Paying all 322 million Americans $10,000 a year would cost $3.22 trillion. Proponents claim this can be paid by redirecting existing welfare programs, but a quick review reveals this as nonsense.
All state and local government social welfare programs are around $500 billion, and programs such as food stamps (SNAP) that would presumably be replaced with Basic Income are relatively small budget items: SNAP is around $75 billion.
As for Social Security: those receiving around $850 per month in Social Security benefits won’t mind their SSA benefit being replaced by Basic Income–they will receive the same amount. But those earning $1,500 in Social Security benefits will expect to receive $1,500, not $850.
The net result is the savings from swapping Social Security payments for Basic Income are also modest. The SSA distributes around $950 billion annually to about 69 million recipients. As a rough estimate, perhaps $500 billion could be swapped from SSA to Basic Income.
As for Medicaid and and Medicare, Basic Income does not include medical care. These programs will be untouched by Basic Income.
Bottom line, Universal Basic Income will add roughly $2.2 trillion to government spending, while profits and payrolls–the sources of tax revenues–will both decline.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: The Flaws in Basic Income for Everyone
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