2020 Democratic presidential candidate looking to tax tech companies to fund universal basic income plan

Many 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls are looking at the progressive idea of implementing a universal basic income program if they win next year's election.

But entrepreneur and Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang wants to take that idea even further: by extending it to every American over 18 years of age across the country and taxing tech companies to pay for it.

Yang told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto he would like to create a "tech check" funded by taxing large tech companies.

"We have to put the American people in a position to start harvesting the gains from artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and trucks, and advanced technology," he said on Thursday.

Yang says his universal basic income plan would create a trickle-up economy that will lift up people, families and communities because all of the money would just go right back into the economy.

The entrepreneur pushed back on criticism over his income plan for all, citing that 1past administrations and leaders have championed the same idea.

"If you look at the history of this idea, it is deeply American,” he said on “Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast.” “Thomas Paine was for it at the founding of the country, Martin Luther King Jr. was for it, Milton Friedman, the leading conservative economist and champion in the '70s.”

Yang noted how universal basic income was passed by the House of Representatives twice under President Nixon and went on to be implemented in Alaska. Currently, Alaska residents receive between $1-2K a year funded by oil revenue and managed by the state.

When asked for his thoughts on the wealth tax pushed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others in the Democratic Party, Yang said, a wealth tax "is not the way to go".

"We are in the third inning of the greatest economic and technological transformation in the history of the country. Billionaires are something of a natural by-product...What we have to do is join every other advanced economy in the world and have a value added tax.”


Yang is an American entrepreneur and the founder of Venture for America, an organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. He was also named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship by President Obama in 2015.