In 2012, it would've cost $175.3 billion to raise every U.S. citizen's income to the poverty line, or 1.08% of GDP. Poverty-line unemployment insurance is estimated to cost between 6 to 35 times less than a UBI.

"To be sure, you probably don't want to run a program that hunts out every family below the poverty line and brings them right up to it. Such a program would effectively involve imposing a 100 percent marginal tax rate for all income made below the poverty line. But, things like strategically expanding the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP, and related programs could make enormous strides toward poverty reduction. Implementing a mild basic income and a negative income tax would also help a great deal. The policy solutions for dramatically cutting poverty exist, they are used by countries elsewhere, and they could be used here, if we chose to do so."