The first tenet of presidential candidate Marianne Williamson‘s economic plan is IMMEDIATE CASH RELIEF WITH A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME, to wit: “The federal government [would] pay $1,000/month Universal Basic Income to all American adults aged 18-65. This will provide immediate cash relief to those who need it. It will give people a small but reliable stream of income. It will create a floor so no American needs to be hungry. It will also provide a big stimulus to the economy as people spend this money on food, clothes and other essentials. This Universal Basic Income will cover all adults until they reach the age for Social Security.”
On the face of it this sounds like a half-decent deal. It would definitely pump vigor into the economy and give people a floor of some kind. Andrew Yang is another big UBI proponent. So how would this break down?
One estimate says that the U.S population between ages 15 and 64 is 206,211,663. Let’s say Yang and Williamson would decide to fork over a $1K per month check to 205 million citizens. (Although the figure would be lower.) The one-month tab for this expenditure would come to $205 billion. Multiply this by twelve and you’re talking an annual expenditure of $2,460,000,000,000, or two trillion, four hundred sixty billion.
The total spending for the U.S. budget for 2018 was nearly $4.1 trillion. The total GDP (gross domestic product) for 2018 was $20.237 trillion.