Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang was not convincing Fox News host Laura Ingraham about the wisdom behind his plan to pay Americans $1,000 per month.
The entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America got plenty of pushback from Ingraham on “The Angle” Friday when he touted his proposal as an effort to “put economic resources directly into” the hands of every American.
(Video: Fox News)
Yang may have amassed his wealth through traditional capitalistic methods, he contends that handing every adult $1,000 monthly is the key to create an economic incentive for cities to “invest in people who are struggling with substance abuse or homelessness.”
“You think a thousand bucks a month is going to create much of a difference here?” Ingraham asked the 44-year-old 2020 contender.
“It seems like we’re way beyond that,” she added, citing a failed California effort to give cash to the homeless as well as a CATO Institute study that revealed $23 trillion has been spent on the “War on Poverty” since it was declared in 1964.
Yang explained that his version of a Universal Basic Income plan, called the Freedom Dividend, would create an economic path forward for many people who, right now, are struggling and don’t have access to, let’s say, treatment for substance abuse problems, or mental health issues.”
Ingraham noted a “significant percentage of people” have drug and mental health problems and giving them $1,000 each is “probably not going to do the job.”
She asked Yang to elaborate on a statement he made about voters he has spoken to who claim they don’t feel “connected” to some of the positive numbers in the U.S. economy under President Trump.
“The experience I’m having when I talk to voters around the country is that 70 percent of them are living paycheck to paycheck. Fifty-seven percent can’t afford an unexpected $500 bill,” Yang claimed.
Ingraham pushed back, noting that those “flatlining” numbers predate Trump and have been ongoing for more than two decades. She turned Yang’s attention back to leadership which has led to the worsening homelessness and poverty in some of America’s largest cities, citing a Forbes study which named the top U.S. cities with the highest rates of homeless population.
Four of the top five cities listed are run by Democrats, Ingraham noted, asking Yang “how is liberal governance working out for these cities.”
Yang argued that this was one reason to build a “trickle-up economy” which he described as a “winner-take-all” environment which has the poor and wealthy in urban areas living “next to each other in different circumstances.”
“We need to wake up to the fact that we’re in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in our country’s history, and start moving in the direction of just putting economic resources directly into our hands,” he said, citing what he believes will be impending unemployment from technological automation.
“But those are hand-outs. That’s the problem,” Ingraham interjected, asking if anyone gave the candidate a “hand-out” to start his test preparation company, Manhattan Prep.
“You’re a really successful entrepreneur, and you work really hard,” she noted as Yang attempted to argue that everyone gets help in one way or another.
“You’re a capitalist!” Ingraham exclaimed. “You’re a successful capitalist and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve become a huge success because of the market and because of your hard work and because of your work ethic. ALl of that together – your family, I imagine. Not everyone has a family who supports them. That combined to really work for you.”
But Yang only doubled down on his push to put the “resources” into people’s hands so they could start businesses and “reward hard work.”