Universal Income Handout for the Homeless Might Become a Reality
Oregon’s left-wing state legislature is working on a bill that would give monthly handouts to all homeless and low-income people….
Oregon’s left-wing state legislature is working on a bill that would give monthly handouts to all homeless and low-income people. The idea of a “Universal Basic Income” (UBI) is being pushed by several Democratic-run state and city governments — but their proposals rarely meet the “universal” standard.
On January 9, the Oregon State Senate introduced OR SB603, “Relating to income supports for low-income individuals; declaring an emergency.” The bill would create a “People’s Housing Assistance Fund Demonstration Program,” which would be run by the state’s Department of Human Services, and would be up and running by January 2025. This program would then give monthly $1,000 handouts to anyone who was homeless, earned less than 60% of local median income, was “at risk of homelessness,” or “severely rent burdened.” These handouts would run for 12 months; the program is supposed to sunset in January 2026.
Supporters of the bill claim that those who get the handouts would use them to pay rent— but in fact, there are no restrictions on how they spend it. It’s likely some, especially homeless people, would spend it on alcohol or drugs instead. That’s one of the big problems with UBI; it just hands out money with no control over how it’s used. It’s fine for people to spend their own money how they want, but should taxpayers be forced to pay for someone else’s hobbies, luxuries or even drug use?
There’s also the problem that the whole point of UBI is it’s universal. The Oregon proposal isn’t; it will go to the homeless, low earners, and the other two vaguely defined categories, but ordinary working Americans won’t get it; they’ll just pay for it through taxation. Palm Springs, California, voted through an even worse scheme last April; a “universal” payment of $900 a month goes to anyone who identifies as transgender or non-binary — but normal people get nothing.