Taxless government spending for basic income

The crux of opposition to taxless spending (that is, money spent by a government that has not been raised through taxation) is inflation caused by creating additional money.

In The Affordability of Basic Income, a paper written by Geoff Crocker, it states that a government can create additional money without increasing inflation as long as the money supply does not exceed the productive capacity of the economy: and recent quantitative easing in both the US and Europe has given empirical backing to that claim. However, increasing the money supply beyond that point will inevitably create additional inflation.

It would be unfortunate if we never tested the boundaries of our productive capacity. Capacity utilization in the United States averaged 80.32 percent from 1967 until 2017, according to Trading Economics magazine. So far in 2017 the utilization is less than 78%. That means approximately 20% of the productive capacity in the US is an unused resource. Most nations in the world are in a similar utilization bracket, according to Trading Economics magazine.

The GDP of the US in 2016 was $18.5 trillion dollars according to Trading Economics. 20% of that is $3.7 trillion dollars. This is the amount of taxless money that could be added to the economy in the US each year, without causing inflation, in theory. Adding too much too quickly could cause inflation though, because the logistics of using 100 percent capacity takes time to implement.

The key would be to start with a small annual amount, then increase it slowly, if inflation did not occur. If the economy received a slow steady influx of taxless money from the government, the slow steady increase in demand should lead first to a slow steady use of full production, and then to a slow steady increase of production capability, as industry invests in increased production to match increased demand. This would be a platform for continued growth and utilization of taxless government spending, without causing inflation.

The government could introduce taxless spending through any number of programs, and Basic Income could be one of them. It could also lead to lower spending on federal interest payments if it were used to balance the budget, instead of increasing the national debt to do so. Many other programs could benefit as well, such as healthcare, infrastructure repair, education, etc.

Government would still collect taxes, and would still be able to use them to encourage or discourage activities as deemed necessary.

It is also a technology that would require no expensive change to the infrastructure. All major technological advancements in the past that could affect the economy by 20 percent required major investments in time, resources, and investments. The steam engine, railroads, cars, cell phones, and the Internet all took 20 to 30 years, billions of dollars, and countless man-hours to implement. Taxless government spending requires only the change of policy. No new airports, factories or cell towers, just a change in policy.

Taxless spending could provide a form of basic income funding that could be utilized in many nations around the world, without creating a burden on taxpayers, if implemented properly. It would filter into the economy and every person on the planet could benefit from it, not just the well to do. We all deserve to benefit from such a simple solution to an age-old problem, poverty.


Michael Keith has been in the construction industry for 30 years, spent 15 in the Carpenters Union building offices, skyscrapers, and condominiums. Keith had a California Contractors license, and built many custom homes there. He presently remodels Braum’s Ice Cream Store and Restaurants in 5 different states in the US.


Reviewed by Malcolm Torry and Tyler Prochazka

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • Government is bankrupt. The Global Resource Bank Network gains everyone a secure, sufficient, and sustainable eco income for life. – grb.net

  • Pradeep Kumar Jee

    Another way to fund ubi is to scrape revenue from interest collected by banks into a fund. This is under the premises that Fiat money is a public utility which derive it’s value from people’s agreement and consensus. Hence they have a stake in money creation and as such the profit (interest) collected should be shared between banks & people.

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