The idea, famously floated by failed Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, would give each and every American $1,000 every single month, simply for existing.
Democrats have proposed this as a means to confront "income inequality." The truth, though, is that when you just give people more money, it has to come from somewhere and the businesses that usually get taxed to pay for it end up just having to raise their prices. When things become more expensive, that extra thousand dollars doesn't end up going nearly as far...
But now that the coronavirus panic has gripped the country, Republicans are floating a universal basic income package as a temporary solution.
Mitt Romney (R?-UT) is one of the people leading this charge.
"Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy,” Romney said in a press release. “Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits [the program formally known as food stamps] are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options.”
Tom Cotton (R-IA) has also endorsed the plan, suggesting that a family of four should get $4,000 from the government every month for the duration of the crisis.
That's just the thing, though. Government programs like this, once they are implemented, will never be repealed. Once people get used to the government sending them checks every month, they are not going to want to give that up.
Democrats understand this, which is why so many of them are trying to get these kinds of welfare programs through now.
Andrew Yang responded on twitter that he is "pumped" that Republicans like Mitt Romney are now supporting his universal basic income proposal.
I’m pumped about it actually. https://t.co/Ui3STExk2t— Andrew Yang? (@AndrewYang) March 16, 2020