Yang’s proposal is to provide $1,000 per month ($12,000 a year) to each adult citizen. A core feature of the Freedom Dividend is that individuals would need to choose between their current government benefits and the Freedom Dividend. As such, some individuals may decline the Freedom Dividend if they determine that their current government benefits are more valuable.
The benefits that individuals would need to give up are Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needed Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and SNAP for Women, Infants, and Child Program (WIC).
To cover the additional cost of the Freedom Dividend, Yang would raise revenue in five ways: a 10 percent VAT, a tax on financial transactions, taxing capital gains and carried interest at ordinary income rates, remove the wage cap on the Social Security payroll tax, a $40 per metric ton carbon tax.Does Andrew Yang’s “Freedom Dividend” Proposal Add Up?
UBI’s daunting financing challenges raise fundamental questions about its political feasibility, both now and in coming decades. Proponents often speak of an emerging left-right coalition to support it. But consider what UBI’s supporters on the right advocate. They generally propose UBI as a replacement for the current “welfare state.” That is, they would finance UBI by eliminating all or most programs for people with low or modest incomes.
Consider what that would mean. If you take the dollars targeted on people in the bottom fifth or two-fifths of the population and convert them to universal payments to people all the way up the income scale, you’re redistributing income upward. That would increase poverty and inequality rather than reduce them.
Yet that’s the platform on which the (limited) support for UBI on the right largely rests. It entails abolishing programs from SNAP (food stamps) — which largely eliminated the severe child malnutrition found in parts of the Southern “black belt” and Appalachia in the late 1960s — to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Section 8 rental vouchers, Medicaid, Head Start, child care assistance, and many others. These programs lift tens of millions of people, including millions of children, out of poverty each year and make tens of millions more less poor.
Some UBI proponents may argue that by ending current programs, we’d reap large administrative savings that we could convert into UBI payments. But that’s mistaken. For the major means-tested programs — SNAP, Medicaid, the EITC, housing vouchers, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and school meals — administrative costs consume only 1 to 9 percent of program resources, as a CBPP analysis explains. Their funding goes overwhelmingly to boost the incomes and purchasing power of low-income families.Universal Basic Income May Sound Attractive But, If It Occurred, Would Likelier Increase Poverty Than Reduce It
Before applying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), many people want to know what to expect in terms of a monthly payout. Even though your specific payment depends on your work history, monthly SSD payments by state range from $1,646.98 to $1,320.76, on average. The highest amount any individual can draw in monthly SSDI payments is no more than $3,345 for 2022. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits pay no more than $841 per month to individuals, or $1,261/couple. In 2022, the average SSDI payment is $1,358/month nationwide. Compare that to the average Social Security retirement payment, which is $1,657/month.50 States Ranked By Monthly SSDI Payments for 2022
SSDI is also means-tested, “Means Test – to meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, you must first either be totally unable to work, or be working but unable to earn more than $1,070 a month. This income limit changes periodically, so before you apply for Social Security disability benefits, be sure to find out what the income limit is in the year you intend to apply.” Would Social Security and Medicare also be included?! It’s technically means-tested, too.