for the last 40 years, the great middle class of this country has been disappearing," Sanders said in the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas.
But Sanders identified 5 overarching policies he would push as President to improve income inequality and strengthen the middle class:
1. Create Millions of Jobs
By investing in $1 trillion in America's deteriorating infrastructure, Sanders said he will create nearly 13 million jobs. And to support young Americans he plans to invest $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program.
2. Raise the Minimum Wage to $15
Sanders plans to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2020, while increasing the tipped minimum wage from $2.13 to $15 by 2023. A Pew Research Center Survey found that 73 percent of people at least want the federal minimum wage to be $10.10 an hour. Republicans are split down the middle with 53 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed. An overwhelming majority, 90 percent, of Democrats, and 71 percent of Independents are in favor of raising the minimum wage.
3. Push Pay Equity for Women Workers
Sanders said he will sign the "Paycheck Fairness Act," that would ensure equal pay for equal work in America. In 2013, on average women earned 78 cents for every dollar men earned, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But it the statistics get worse for Latino women at 56 cents and African-American women who earn nearly 64 cents for every dollar earned by white males.
4. End "Disastrous" Trade Policies
Sanders says that our trade policies "have cost us millions of jobs." Sanders has been a strong opponent to trade agreements: NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, and the recent TPP. According to him, these trade polices have caused wages to decline and jobs to be transferred overseas.
5. Free Public College and University Tuition
Student loan debt has plagued the middle class. Sanders said that the federal government shouldn't be making a profit on student loans. He plans to pay for free education through imposing a tax on Wall Street speculators.