The Democrats have a whole new plan to win the White House in 2020: Free money for everybody.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermontistan) has a plan to give college tuition to all students for "free" — if by free he means $75 billion in taxpayer cash. Then again, Sanders supports a 90% tax bracket and redistribution of wealth, just like Robin Hood.
Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old former bartender who's the darling of the mainstream media and touted by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez as the “future of our party" — has a plan for free health care for everyone.
Guess how much "free" costs: Try $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a new study. That averages out to $3.26 trillion a year — almost exactly what the government took in last year in total tax revenue!
Now along comes 2020 hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Californistan) with an even better plan: She wants to just give away cash. Harris said on Thursday than under her plan, families making less than $100,000 a year could receive up to $500 a month, or $6,000 a year, and individuals making less than $50,000 could get $250 a month.
“Americans are working harder than ever but stagnant wages mean they can’t keep up with cost of living increases,” Harris said in a statement about her legislation, dubbed the Livable Income for Families Today (LIFT) Act.
“We should put money back into the pockets of American families to address rising costs of childcare, housing, tuition, and other expenses,” Harris said. “Our tax code should reflect our values and instead of more tax breaks for the top one percent and corporations, we should be lifting up millions of American families.”
Now you'll be shocked — shocked! — to find out that Harris does not include the cost of her LIFT program. Perhaps it really is free! Perhaps the money fairies will just work a little harder to make more cash so she can give it all away.
Harris's lift program is better known as "universal basic income" (UBI), an experiment that's been tried (unsuccessfully) in some foreign countries. Stockton, California, is set to become the first in the U.S. to deploy UBI, under which 100 residents will receive $500 a month in cash for 18 months, with no strings attached.
The cost for the California program is $900,000. But let's work our own math, albeit crude. There are roughly 126 million households in the U.S., according to Statista. The Washington Post reports that 75% of U.S. households make less than $100,000 annually.
So, with just those two numbers gleaned from the interwebs, that means roughly 94 million households make less that $100,000. The cost for Harris' LIFT plan — were all to receive $6,000 a year — would be just $564,000,000,000. That's $564 billion.
Easy peezy! But those money making fairies are going to have to step up their games.