Bernie 2020

February 24, 2020

FACT SHEET: How Does Bernie Pay for His Major Plans?

Below is an accounting of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plans to pay for his major policy proposals, which he handed to Chris Cuomo during tonight’s CNN town hall.

College For All

It will cost $2.2 trillion to make public colleges, universities and trade schools tuition free and to cancel all student debt over the next decade.  It is fully paid for by a modest tax on Wall Street speculation that will raise an estimated $2.4 trillion over ten years.

Expanding Social Security

Bernie’s bill to expand Social Security will increase benefits for low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities by more than $1,300 a year.  It is fully paid for by making the wealthiest 1.8% of Americans – those with incomes over $250,000 a year – pay the same rate into Social Security as working families.

This bill will also extend the solvency of Social Security into the year 2070 - ensuring that Social Security can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 50 years.

Housing for All

Bernie’s proposal to guarantee housing as a human right and to eliminate homelessness will cost $2.5 trillion over the next decade.

It is fully paid for by a wealth tax on the top one-tenth of one percent – those who have a net worth of at least $32 million.  (Bernie’s wealth tax will raise a total of $4.35 trillion.)
Universal Childcare/Pre-K

Bernie’s proposal to guarantee universal childcare and pre-school to every family in America who needs it will cost $1.5 trillion.

It is fully paid for by a wealth tax on the top one-tenth of one percent – those who have a net worth of at least $32 million.  (Bernie’s wealth tax will raise a total of $4.35 trillion.)

Eliminating Medical Debt

Bernie has introduced a proposal to eliminate all of the $81 billion in past due medical debt held by 79 million Americans.  It is fully paid for by establishing an income inequality tax on large corporations that pay CEOs at least 50 times more than average workers.

Green New Deal

The $16.3 trillion climate change proposal that Bernie has introduced will fundamentally transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and towards energy efficiency and renewable energy.  It will also create 20 million good-paying union jobs in the process.

It is fully paid for by:

- Raising $3.085 trillion by making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees, and taxes, and eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies.

- Generating $6.4 trillion in revenue from the wholesale of energy produced by the regional Power Marketing Administrations.  This revenue will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free, aside from operations and maintenance costs.

-  Reducing defense spending by $1.215 trillion by scaling back military operations on protecting the global oil supply.

-  Collecting $2.3 trillion in new income tax revenue from the 20 million new jobs created by the plan.

- Saving $1.31 trillion by reduced the need for federal and state safety net spending due to the creation of millions of good-paying, unionized jobs.

-  Raising $2 trillion in revenue by making large corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

Key Points:

  • By averting climate catastrophe we will save: $2.9 trillion over 10 years, $21 trillion over 30 years and $70.4 trillion over 80 years.
  • If we do not act, the U.S. will lose $34.5 trillion by the end of the century in economic productivity.

Medicare for All

According to a February 15, 2020 study by epidemiologists at Yale University, the Medicare for All bill that Bernie wrote would save over $450 billion in health care costs and prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths – each and every year.

Since 2016, Bernie has proposed a menu of financing options that would more than pay for the Medicare for All legislation he has introduced according to the Yale study.

These options include:

  • Creating a 4 percent income-based premium paid by employees, exempting the first $29,000 in income for a family of four.
In 2018, the typical working family paid an average of $6,015 in premiums to private health insurance companies.  Under this option, a typical family of four earning $60,000, would pay a 4 percent income-based premium to fund Medicare for All on income above $29,000 – just $1,240 a year – saving that family $4,775 a year.  Families of four making less than $29,000 a year would not pay this premium.

(Revenue raised: About $4 trillion over 10-years.)
  • Imposing a 7.5 percent income-based premium paid by employers, exempting the first $1 million in payroll to protect small businesses.
In 2018, employers paid an average of $14,561 in private health insurance premiums for a worker with a family of four.  Under this option, employers would pay a 7.5 percent payroll tax to help finance Medicare for All – just $4,500 – a savings of more than $10,000 a year.

(Revenue raised: Over $5.2 trillion over 10-years.)
  • Eliminating health tax expenditures, which would no longer be needed under Medicare for All.
(Revenue raised: About $3 trillion over 10-years.)
  • Raising the top marginal income tax rate to 52% on income over $10 million.
(Revenue raised: About $700 billion over 10-years.)
  • Replacing the cap on the state and local tax deduction with an overall dollar cap of $50,000 for a married couple on all itemized deductions.
(Revenue raised: About $400 billion over 10-years.)
  • Taxing capital gains at the same rates as income from wages and cracking down on gaming through derivatives, like-kind exchanges, and the zero tax rate on capital gains passed on through bequests.
(Revenue raised: About $2.5 trillion over 10-years.)
  • Enacting the For the 99.8% Act, which returns the estate tax exemption to the 2009 level of $3.5 million, closes egregious loopholes, and increases rates progressively including by adding a top tax rate of 77% on estate values in excess of $1 billion.
(Revenue raised: $336 billion over 10-years.)
  • Enacting corporate tax reform including restoring the top federal corporate income tax rate to 35 percent.
(Revenue raised: $3 trillion of which $1 trillion would be used to help finance Medicare for All and $2 trillion would be used for the Green New Deal.)
  • Using $350 billion of the amount raised from the tax on extreme wealth to help finance Medicare for All.

Biden for President
February 25, 2020

Nothing New in Bernie’s Incomplete, Back-of-the-Napkin Math

After Senator Bernie Sanders yet again hid behind the same old unconvincing accounting for how he’d pay for the astronomical costs his proposals would impose on American families, Biden for President Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield released the following statement: 
“There’s nothing new here — Senator Sanders is still refusing to provide a complete explanation for how he will pay for his proposals.
“Senator Sanders has put forward plans that would more than double the size of the federal government. The incomplete list of the payfors he’s put forward doesn’t even begin to fully cover the costs, and relies on fuzzy accounting for what it does cover. For example, Medicare for All will cost over 30 trillion dollars; he has only explained how he will pay for about half of it. To fill this gap after already tapping into every other revenue source he can find, Sanders will be left with no other option than an even bigger tax increase on the middle class than the increase he is already conceding.
“It's time for Senator Sanders to be honest with the American people about what his agenda will mean for their family budgets for two key reasons. First, the American people should get to make a decision based on facts. Second, we’re not going to beat Donald Trump in November with political double talk that tries to hide the ball on lurking tax hikes on the middle class.”

Progressive Policy Institute
By The Progressive Policy Institute and Ben Ritz / 2.25.2020

Press Release: “Even With New Pay-Fors, Bernie’s Agenda Still Has A $25 Trillion Hole”

WASHINGTON— After repeated calls for Bernie Sanders to put pen to paper on the costs for his extraordinary campaign pledges, his magic math simply doesn’t add up.

Ahead of tonight’s Democratic Debate in Charleston, South Carolina, Sen. Bernie Sanders has published a new document where he claims to fully cover the costs of his gargantuan expansions of federal programs. But an independent review by the Progressive Policy Institute finds that these numbers can’t be taken at face value.

“Sanders wants voters to reward him for proposing a left-wing wishlist of spending increases and take him at his word that taxes on billionaires will pay for it, but the math just doesn’t add up,” said Ben Ritz, Director of PPI’s Center for Funding America’s Future. “Sanders has already embraced every tax increase on wealthy Americans imaginable and still comes up several trillions of dollars short.”

Key highlights from Ritz’s analysis include:

  • Sanders has now proposed over $53 trillion of new spending over the next 10 years – an amount that would roughly double the size of the federal government.
  • The document Sanders published last night, along with others released earlier in his campaign, claim to collectively raise less than $43 trillion in new revenue – meaning that he’s at least $10 trillion short. But these revenue projections are well outside the mainstream of what independent analysts estimate.
  • More realistically, if Congress were to adopt every single revenue option Sanders has offered for consideration, it would fall nearly $25 trillion short of his proposed spending increases over the next decade – leaving a gap nearly equal to the total value of all goods and services produced by the U.S. economy in one year.
“At a time when President Trump has plunged the nation into trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, the worst thing Democrats could do is let him off the hook by nominating a candidate who is promising them the same kind of voodoo economics on a far greater scale,” Ritz said.

As Democrats debate tonight in South Carolina, will the moderators finally press Senator Sanders on whether middle-class and young Americans will be willing to accept the burden of financing a revolution through dramatically higher taxes or a doubling of government debt?

For a complete analysis, read the full article on Forbes.