How do we pay for it? Where does the money come from?
America can positively afford a basic income. When We the People demand it, our elected representatives will readily find ways to fund it. After all, our government found the funds – trillions of dollars – to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to bail out Wall Street and General Motors.
Everyone will have money for basic needs, food, clothes, and shelter. We’ll be able to cut or eliminate countless federal, state, and local government programs:
- Cut welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, and such;
- Eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism, the hundreds of billions of dollars government gives big corporations; and
- Reform the tax code, making it fairer and simpler by abolishing tax breaks, loopholes, and deductions, most of which go to the rich and superrich.
Today, cuts and reforms are unattainable, even though a huge majority of Americans favor them, because special interests control our political system and profit from every program. Basic income gives every American a personal stake in defeating the special interests and enacting the reforms we want.
Some of the funds can also come from a carbon tax on oil, coal, and natural gas. Basic income is like a dividend from the tax, giving everyone money we can use as we adapt and reduce consumption. Leading economists and environmentalists favor this approach, “carbon tax and dividend,” and say it’s the most effective way to slow the rate of global warming.
Other options include a financial transactions tax on Wall Street speculation, reducing the defense budget, land rent fees, increasing the money supply, streamlining government operations, and the list goes on.
There’s plenty of money available to pay for a basic income.