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Illinois: Cook County Moving Forward With Guaranteed Income Program

Illinois: Cook County Moving Forward With Guaranteed Income Program

$500 a month for two years for 3,250 spots. That’s $42 million.

Because, you know, Cook County, home to Chicago, has a ton of money to throw around and no other problems.

Cook County residents can apply for The Promise Guaranteed Income {ilot program which offers $500 a month for two years. They will pick applicants by random for the 3,250 spots.

That’s a total of $42 million, which is the largest guaranteed income program in the country.

County officials think this could help “tackle poverty and racial inequalities.” Qualifications include:

  • Cook County resident
  • Household income 250% below the federal poverty line (family of three would be $57,575 or less)
  • Chicago residents can apply, but they cannot also participate in the city’s own guaranteed income program.

From The Chicago Sun-Times:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she saw the need for a guaranteed income program during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We saw that low-income communities of color experienced the worst health and economic effects,” Preckwinkle said. “We believed then and we believe now those disparities were unacceptable.”

Officials provided few specifics about the rollout beyond saying they expect to take applications in the fall, recipients will be chosen in a lottery and first payments will hit residents’ pockets by year’s end.

The county, meanwhile, is seeking proposals from organizations and agencies to help administer the program, provide outreach and help in-person applicants. The county is accepting those proposals through June 10.

Periwinkle wants to make the program permanent but did not offer any ideas about funding:

“Historically, both public and private institutions have been unwilling to directly invest in low-income people without significant restrictions attached. This red tape is in place not because any evidence shows that it is necessary, but rather because our society does not trust that people living in poverty have the character or ability to make good decisions for themselves,” President Preckwinkle said. “Cook County is reframing the way we think about government assistance and is proud to be leading the way in the American guaranteed income movement.”

The University of Chicago will study the pilot, concentrating on three points. From The Chicago Tribune:

  • examining the impact on recipients’ outcomes
  • highlighting the “voices” of participants
  • hosting public discussions on how to improve future cash assistance programs.


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The Gentle Grizzly | May 20, 2022 at 1:02 pm

I wonder how many more businesses are not going to renew their leases on Chicago office space?

    Can I just say this now. About political leftist black people. No you can’t have my bank account. Yes I will kill you to keep it.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Arminius. | May 20, 2022 at 2:01 pm

      There are times I really think we were better off in the old days. With people like Crump, Sharpton, and others, we have lost control of these people.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | May 20, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    I know is is Bad Form to reply to one’s self, but I enjoyed the irony of an ad for “free” government-paid (taxpayer-paid) phone service being in my main comment.

“Guaranteed Income”

“Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

Benjamin Franklin

2smartforlibs | May 20, 2022 at 1:07 pm

Where do you start on how this is guaranteed to go wrong?

The Gentle Grizzly | May 20, 2022 at 1:12 pm

I don’t know if they still do, but for quite a while San Francisco was handing out stipend checks to the homeless. They came out every two weeks or so. A friend of mine who is an EMT in San Francisco said that every time the checks went out within 48 hours they were picking up the corpses off the street. Many of them with a needle still stuck in their arm.

Anybody who actually pays taxes should leave Cook county now., unless they like being stolen from.

    Massinsanity in reply to Ironclaw. | May 20, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    My guess is they will find some foundation(s) to fund the pilot but what do they do next? They will have to declare the pilot worked. Will they look to expand it? Then who pays? Productive people are already leaving IL in droves.

      Gosport in reply to Massinsanity. | May 20, 2022 at 11:57 pm

      Further, someone will have to develop a metric to define ‘success’.

      Gave the money away – check
      Long-term change in poverty – Nope
      Votes bought – ?

JackinSilverSpring | May 20, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Will this income be taxable, and if not, why not?
Also my recollection is that diring Nixon’s Presidency this was tried and not found to work as expected.

A poor (pun intended) incentive.

nordic_prince | May 20, 2022 at 1:25 pm

How the HELL can broke-ass Illinois afford ANY of this nonsense?

Fifty eight grand a year is 250% below the poverty level???

    alaskabob in reply to George S. | May 20, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    Getting ready for full on Bidenflation. Weimar here we come. Life is a cabaret, until it isn’t… the future doesn’t belong to me.

Like most Dem-run large cities, Chicago already has a guaranteed-income program,” by allowing their residents to plunder local businesses, without any fear of prosecution. But, I guess their residents, who can’t vote in person, are too lazy to shoplift in person. Like voting by mail, they want and demand plundering by mail.

I pay Cook County real estate taxes on my home.

Each year, the final tax bill shows the truly obscene amount each taxing entity owes for unfunded government retirement benefits. The retirees get a guaranteed 3% raise in benefits each year come hell or highwater.

The smart ones are voting with their feet!

Karl Marx, 1875:
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

The problem with these Marxist policies is that they motivate people to show as little ability as possible and as much need as possible.

    Peabody in reply to OldProf2. | May 20, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    There are those who work and those who don’t.
    There are those who give and those who take.
    You can call them by many different names.
    But that doesn’t change what they are.
    I don’t have the power to change them.
    And neither does any politician.

      henrybowman in reply to Peabody. | May 20, 2022 at 6:53 pm

      The division into whig and tory is founded in the nature of men; the weakly and nerveless, the rich and the corrupt, seeing more safety and accessibility in a strong executive; the healthy, firm, and virtuous, feeling confidence in their physical and moral resources, and willing to part with only so much power as is necessary for their good government; and, therefore, to retain the rest in the hands of the many, the division will substantially be into Whig and Tory.

    drednicolson in reply to OldProf2. | May 20, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Socialist largesse relies on the productive side of the population being chumps who keep feeding the beast.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to OldProf2. | May 20, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Marx glossed over the fact that needs are infinite while abilities are finite, which is why Communism/Socialism/Leftism is always and everywhere doomed to failure.

broomhandle | May 20, 2022 at 2:27 pm

The UBI is supposed to be a replacement for government services, not in addition to services. Giving people money without the societal benefit of lower spending and taxes negates the potential benefit of the UBI. Leave it to the government to turn an idea that is supposed to end the welfare state into a way to.make it even bigger.

    henrybowman in reply to broomhandle. | May 20, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    You mean, like the mileage tax was advertised as a replacement for the gas tax, not an addition to it?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    You must be new to the concept of American government.

henrybowman | May 20, 2022 at 2:33 pm

“That’s a total of $42 million, which is the largest guaranteed income program in the country.

Because to a Democrat, all that matters is getting that line in the Guinness Book.

The LARGEST dole in the country.
The TOUGHEST gun laws in America.
The STRONGEST vax mandate of all 50 states.
The BLACKEST vice president in US history.
The BIGGEST deficit in human history.

Trans freaks in California can expect a raise any day now, as Palm Springs battles to claw “their” Guinness book line back.

Hiring someone for $20/week requires you file a 1099-misc to the IRS.

Do you think Cook county will be filing 1099-GOV for 12x as much?

If we knew the median 1099-GOV that could become the base TAX CREDIT for every American!

#KillingDeepStates (FREE Kindle Unlimited)

I’m sure this will work out as well as it did at New Harmony.

$42m? That ought to buy a lot of chicken wings, malt liquor, weaves, weed, and black market firearms.