$1.5 Trillion Could End Homelessness in America or Cut Taxes

Investing Additional $20 Billion Annually Would End Homelessness

On October 4, 2017, New York magazine published an article, “Democrats Should Tell Voters What Else They Could Get for $1.5 Trillion, including ending homelessness.

Writer Eric Levitz opens the article by making the point that “One of the challenges facing Democrats in the upcoming tax “reform” fight, is that the stakes of tax policy can feel abstract. With Obamacare repeal, progressives had little trouble illustrating the grave consequences of the GOP’s reactionary agenda: Millions of people would lose their insurance; non-affluent cancer patients would be priced out of chemotherapy; and severely ill babies would hit their ‘lifetime limits.’ By contrast, it’s hard to tell a truly harrowing story about the repeal of the state and local tax deduction. ”

Senate Republicans have announced their plan to, over the next ten years, add $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit to finance the regressive, tax cuts.

We all should be thinking about better ways to spend this money.

Levitz offers five other things that the government could spend $1.5 trillion on besides regressive tax cuts that will give 80% of its benefits to the country’s top 1%. His options would benefit a wider segment of the American population:

  1. Lift 3.2 million children out of poverty; make four-year public college tuition-free; and guarantee every worker 12 weeks of annual paid family and medical leave at 66 percent of their monthly wages.
  2. Give 4.4 million unemployed Americans a $15-an-hour public job.
  3. Double the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working-class families with kids; quintuple it for childless workers.
  4. Provide universal public day care to all who want it, and build a national high-speed rail system.
  5. End homelessness in the United States; pass Trump’s original infrastructure plan; then give every single American about 90 bucks.

Alleviating childhood poverty, providing more young adults with access to higher education, guaranteeing paid family and medical leave, expanding employment, strengthening the EITC, universalizing child care, improving rail system and ending homelessness are all far better ways to spend the $1.5 trillion.

Levitz writes, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) “Believes it could end homelessness with an additional $20 billion a year in funding. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to spend $1 trillion on rebuilding America’s infrastructure, a proposal he likened to the public-works projects pursued during the New Deal. With the $300 billion left over after we end homelessness and make America great again, we could give every American about $90 bucks.”

What $1.5 Trillion Could do to End Homelessness

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