Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have made two important contributions in this electoral cycle. Both have pointed out that (1) millions of middle class households are being left behind as our country climbs out of the Great Recession and that (2) mainstream politicians in both political parties have no idea what to do about it.
There is just one problem. Neither Trump nor Sanders knows what to do about it either.
Trumps proposals to deport millions of illegal aliens and renegotiate trade deals may help some people. But these policies would hurt others and mainstream economists are not convinced that either initiative would help the economy as a whole.
However, there are two areascorporate taxation and healthcarewhere current policies are so bad that some straightforward changes would result in an increase of about $5,000 a year in take-home pay for the average household and maybe much more. Further, these changes do not require any increase in the federal deficit and the increase in pay will materialize in just a few yearsbefore the next presidential election.