Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in support of candidates Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, September 3, 2022.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump on Friday outlined an ambitious plan to build 10 new “freedom cities” and beat China to the development of flying cars.
Lamenting that the U.S. has “lost its courage,” the top Republican presidential candidate in 2024 called for a national urban design competition as a way to spur a “qualitative leap in the American standard of living.”
Another element of Trump’s plan, detailed in a less than four-minute video released by his campaign, is for the federal government to increase investment in flying personal vehicles.
“I want to make sure that America, not China, leads this revolution in air mobility,” Trump said in the video.
The lightweight political plan sketched a vision of America’s future that was somewhat reminiscent of “The Jetsons,” the classic cartoon depicting a high-tech utopian society in which commuters commute to work in a flying car.
Efforts to build electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs, are already underway — though flying taxis and aerial highways aren’t expected anytime soon, with automakers still developing self-driving technology for landlocked vehicles .
In a press release, the Trump campaign claimed that 10 cities the size of Washington, D.C., could be built using less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the hundreds of millions of acres of government-owned “vacant” land. This land will not be part of US national parks, the campaign says.
As Trump places home and car ownership at the center of his vision of an ideal American future, urban planners and politicians increasingly support urban infrastructure concepts that increase density and reduce dependence on cars.
Trump’s video also teased a “major initiative” to lower the cost of living, with an emphasis on reducing the cost of buying a car and building a single-family home.
And he urged Congress to approve “baby bonuses” for young parents, a proposal that appears similar to “baby bond” legislation proposed by Democrats that would give each child $1,000 upon birth.
The Quantum Leap plan follows other policy announcements from Trump’s 2024 campaign. Days earlier, Trump revealed a protectionist trade program including “universal” tariffs intended to encourage domestic production.
The latest plan came a day before Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Correction: This article has been revised to reflect that the “baby bond” legislation proposed by Democrats would give each child $1,000 at birth. A previous version incorrectly characterized the proposal.