Yang: WH Tapping My Brain on Cash-for- Americans Plan

Trump administration, mulling payment to each US adult amid pandemic, seems to want Yang's advice
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2020 11:56 AM CDT
Yang: WH Tapping My Brain on Cash-for- Americans Plan
Andrew Yang speaks on Feb. 8, 2020, in Concord, NH.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Front and center of Andrew Yang's 2020 campaign was his "Freedom Dividend" concept—a $1,000 universal basic income payment given monthly to every American adult to "help solve economic inequality by giving workers a financial safety net, bolster innovation, and pay people for household domestic work, like child care," per Business Insider. Although Tim Alberta of Politico notes this "radical notion" was more or less ignored during Yang's run, it's now receiving renewed attention during the coronavirus crisis as administration officials mull a stimulus proposal to help Americans hit hard by the virus and jump-start the economy. In a statement via his Humanity Forward nonprofit, Yang says his team has "been in touch with the White House" and is "offering resources."

"We're in contact," Yang said on CNN Tuesday, adding that the White House was receptive to know more. "We are doing anything we can to help. Obviously, this is a crisis, and we all need to pull together to try to keep the country strong and whole." But while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seems to support the idea of sending individual Americans a one-time $1,000 check, that's different than Yang's idea to make it a monthly thing. Yang also isn't happy about the circumstances that have led to his concept being suddenly reinvigorated. "This whole thing is so f---ed up," he noted to Alberta. Still, Yang told CNN consideration of even a modified version of this idea is the "right move." "It is vital to help tens of millions of American families to keep their heads above water during this time," he noted. Read more of Alberta's interview with Yang here. (More Andrew Yang stories.)

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