Democrats in Los Angeles County established a “Guaranteed Income Program” pilot project that will provide 1,000 poorer citizens with $1,000 per month of taxpayer money for three years. The program will cost at least $12 million.
The measure was passed 4 to 1 by the city’s Board of Supervisors. Democrats Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl co-authored the proposal, arguing that “[p]rior to the COVID-19 epidemic, the safety net failed to address the structural issues that have been keeping many children and their families trapped in poverty.” Mitchell and Kuehl cited a 2019 study by the leftist think tank Center for American Progress to argue that economic differences between blacks and whites indicate inequity.
“Racial discrimination by employers continues to be a significant factor,” the measure states. “Housing discrimination and exclusionary zoning have kept Black families and other families of color locked out of neighborhoods from which good jobs, good schools, parks, and community amenities are easily accessible. We must fundamentally shift the idea that people who face financial insecurity have somehow failed, and instead recognize that it is the inequity and lack of access built into our economy and government assistance programs that have failed us.”
The city’s motion directs the program to prioritize “as part of the Pilot’s target population the inclusion of women living at or below poverty level who were released from incarceration in the last seven years, Transition Age Youth (TAY) head of households, and/or Domestic Violence Survivors head of households.”
Within 60 days, the county CEO is now directed to implement the measure. Los Angeles County GOP spokeswoman Julie Haff told The Federalist “if the government wants to help out citizens, they should help out small businesses, or help out landlords who have lost out on a lot of revenues because of COVID.”
“They shouldn’t be using tax dollars just to give away free money to people,” Haff added.
Kathryn Barger, a Republican, was the lone dissenter to the new initiative. She said in a statement that the motions are “vague” and inevitably “lack fraud prevention efforts.”
“Implementation of ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’ has yet to be fully researched and vetted in a jurisdiction comparable to ours,” said Barger. “As the largest county in the nation, we should be more diligent, thoughtful and strategic before we implement a program of this nature. These motions do not include any programs to expand future self-sufficiency through workforce training or educational attainment and they do not target our foster youth population as the only eligible recipients for these measures.”
From 2019 to 2020, homelessness in Los Angeles County grew 12.7 percent. The entire city experienced a 14.2 percent increase. Homeless shelters in Los Angeles have been hit with a wave of coronavirus cases. 2019-2020 Data indicates L.A. has a 16.7 percent rate of people living below the poverty line. California having the highest taxes in the nation sure doesn’t help.
Stockton, Calif., began a similar initiative in 2019 that is giving 125 residents $500 per month for two years. Newark, N.J., began an “economic equity” program last week to dish out cash payments adding up to $12,000 for two years to hundreds of residents. A majority of cities that are experimenting with the safety net proposal are in far-left California.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are also exploring how to convert regular “COVID” “stimulus” payments into monthly payments to all Americans. Some Republicans want to do the same thing for parents, with Sens. Mitt Romney and Josh Hawley proposing different versions of such plans.