Ontario, Canada is scrapping a basic income program after discovering that it was unsustainable. The plan, which provided $17,000 to individuals whether they worked or not and half the benefit if they did work, was started in 2017 and meant to be a three year program. There was shock and anger from the beneficiaries who will soon see those government provided checks dry up. Universal basic income in the US would cost $3.8 trillion a year, or twice our current annual tax revenues.
Speaking of admitting failure, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is joining a proud history of socialist dictators who finally realize their economic model doesn’t work. However, unlike Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Maduro is vowing to press on. While blaming outside forces, he called on his comrades to figure out a way to make the economy work.
Speaking of economic failure, I wonder how many people think Obama had something to do with the economy getting better? What actually helped during the second half of Obama’s Presidency was a GOP congress wrangling out of control deficits mixed with quantitative easing from the Fed. The Fed bought up trillions in US private equities to artificially jumpstart the economy, and lowered interest rates to almost nothing. Now, in the Trump era of American prosperity, the bill is coming due. That is the biggest thing that keeps JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon up at night. He sees it as the biggest economic threat currently. It’s like Obama put America’s economy on a zero interest credit card, and now Trump has to pay it off.