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April 27, 2006

Would you like to have $10,000 given to you every year?

N.C. State University’s Mike Walden says a proposal to give every person in the country a cash grant of $10,000 every year is likely to get a lot of attention in coming months.

“The person making this proposal is a well-respected scholar. His name is Charles Murray. He has been around for a number of years, written a number of books and talked about social and economic issues,” explains Dr. Walden, an economics professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“The money in his proposal would come from the federal government, and what he would do is take all the federal programs that, in essence, transfer resources from one group to another (programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, farm programs, earned income tax credit) take all those monies and put them in the one pot and simply from those monies give every person -- not just poor people – ... $10,000 a year.

“Now the reason he would do it for everyone: he said it would eliminate the problems of deciding who’s worthy. It would also dramatically cut down on administrative costs.

“He argues that if we started that program now we would be need maybe $300 billion more in revenues for it to work. But he says within 10 years, this kind of program would actually cost the federal government less than all the current programs that they have.

“He also does some calculations in the book he’s published on this matter that argue that people who are at the lower end of the income spectrum they would actually do better with this program than with things like Social Security or with Medicaid.

“This is an idea that’s probably very controversial, number one. It’s probably going to get a lot of attention in the coming months.”

Posted by deeshore at April 27, 2006 07:58 AM