A socialist test-run in America is underway, complete with proposals for a universal basic income, or UBI, at least for the short term. Granted, the initial $2.2 trillion CARES Act is meant to ease the burden of the typical American taxpayer unable to make ends meet without unemployment insurance or a hefty savings account, providing a one-time boost of $1,200 with additional funds for each dependent. But Democrats are angling to stuff the next stimulus package with a universal base monthly income for Americans until the COVID-19 crisis is over – well over: a $2,000 bump a month until the all-clear is given plus additional money for up to a year.
Leftists are damn near salivating at the prospect, and according to The Hill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tipped her hand during a recent call to House Democrats hinting at supporting the costly insert into the CARES 2 relief package. President Trump has indicated it may be a necessity, and Senate Republicans are beginning to experience anxiety attacks awaiting the proposal.
A Progressive’s ABCs
Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and cohort, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), came up with the Automatic Boost to Communities Act (ABC) and have been lobbying the House to include it in the second wave relief package. Not only would Americans receive a monthly allowance of $2,000 through the end of the crisis, but an additional $1,000 per month after, for one year.
Payments would be either automatically deposited or filled on a BOOST debit card much like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp card. And when the Democrats say “no one left behind” they mean it: Individuals eligible for the ABC cards include U.S. citizens, residents, and nonresident aliens living and/or working in the country for at least three months from December 13, 2019.
It’s not the only plan in the works: Similar legislation offered by progressive Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) is the Emergency Money for the People Act (EMP Act). This plan would include a $2,000-a-month boost to folks making less than $130,000 annually – this monthly stipend doubles for married couples or joint tax filers.
And mirroring the EMP Act, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), unveiled the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. Not so catchy an acronym, but the plan itself is nearly identical to the EMP Act, sending monthly $2,000 checks to all Americans who make less than $120,000 a year until three months after the pandemic is deemed over.
The collapse of the economy appears to be a progressive’s dream come true. And an incentive to get off their collective butts and get something done instead of lamenting the president’s every deed and word. One would think they were each getting paid hefty salaries to help the citizens of this nation – those who have lost jobs, income, savings, and continue to incur debt – survive and thrive after COVID-19.
Keep in mind the toll this country will suffer, adding anywhere from 3-18 months of universal basic income. Liberty Nation’s economic genius Andrew Moran has done the math:
“Today, there are about 210 million American adults. If the government gave each person over 18 years of age $10,000 annually, the price tag would top $2 trillion. It would be a few hundred billion dollars more than what all three levels of government are spending. Still, the proposal would make it simple: weekly or direct monthly payments without any red tape, bureaucratic agency, or waste.”
Democrats are proposing more than double that amount. As Moran concludes, Americans can kiss “food stamps, Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child-care vouchers, and every other welfare program around” goodbye.
President Trump will soon face additional pressure from Congress to pass ongoing relief. As the nation begins a hesitant process of reopening commerce and daily life, perhaps a meeting in the middle between Democrats who want a universal income for up to 18 months and hard-ball Republicans who believe the solution is to open the country and jump-start the economy, will prevail.
Getting through the crisis will test the mettle of Congress and the Executive Branch to thoughtfully address the needs of a worried constituency and rise above petty politics to get the job done.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.
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