An Open Letter to Donald Trump–9/18/2020

Phoenix Congress
5 min readSep 19, 2020


September 18th, 2020

Dear President Trump,

In the New Testament, Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus responded that “The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God will all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind.” But Jesus didn’t stop there. He followed the greatest commandment up with a second: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30–31).

These two commandments have been the foundational principles for Christianity for two millennia. They have produced Christians who transformed the lives of their communities. America is in desperate need for Christians to hold to this principle again in 2020 to make society more equitable and just.

There are tens of millions of Americans living below poverty–a number which was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Ignoring this is a moral blight on the conscience of the American nation and her people. The Phoenix Congress offers a solution: the Blueprint for a Better America. Contained within this legislative package is universal basic income of $300 per week for every America. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will end poverty.

Mr. President, one of the biggest question marks for Christians, because they are typically conservative fiscally, is how would the U.S. pay for UBI? There is an answer for this, but put aside this question for a moment to consider another, more important question. In the book of 1 John it is written, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17–18). If America, as the richest nation in the world, does not lift up those in need, can we make any claim of living in a just society?

America has the material wealth to end poverty, but has thus far lacked the political will to do so. Is it not time for people of faith to lead the way to end this immorality?

Mr. President, the Blueprint for a Better America pays for universal basic income in three ways; first, the legislation includes a 15% value added tax. Second, it puts a fee on pollutants and distributes it back out to Americans as a dividend. Third, $2 trillion dollars are created directly each year, and issued directly to the people. All Americans should benefit from the dividends our 21st century economy produces.

Eliminating poverty will produce a myriad of benefits to our economy, and allow major spending cuts as welfare programs atrophy, healthcare usage declines, and crime falls. Research also suggests that new economic power of ordinary people would offset the costs of UBI through the generation of jobs.

Mr. President, another question many Christians–and possibly yourself–ask when considering UBI is the question of labor. It is a strongly held belief in American Christianity that humans were created for work, and a lack of work (unless through some disability) goes against the design. Doesn’t UBI encourage laziness and dependence on a hand out rather than a dependence on one’s own work ethic?

Again, consider the words of Jesus in the form of a parable found in Matthew 20:1–16. The owner of a vineyard hired day laborers; some he hired at the beginning of the day, and he continued to hire workers until the last hour of the work day. At the end of the day, each worker was paid the same, whether they were able to work one hour or for the full day. Unto the last, they were treated equally.

UBI is a pro-work policy. Under current assistance programs, such as disability, accepting employment often results in a loss of benefits. We’ve created an anti-work incentive. UBI builds an economic floor beneath every man, woman, and child, and capitalism will enable them to build upon it, however they see fit.

American culture has valued humans in terms of productivity since industrialization. UBI encourages society to value labor in a different way. For example, how many of the problems in modern society are rooted in the breakdown of the family? Many Christians would argue that the majority of problems stem from this loss. The sad truth is that raising a family is not an economic option for many Americans: they are forced to choose between putting food on the table and investing in their children.

Mr. President, UBI is a way for American Christians to love their neighbor as themselves. First, it allows Americans to to value labor that is currently unvalued. And second, it puts economic power back into the hands of families. UBI provides single parents with the economic security to be more present with their children. UBI allows more opportunities for a parent to stay home with their children if they desire it. UBI gives men and women the freedom to leave a dead-end job to take more economic risks, driving entrepreneurship and economic growth. Pilot programs for UBI have been done in the United States and around the world; the positive effect economic security has on the family unit is measurable every time. UBI doesn’t reward or encourage laziness, it gives families the opportunity to thrive.

UBI has a negative stereotype as being a government handout. However, it is not a government handout, it is an investment by Americans, in Americans, on that will yield returns for society. America has invested trillions of dollars in corporate bailouts just since 2004. How would the economy be different today if that money had been given to the ordinary man?

Think back to a time in American history when families thrived because of shared natural resources. Each family was free to raise their children, to tend to their homes, and work as they saw fit. UBI is a share of common resources, in the form of cash, that allows families the freedom to raise their children, tend to their homes, work as they see fit, and contribute to society in new ways.

Mr. President, America needs a perspective change in 2020; one that paves a path for the nation to progress towards greater degrees of equality and justice in the coming decades. This perspective change will not be easy, but a new era is upon us. You could be the man to lead our economy into the 21st century. The only question is, will you meet our terms?

Respectfully yours,

Phoenix Congress 2020

Other articles on Medium:

Open letter to Trump series: Listed on our website

A call to action around Martin Luther King, Jr.’s triple evils: The Marginalized Must Unionize in 2020

A look at our duties as Americans and the legislation they inspire; The Blueprint for a Better America



Phoenix Congress

Challenging the duopoly with crowdsourced legislative solutions since 2019.