The Surprisingly Limited Success of Trump’s Signature Anti-Poverty Program

by | Sep 29, 2020

Erick Trickey, POLITICO Magazine

Donald Trump has spent months on the campaign trail touting his signature anti-poverty program as a way to attract support from Black voters. Opportunity zones, he has said, have drawn “$100 billion of new investment … into 9,000 of our most distressed neighborhoods” and created “countless jobs.”

We’ll undoubtedly hear more about opportunity zones from Trump at the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday night, when the topics will include the economy and “the Trump and Biden records.” Opportunity zones were created in 2017 to allow wealthy investors to avoid the federal capital gains tax by reinvesting their profits in funds that invest in designated census tracts that are high poverty or low income, or next door to a tract that meets those standards. Indeed, the debate, hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, will actually take place in one of Cleveland’s opportunity zones.

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