Hi Zachary — UBI schemes are all over the map — Free Money For Everyone?
DavidGrace
1

Again, your numbers are flawed. It would seem as though you are only looking at Discretionary spending which makes up only 29% of the total budget. It’s true, defense gets 50% of the Discretionary budget, but not the total budget, which brings the number closer to only 16% for defense. Seeing as Social Security makes up 33% of the total budget (part of Mandatory), and Medicare and Health makes up 27% (also part of Mandatory) of the total budget, mix in many of the social benefits already paid out via the Mandatory budget, and you’ve found your missing cash. You’re trying to replace a system which currently uses the Mandatory budget (accounting for 65% of all spending) and squeezing it into the Discretionary budget.

Here’s my proposal…

Currently total government spending = $3.8 Trillion.

Social Security = about $1.3 Trillion in 2015 with an average payout of $16,000 per recipient.

Medicare/Medicaid = about $1 Trillion in 2015 with an average benefit of about $12,000 per recipient

“Other” various benefits amounting to about $300 Billion dollars.

All of these are covered in the 65% of Mandatory spending budget.

There are 150 million people considered “in the labor force” and 100 million considered “not in the labor force”. This would encompass all 250 million people eligible to receive UBI, whether working, retired, or disabled.

Assuming a linear phase out of all eligible recipients, and a base UBI of $20,000. This gives us a total cost of almost $3 Trillion. But what does that 3 trillion get us? It eliminates Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and various other small programs. All of these eliminations today would cover $2.5 Trillion of the required $3 Trillion needed for this UBI program, which means that all we need to come up with from the Discretionary budget would be $500 Billion of the current $1.1 Trillion available. This means that rather than dishing out special funds to various groups, we simply give everyone a paycheck and let them spend it however they see fit. They can buy healthcare on the free market, they can buy their own food, and they can pay for their own housing.

Our current Medicare and Social Security system is broken and WILL collapse. Trying to continue it down it’s current path is unsustainable. No young working person today can count on receiving any of these current benefits when they are older. This new UBI system will BALANCE the budget, it will be sustainable, and it will reduce the size of government agencies. All of this is attainable without increasing tax revenue, although I would be completely OK with paying a little more in taxes if I knew it would balance the budget, create a sustainable system for the future, and reduce the number of government agencies meddling in private lives.

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