Bernie Sanders says his spending proposals will tax everyone, not just the rich

Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan
Wall Street Journal calculates the cost of Bernie Sanders’ spending plan

This story is from ABC News.


Sanders is perhaps best known in political life for his efforts to champion the middle class, saying that in order to bridge the widening wealth and income inequality gap in America, the country needs a revamped tax policy that forces Wall Street, big corporations, millionaires and billionaires –like Trump – to pay up – and doesn’t impose further taxes on the middle and working class.

However, when pressed by Stephanopoulos about whether the proposed Senate tax legislation he backs, which would use a payroll tax to fund a mandate for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave from all U.S. employers, Sander confirmed that the bill would require taxing all citizens -– not just the top 1 percent.

“[The payroll tax] would hit everyone –- yeah, it would. But it would mean we would join the rest of the industrialized world and make sure that when a mom has a baby she can in fact stay home with that baby for three months, rather than going back to work at the end of one week,” Sanders said.

What most Democrats (all?) don’t understand, is that when you tax the rich, the costs filter down to consumers and employees. If a company is making a 5% profit (and Wal-mart makes a 3% profit), then slapping even a 5% tax increase on them will cause layoffs, outsourcing and other repercussions. We have a serious problem in this country with economic illiteracy – a widespread lack of familiarity with how the private sector works, and how jobs are created. For one thing, the public thinks that the average profit margin of companies is over 32%, when it fact it is much lower.

Public perceptions of corporate profit margins
Public perceptions of corporate profit margins

So the real question is, how much does Bernie Sanders want to spend, and pass on to “the rich”? Because if it’s more than a 1% or 2% increase in corporate taxes, we are all – all of us – going to feel the burn. And it’s not going to a slight increase to our payroll taxes, it’s going to be a huge number of people losing their jobs, and the prices of consumer goods and services rising to pay for the new taxes.

How much does all this Bernie Sanders spending cost? 

The Wall Street Journal – which knows something about business and economics – has done an analysis of how much the socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders will cost. The final price tag? $18 trillion dollars!

Read it:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose liberal call to action has propelled his long-shot presidential campaign, is proposing an array of new programs that would amount to the largest peacetime expansion of government in modern American history.

In all, he backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal, a sum that alarms conservatives and gives even many Democrats pause. Mr. Sanders sees the money as going to essential government services at a time of increasing strain on the middle class.

[…]To pay for it, Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent running for the Democratic nomination, has so far detailed tax increases that could bring in as much as $6.5 trillion over 10 years, according to his staff.

A campaign aide said additional tax proposals would be offered to offset the cost of some, and possibly all, of his health program. A Democratic proposal for such a “single-payer” health plan, now in Congress, would be funded in part through a new payroll tax on employers and workers, with the trade-off being that employers would no longer have to pay for or arrange their workers’ insurance.

Investors Business Daily has more to say about Sanders’ proposals:

His “Medicare for All” single-payer health plan alone would cost roughly $15 trillion over a decade.

He wants the government to provide “universal” child care and pre-kindergarten programs, along with free tuition at any public college, and proposes spending an additional $1 trillion on infrastructure and expanding Social Security by $1.2 trillion. Add up just these and a few other items on Sanders’ list, and price tag tops $18 trillion over a decade.

[…]And this doesn’t count the massive costs of mandates and regulations Sanders wants to impose on businesses, such as a $15 minimum wage, plus mandatory paid medical leave, vacations and sick days.

He’d also make it far easier for unions to organize.

Keep in mind that when Obama became president, the national debt was about $8 trillion. Now it’s $18.5 trillion, thanks to the Democrats. And if Bernie Sanders is elected, it will go to over $36.5 trillion. This is what Bernie Sanders expects to solve by “taxing the rich”. And Hillary Clinton expects to get the money for her spending from “taxing the wealthy”, as she said in the CNN debate. Do the rich have enough money lying around for the Democrats to confiscate?

Can we pay for it by “taxing the rich”?

A while back, the libertarian Cato Institute had an article talking about who would pay for Obama’s $1 trillion health care plan. They asked whether Obama could pay for it by “taxing the rich”.

The answer is no:

Funding the new health-care plan on the backs of households making $200,000 or more per year would require permanently increasing their annual total tax payments by about 50 percent. So, for example, a household that currently pays $50,000 in federal income taxes would need to pay another $25,000. Remember, however, that Social Security and Medicare already face enormous shortfalls. Shoring up these programs — another Obama campaign promise — would require collecting 328 percent more tax revenue from the rich. No, we didn’t forget a decimal point: That is three hundred and twenty-eight percent.

And what follows from taxing the rich?

[…]A major tax increase causes the tax capacity of the rich to shrink gradually as two factors kick in. First, many of the households falling into Obama’s “rich” definition are married couples in which both partners are working professionals. When tax rates rise, the lower-earning spouses in these couples tend to work less. Often, they quit work entirely. Second, many of the “rich” are budding entrepreneurs and small-business owners. They finance their operations using their own after-tax income, or with after-tax resources from family and friends. Small-business innovation is the fuel for long-term economic growth. In fact, many of the largest companies in the United States today were either small or nonexistent just 25 years ago. Killing small business kills the American economy.

The rich in France abandoned France in droves when the socialist Francois Hollande passed a 75% top income tax rate. Why do Democrat voters think that this would not happen here? We have to learn economics by watching what happens after the policies are enacted, in other times and places. Higher taxes on the rich cause them to produce less, lowering tax revenues.

I myself have been planning to stop working within the next 5 years, exactly because I can see that the Democrat voters are taking us in the direction of massive taxes on employment. I don’t intend to be working when that happens. If enough people respond to higher tax rates like me, the Democrats are going to have an even bigger problem paying for their spending promises.

12 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders says his spending proposals will tax everyone, not just the rich”

  1. I myself have been planning to stop working within the next 5 years, exactly because I can see that the Democrat voters are taking us in the direction of massive taxes on employment. I don’t intend to be working when that happens.

    But how would you survive? You’ve still got at least a few decades of life left in you (Lord willing). Plus you’re always talking about how it’s good to fund the causes that are must likely to make a positive impact. How will you do that?

    That might be coming across as sarcastic, but I’m actually genuinely curious.

    1. I would survive by not marrying and not having children.

      I intend to live off of my savings, which were supposed to go for a marriage, but now will not. If interest rates go to 12%, I’ll be making the same amount of after tax income as I am making now through wages. I thought I was saving for a marriage, but it turns out that the majority of people voting, especially single women, have decided that they would prefer that I not marry, but instead give them taxpayer funded birth control pills, taxpayer funded abortions, taxpayer funded IVF, taxpayer funded sex changes, etc.

      Well, excuse me while I opt out of paying for that. I would rather give up on marriage than be a slave to the leftist politicians for the next 25 years. I think we have had a long period of young people voting for things that sound nice, and not worrying where the money comes from. Every time the government grows, it gets harder and harder for men like me to hold onto a job, and stay above water financially. Although young people may like the feeling of voting for “compassion”, they may not like what happens when productive people scale back their productivity. That is easier to do when you don’t have to take care of a family.

      1. Oh, so you’ve managed to save up enough money over the years to carry you through an early retirement; that’s awesome, and answers my question.

        Well, excuse me while I opt out of paying for that. I would rather give up on marriage than be a slave to the leftist politicians for the next 25 years.

        I meant no offense with my comment, and didn’t mean to suggest any such thing. I’m sorry if my comment came across that way. I was just baffled by the idea of someone retiring so young is all, and didn’t know how that would be possible, so I asked.

        1. Oh, no no no. You are awesome. You are not the problem. I am just looking at the Canadian election and the Bernie Sanders cheering and poll bounce and thinking “I am not going to be the slave to these people”.

          1. Oh ok, good. :-) The last thing I ever intend to do when commenting is to offend the person I’m talking to, even in cases where I don’t agree with them (not that I was in disagreement with you there; I just meant that in general). It’s hard to do sometimes when I can’t use non-verbal communication to help ensure that I don’t come across that way. I guess I get too sensitive to the potential offense of my own comments, if that makes any sense. But good, I’m glad you didn’t take it that way after all! :-)

      2. WK, say it ain’t so that you have given up on marriage and family. It saddens me that the secularists have yet attained another victory eliminating what would have been an amazing Husband and Father leading a God honoring Christian family.

        My main question for you WK is do you believe God has truly called you to a life of singleness? If so, than please continue with your 5 year plan and I wish you life long success serving God as a single man putting forth conservative causes,
        but if you still feel that you have a calling for marriage then keep fighting the good fight.

        Clearly the time and energy you spend on this blog 7 days a week shows you have what it takes to lead a successful committed relationship for God. What support do you need from your fellow readers because I tell you, we are all here to support your efforts in finding the right women for you and God?

        Let’s break it down. It is so true that a majority of single women support leftist Deomcoratic polices that are harmful to them and to our country HOWEVER there are still some (meaning not many) single women that do not support the Democratic Party or 3rd wave feminism. There are some single women that did vote for both McCain in 08′ and Romney in 12′. You obviously know just how extremely difficult it is to find a true god honoring christian conservative but please believe me when I say they are out there.

        I am very curious to learn what are your absolute “non-negotiable” criterion for women that you were considering courting for marriage but that criterion would cause you to not start or abruptly end the courthship? I just don’t believe you’ve thrown in the towel just yet. WK still has some fight left in the tank!

        My only advice to you is to go where you may find true Christian God Honoring women. I know you absolutely deplore spending money on travel but I think it would be worthwhile if you could fly to apologetics conferences, anti-abortion rally’s, your favorite presidential candidates speaking events, conservative talk radio forum events, college campus pro-marriage rallies, theism/atheist debates etc, etc, etc. This way you are fighting for God and looking for a spouse simultaneously. Win! Win!

        I think if you could attend these type of events a couple times of year you would significantly increase your chances of finding someone worthy of God’s plan for marriage.

        For my story, I’m retired Navy and met my future wife at a Dennis Prager/Adam Carolla event of all places. These two where hilarious by the way. I highly recommend you check them out. It’s funny how you can find someone when you aren’t even really looking. Now did my wife meet all of my pre-conceived expectations as a wife? Actually she met quite a few but not all. One of my wife’s non-negotiables was that she wanted children but did not want to be a stay at home mom as she was commited to her career as a Navy JAG here in San Diego. This was a huge issue for me and almost ended our courtship but there were so many other qualities that I loved about her, i.e., came from a conservative religious family whose parents are still married and involved in her life, was a virgin, actively volunteered and supported local pro-life/marriage groups and did pro bono work for the California Republican Party and most importantly served as a youth mentor at her local evangelical church aiding young girls on their education and life choices (way more influential than leading bake sales) and yes she’s consistently voted for conservative candidates since she first voted at 22. I would’ve preferred she started voting conservative at 18 but that was 20 plus years ago and no one is perfect.

        As much as I wanted her to stay at home with our children I understood her passion for her work of eliminating waste and fraud in the military. I myself was a day care kid and turned out ok, I think, but I still wanted my future wife to stay at home at least when the children were little. A few months into the courtship we were able to compromise and she agreed to stay at home for one year whenever our first baby came. I proposed a week later. I was 38. Very late in the game.

        Sure enough after our daughter was born my wife simply could not imagine going back to work anytime soon and she was able to take a 5 year unpaid leave of absence from the Navy. Right now our daughter is 2 and our newest arrival, our son is just 3 months old. As I hold my children in my arms as I type this comment on my phone one handed, I think how I could’ve missed out on all of this if I didn’t practice reasonable compromise.

        WK, just keep fighting but you just may have to be open to travel to conservative/apologetic type events and compromise just a teeny tiny bit to find your wife.

        Just food for thought.

  2. A serious consideration for being a stay at home mom is that this adds value to our household in a way that the government has not yet found the means to tax (beyond the fact that stay at home mothers provide irreplaceable nurturing to the children).

  3. I just googled this real quick

    Top 1%: $380,354

    Top 5%: $159,619

    Top 10%: $113,799

    This is the top earnings for what Americans make. I keep hearing this (shouting)”…The top one percent of the top one percent make all the money…”

    Until I watched a Steven Crowder video which kinda broke how even if we taxed the top ten percent one hundred percent and cut all military spending we’d still come up about six trillion dollars short of paying for Bernie Sanders’s “free stuff” plan. My one most realistic argument against Bernie Sanders’s plan is the fact that if I made millions of dollars or more, I’d have no qualms about up and leaving the United States. I’m sure a lot of these people could retire or bless another country with their businesses. It would beat being taxed ninety percent or more of my income… Then who would be taxed, or why would I ever want to make more money?

    1. Do you have the link to this? I think the problem is that the Sanders people just like happy talk and don’t realize that how much he really wants to spend, and how much money “the rich” actually have to give (assuming they don’t scale back productivity, or just pick up and leave). Economic illiteracy is rampant among the secular left.

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