Basic Security Income Act

No social ail is as prevalent and destructive as the force of poverty. Over forty-million of our fellow citizens live below the poverty line, an amount far lower than what the average American would consider enough to survive. Tens of millions more live close to this barrier, many of whom will fall beneath it at some time in their life, often permanently. 

The current array of government welfare programs neither cure the disease of poverty nor do they make it easy to advance up the ladder out of poverty. Many Americans, including teenagers, find themselves deciding between taking a pay raise or maintaining health coverage for themselves and their families. It is time, finally, for America to end welfare as we know it, and create a system that completely alleviates poverty for every household and every child.

The Basic Security Income Act would establish a new program under the Social Security Administration called Basic Security Income, which provides a monthly benefit equal to the income needed to be at the poverty line, reduced by fifty-cents for every dollar earned by the beneficiary. This effectively creates a phase-out benefit, which ensures anybody in poverty benefits from working, and never sees a reduction in their total income because they increased their amount of earned income through employment in any trade, or business.

The table below displays figures for the fiscal year 2021

ItemExpenditure
Basic Security Income (including administrative costs)$727bn
Reduced use of existing programs (SSI/SNAP/WIC/TANF/other)-$157bn
Savings from replacing tax credits (EITC/CTC/other)-$198bn
Total New Expenditures$372bn
  • An individual’s benefit amount is increased by $4,500 for any spouse or child
  • No individual or couple would see a net reduction in benefits due to this Act
  • Administrative costs are assumed to be 5.8 percent of total program costs
  • Benefits are recalculated based on changes in income and the cost-of-living

The bill I authored (with some text recycled from subchapter XVI of the Social Security Act):

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