Basic income 18

Basic income advocates say this could boost the incomes of everyone (without relying on taxing the rich or cutting benefits for the poor). It could create jobs. It could expand the tax base, which could then be used to subsidize the poor and to pay for important new programs (like the Affordable Care Act).

However, if any one of these ideas is successful, it might be too big to get through Congress.

Consider the UBI, in which each person gets checks that equal his or her monthly living expenses. In the case of the UBI, it seems plausible that the people receiving it would actually like it and will do well on their own. They might start contributing to the UBI as a way to support themselves, especially since the UBI is intended to help people who are "least able to work." Such people might then turn to the tax credits available to them to get their money. It might be easier for a lower-paid worker to collect benefits if he gets fewer benefits himself than the government pays out.

However, this argument is fraught with trouble.

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