Presidential candidate wants to give everyone $1,000 a month in free cash
© Yang 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang is vowing to pay every American citizen between the ages of 18 and 64 a $1,000 check once a month if he is elected in 2020.

Yang, who is running his presidential campaign largely around the idea of universal basic income, already launched a pilot program for free cash payments known as the Freedom Dividend, CNBC reported on Wednesday. 

For the program, Yang selected a family in Goffstown, New Hampshire, who he says will be receiving $12,000 in free cash for the year. 

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Yang said Charles Fassi, his wife and child received their first $1,000 check from him at a party on New Year's Eve in New York City.

Yang said that technically "the pilot is just for one person, Jodie," but “we ended up meeting the whole family, since Janelle filled out the nomination form, and their family story is so relatable. They are a perfect example of how $1,000 freedom dividend would help families across the country, and the entire family has gotten behind the concept and has agreed to share their experiences.”

Yang told CNBC his campaign "selected the Fassi family because their story is so compelling and relatable. Millions of Americans will be able to see their own families in the Fassis. What we are doing for the Fassi family we can do for every family in the country.”

Janelle Fassi had reportedly applied for the pilot program after her husband lost his job just days before their daughter was headed to go to college. 

To fund a larger-scale version of his plan that would cover all Americans, Yang told CNBC he plans to impose value-added tax of 10 percent on the goods and services that a company produces once he is elected.

The move could reportedly raise anywhere between $500 billion-$1 trillion depending on how the tax is applied.

So far, Yang tell CNBC his grassroots campaign has raised "hundreds of thousands of dollars from thousands of donors nationally — with an average donation of only $11.”