The ‘universal basic income’ scam

A few additional points on HF 2666 and the use of “nonprofits” to distribute taxpayer cash.

Elsewhere, the Center’s John Phelan discusses this proposal, which is moving forward in the state House of Representatives.

Introduced by state Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-St. Paul), the proposal would provide $100 million to fund $500 per month (or more, line 2.9) stipends to eligible individuals or families, no questions asked.

That means explicitly that illegal aliens would be eligible (see line 3.2 of the bill). The only actual requirements would be that the recipients (an individual or family) already be on public assistance or self-certify that they earn less than 300 percent of the Federal poverty wage (lines 2.26-2.27).

For 2024, that amount is $15,000 for an individual. So, an individual earning $45,000 per year would be eligible for a minimum $6,000 per year in “free” money from the program.

The state government won’t be the entity distributing the cash. Instead, local governments, Tribal governments, and nonprofits will receive state “grants” to operate independent and customized programs (lines 1.7-1.8). Recipients will still be eligible for every other government program, in addition to the $500 per month, or more (lines 2.15-2.24).

As for the latter (nonprofits), they can add their own selection criteria (line 3.1). Friends, relatives, DFL voters?

The distinguishing feature of other welfare programs that fall under the definition of entitlements is that everyone is eligible, as long as you meet the criteria stated.

Whether you get the government money does not depend on belonging to a certain ethnic group or voting for a certain political party.

Line 3.4 of the bill reads,

Grantees may identify priority populations, which may include … individuals and families who have recently relocated to Minnesota from other states or countries.

Under the clear language of the bill, a nonprofit or local government could rig the game so that only illegal aliens get the money (“priority populations”).

I can guarantee you one thing: you, the reader, are not included in anyone’s “priority population.”

Given that the legislature is scheduled to adjourn next month, this proposal may have to wait until 2025 to become law. But local media are giving it a lot of attention.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a piece, to promote the idea. The Star Tribune then promoted the idea on Twitter (X), twice (1 and 2).

WCCO, MPR, and FOX 9, among others, covered the bill’s progress. National coverage included Newsweek.