Rep. Rashida Tlaib introduces closest plan in Congress to universal basic income
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has released a plan to spend trillions of federal dollars on direct cash subsidies to working class and poor Americans, including the unemployed and those with no earnings.
Tlaib’s bill would give direct cash help to those at the bottom of the income distribution — annually offering $3,000 to individuals and $6,000 to families — in an attempt to reduce poverty in the United States and bolster the wages of the poor.
The Michigan lawmaker’s proposal expands on a bill from Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), which would also direct trillions in tax credits to low-income Americans but offers no or smaller benefits for the poorest people in the United States. ...
The congresswoman said in an interview that her intention is not to craft a UBI plan but to ensure that Americans who earn nothing also receive a generous benefit, citing her experience working with disabled people, students, caretakers and the elderly. ...
But her economy policy also suggests a shift in the party. It has been decades since Democratic lawmakers pushed for programs that offer cash benefits to the working poor and the unemployed alike, said Joshua McCabe, an Endicott College professor who specializes in poverty issues.
“Democrats gave up for a while on trying something like this, but there’s a new wave of Democrats rediscovering this line of thinking,” McCabe said. “Generally, both Democrats and Republicans don’t like lumping in payments for the unemployed with payments for those who are working."
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