The Economic Security Project has just published an article from me on Medium titled "How to Reform Welfare and Taxes to Provide Every American Citizen a Basic Income". It's a more detailed funding plan for a potentially cross-partisan implementation of universal basic income in the United States. For those looking for numbers, this has those, but it's also not all about the numbers. It's about a modularity of design that can engage multiple constituencies across multiple proposals that can all fit together into one grand UBI design. It's also about reducing taxes on ordinary income and shifting taxes to other income, consumption, pollution, and even on wealth itself.
Some of the most common questions ever asked in regards to the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) are in regards to the details. “How much income? Who gets it? Who pays for it? How is it paid for? What does it replace?” These are all great and important questions, but the answers vary from person to person, because the answers are a matter of personal and political preferences when it comes to fine-grained details. With that said, after years of studying basic income, below you will find what I currently believe in May of 2017 are the details of an optimally designed UBI blueprint.
First, how much are we talking about? In the United States, I suggest starting with the definition of poverty we already use, and eliminating poverty entirely. According to 2017 federal poverty guidelines, this means if we were to pass legislation tomorrow, it would need to be $12,060 per adult citizen and $4,180 per dependent under 18. The amount for kids is imperative so that income floors scale according to household sizes. A child basic income is also in large part a revenue neutral consolidation of existing expenditures presently unequally distributed. However, for reasons I will explain below, I suggest adding 10% to each amount, so $13,266 ($1,105/mo) per adult citizen and $4,598 ($383/mo) per citizen under 18...
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