The Daily Cougar
While many may say that universal basic income is completely unrealistic to do in this country, it’s completely possible. UBI should be taken seriously as an option to decrease economic insecurity.
The price tag for a universal basic income of one thousand dollars a month per adult is estimated to be a hefty 3.1 trillion dollars a year. Leaving many to worry that the policy may simply be infeasible even if the program would theoretically yield major benefits.
Fortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case. There are many ways the federal government could raise a couple trillion dollars of surplus revenue a year without having to ax major targeted programs like Social Security and Medicaid or wrecking the economy with excessively burdensome taxes.
In fact, a large chunk of the program could be funded by ceasing expenditures that have no right to exist in the first place.
Starting with the income tax, which, in its current form, is absolutely full of deductions and credits that are completely unjustifiable. Take the mortgage interest rate deduction, for instance. Costing a whopping 70 billion dollars a year, this tax provision does nothing but redistribute money to the already well off.
There are some credits and deductions that actually have a good purpose like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, both of which aim to help low income citizens. While these credits are defensible in the current economic paradigm, they would no longer be necessary if a UBI was in place.
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