"In 2012, there were 179 million Americans between the ages of 21 and
65 (when Social Security would kick in). The poverty line was $11,945.
Thus, giving each working-age American a basic income equal to the
poverty line would cost $2.14 trillion. For some comparison, U.S. GDP
was almost $16 trillion in 2012 and the defense budget was $700 billion.
But a minimum income would also allow us to eliminate every
government benefit as well. Get rid of SNAP, TANF, housing vouchers, the
Earned Income tax credit and many others. Get rid of them all. A 2012 Congressional Research Service report
found that the federal government spends approximately $750 billion
each year on benefits for low-income Americans and that rises to a clean
trillion when you factor in state programs. Eliminate all of those and
the net figure comes out to $1.2 trillion needed to pay for a universal
basic income, still a hefty sum."