This does not directly solve the three biggest problems we face as a society, (race, environment/climate change, and immigration), but it gives us the tools to work on those issues as well, because a healthy, well educated financially secure population can better tackle those issues, too.
1) Fully fund a public education for every student who wishes to go to college or a tech school.
The difference in taxes paid, over a life time, of a college grad and a high school grad more than pays for the cost of a public university degree, so long term, this program would be free to the taxpayer
(schools must meet specific academic criteria and accept the equivalent fees of the state college system as payment in full).
2) Fully fund single payer style healthcare for every person in the USA.
As the costs we are currently spending on private insurance, copays and costs to taxpayers for indigent care, all of which has led to the expensive and ineffective system we currently have, plus the costs of lost productivity from employees either working sick (and spreading illness), or missing work due to illness, add up to a cost that is greater than the costs of a single payer universal health program.
Again, long term, this system would save the taxpayer money, while providing us with a nation full of healthy productive people and a net zero cost.
3) Universal Basic Income
This plan actually costs money, but in the long run makes so much sense as to create a net improvement in the lives of over 95% of all Americans, and the remaining 5% are the richest Americans and they would not be significantly negatively impacted. If we added a 15% surtax on every individual and corporate tax dollar earned in America, we could pay each person living in America $500 per month, with an additional $500 stipend for “head of household.” Note: everyone pays in an equal share of their income, and everyone, from the homeless guy under a bridge to Jeff Bezos, gets the same amount back!
This would mean, a family of 4 would receive $2500 per month in a cash payment. It is very important that this money does not count against ANY subsidy any person is already getting, this is to leave our entire current system of taxes and benefits as is. If you are a family composed of two minimum wage workers and two children, you would still get your food stamps, your housing assistance, and your earned income tax credit as the end of the year. The 15%/$500 system is completely outside the regular structure, and is completely self-funded.
Let’s look at two examples:
Family one, is as described above, they earn a combined income of $640 per week, they pay Social Security and Medicare or about $50 per week, and a tax of $12, for a net annual income of $30,056 plus an Earned Income Credit of around $5,600, for a total household “take home” of just under $36,000 per year.
With basic income, this family would have to pay $4,500 per year due to the surtax, but would receive $30,000 in stipends, so their actual “take home” for the year would be just under $61,000.
Now, lets look at Family Two, two spouses and one child, earning $100,000 combined. with a mortgage on a $250,000 home at 4% interest, they can deduct about $10,000 per year in interest costs. They pay $7800 in Social Security and Medicare and $6,000 in Federal taxes, leaving them with a “take home” of around $86,000 per year.
With basic income, this family would pay a $15,000 surtax, and receive back $24,000 in stipends, leaving them with a “take home” of $95,000 per year.
Yet, most of those earning anywhere between $50,000 – $150,000 would object to this plan, even though it is fair, and would put more money in their pockets!