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Yang: Let's Give Citizens $1K Per Month Via Amazon Tax

Newsweek logo Newsweek 3/18/2019 Christina Zhao

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Monday reiterated his proposal to give every American $1,000 in universal basic income each month by taxing tech giants, such as Amazon and Google.

Speaking on MSNBC this morning, Yang discussed the proposal with host Joe Scarborough. “It’s about 1.8 trillion a year past current expenses,” he said, before pointed out that Amazon paid “zero” taxes last year.

Yang added: “Amazon’s sucking up $20 billion in business every year, putting 30 percent of American malls out of business. We need to pass a value added tax that would get the American people a slice of every Amazon transaction, every Google search, every robot truck mile.”

After taxing big tech companies, citizens will then spend the money they receive in their local communities, which would stimulate the economy and reduce the enormous costs of incarceration and poverty assistance programs, the Democratic candidate explained.

“This is the trickle-up economy, not the trickle-down economy,” he added.

The proposed universal basic income (UBI), which the Yang campaign refers to as “The Freedom Dividend,” will give $1,000 per month, or $12,000 each year, to every American adult over the age of 18.

“This is independent of one’s work status or any other factor,” Yang’s campaign website said. “This would enable all Americans to pay their bills, educate themselves, start businesses, be more creative, stay healthy, relocate for work, spend time with their children, take care of loved ones, and have a real stake in the future.”

The presidential hopeful's campaign projects the UBI could permanently expand the economy by 12.56 to 13.10 percent, the equivalent of $2.5 trillion by 2025, while also growing the labor force by 4.5 to 4.7 million people within that timeframe.

Yang also pledged on Sunday to make “Tax Day a holiday.” Alongside a short clip of a podcast appearance where he talks about the issue, he entrepreneur told his Twitter followers he wants to “allow citizens to choose where 1% of their taxes go, and make it a celebration. Show a video of where your money goes and thank you. Citizens deserve to be more involved and appreciated."

Yang, who announced his bid in late 2017, is a lawyer and businessman who also founded the nonprofit Venture for America. A recent Monmouth University poll found that only around one percent of Democratic primary voters supported Yang, while 25 percent of voters supported Bernie Sanders, 10 percent backed Kamala Harris and eight percent favored Elizabeth Warren.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Getty/Joshua Lott
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