Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was “fascinated” by the prospect of instituting a universal income and worked for weeks to introduce a basic income plan to her presidential campaign platform, according to excerpts from her book.
Clinton credited the idea to a book titled “With Liberty and Dividends for All,” from author Peter Barnes. The book calls for a pooled fund gathered from “shared national resources” to be distributed to every American. While the book recommends contributions to the fund from the oil, gas, and coal industries, Clinton argued it could go even further.
“If you view the nation’s financial system as a shared resource, then you can start raising real money from things like a financial transactions tax. Same with the air we breathe and carbon pricing. Once you capitalize the fund, you can provide every American with a modest basic income every year.” Clinton wrote in her new book about the 2016 presidential election “What Happened.” “I was fascinated by this idea, as was my husband, and we spent weeks working with our policy team to see if it could be viable enough to include in my campaign.”
Ultimately, Clinton claims her campaign was unable to make the numbers work. She wrote that while Alaska was able to make a similar program work for the state’s oil industry, a national equivalent would require prohibitively high taxes.
“We decided it was exciting but not realistic, and left it on the shelf. That was the responsible decision,” she wrote.
She did express regret at the loss, however.
“I wonder now whether we should have thrown caution to the wind and embraced ‘Alaska for America’ as a long-term goal and figured out the details later,” she wrote.
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