Bernie Sanders and the $15,000,000,000,000 tax hike

Bernie Sanders

Consider this a reminder that, despite all the talk about Donald Trump’s brashness, the most radical candidate for president is the man who has spent this summer cutting into Hillary Clinton’s lead on the Democratic side. From the Wall Street Journal:

“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.

“His agenda includes an estimated $15 trillion for a government-run health-care program that covers every American, plus large sums to rebuild roads and bridges, expand Social Security and make tuition free at public colleges.

“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.”

To put that $18 trillion figure in context, the Journal reports it would represent an increase in federal spending of about 50 percent over historical norms: Washington would come to spend close to 30 percent of GDP vs. an average over the years of about 20 percent of GDP. It would be an increase of one-third over even the higher spending budget forecasters already expect.

For now this massive spending program would be financed largely with enormous deficits, although they could be somewhat smaller because taxes could be far, far, far higher. A Sanders campaign aide told the Journal that Sanders might propose new taxes to cover the entire cost of his single-payer proposal, which would put the tax hike at an astounding $15 trillion over 10 years. That’s what a similar congressional proposal was estimated to cost. While Sanders would like you to believe this can all be accomplished by taxing “the rich,” that’s possible only in his fantasy world. In the real world, the middle class would be soaked because, in the words of bank robber Willie Sutton, that’s where the money is.

Oh, and don’t forget those words “at least” before the $18 trillion estimate, because it doesn’t include Sanders’ further proposals to expand federal spending on child care and preschool.

For her part, Clinton has proposed a mere $650 billion over 10 years in new spending, although we may see that number climb if she continues to lose support on her left flank. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday showed Clinton has fallen from 63 percent support among Democratic-leaning voters in July to just 42 percent now. She’s even down to 42 percent support among Democratic women voters from 71 percent two months ago — including just 37 percent of white Democratic women.

As I have noted before, the Democratic Party’s leftward shift has been underway for two decades and has been both more consistent and more pronounced than the rightward drift in the GOP that has garnered far more attention and derision. The emergence of Sanders while promoting arguably the most left-wing set of policies in Democratic history shows just how dominant the party’s extreme left wing has become.

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116 comments
LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Single payer?  Make Vermont do it first, as a pilot project.

straker
straker

"a post by a left-wing blogger"


These days, its hard to find any bloggers or pundits who are not politically motivated, one way or the other.

Dusty2
Dusty2

I'm not interested in Bernie Sanders and neither are most Americans.  Democrats have nothing to offer and we know it. 

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Dusty2

Nothing positive or helpful.  They ARE willing to help out with weakening our economy, withdrawing from world affairs, blowing out the national debt, and destroying decades of progress on race relations.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

If you believe so strongly that single-payer is such a superior method of delivering health care, surely you wouldn't mind an opt-out provision (including opting out of paying for it).

Why would people (in your mind) act against their own interests and provide for their own health care needs?

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

@LilBarryBailout  You can opt out, but you still have to pay the tax.  You can supplement too if you wish, see Germany for a good example.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@LilBarryBailout I would not mind at all an opt-out provision. Let’s see, how was that slogan? “Get the government hands out of my Medicare?”

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@neppie Your response to a straight news story is to cite a post by a left-wing blogger? OK.

Sam T.
Sam T.

@Kyle_Wingfield Why does your non-blog straight news story have the word "blog" in its URL? AJC must have misclassified it.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Sam T. Like the previous commenter, I was talking about the WSJ news story.

neppie
neppie

@Kyle_Wingfield It is the regular people that will nominate and elect Sanders, not those with the ability to propagate a bogus figure in an attempt to stir up the fear mongers.  The WSJ article was completely irresponsible, but that's to be expected from any outlet in Rupert Murdoch's control.  I'm now waiting for "National Geographic" to deny climate change.


ɹoʇɐuǝʌou
ɹoʇɐuǝʌou

I love how the corporate media consistently fails to put things in context. They are so desperate to besmirch Bernie Sanders' good name that they will commit lie by omission at will. Yes, expanding Medicare to open it up for everyone will cost more. What the corporate MSM doesn't tell you is that there will be a HUGE SAVINGS per person by doing it too. Right now the cost per capita for health care coverage is about $10,000 per year. Medicare for All would amount to about $3,000 per year. That's not in addition to the $10k, that's in place of it. So it will result in a savings of about $7,000 per year per person according to the WSJ numbers. 


A good infographic that summarizes how Bernie's proposals will save Americans over 35 trillion dollars over 10 years. https://i.imgur.com/gn60t8d.jpg

John Rintala
John Rintala

What a crock. Single payer Medicare for all will save us tons of money. Good for everyone except insurance companies and pharmaceutical ripoff companies. Enough lies from the Rupert Murdoch media!

Isoceles
Isoceles

These are Bernie Sanders committee assignments:


Joint Economic Committee

Budget

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Energy and Natural Resources

Environment and Public Works


Veterans' Affairs



This is a serious legislator who knows where the money goes and what it's currently spent on. This article is part of a right wing pile on, based on the WSJ's wildly distorted concept of Sanders' programs and goals. The WSJ editorial board is a notorious mouthpiece for the US Chamber of Commerce. They are the antithesis of a trustworthy source.

Nicholas McLeod
Nicholas McLeod

THIS  ARTICLE IS MISREPRESENTING BERNIE SANDER'S POLICIES!!!!


Not sure if anyone took the time to look, but we are currently spending close to 1 trillion per year on medicare and Medicaid. The money from those programs alone amounts to 10 trillion over ten year. Also, it is projected that Americans will spend 42 trillion on health care under the current system over the next 10 years. America's health care cost $10,000 per capita which is almost 5,000 more than any other nation. EVERY NATION THAT HAS NATIONLIZED HEALTH CARE ENDS UP SPENDING LESS!

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Nicholas McLeod "we are currently spending close to 1 trillion per year on medicare and Medicaid. The money from those programs alone amounts to 10 trillion over ten year."

And we would continue spending that money under Sanders' plan. The $15T over 10 years is above and beyond that.

M Pickers
M Pickers

Bernie is right,
"They're all bought and paid for" Our song is Americas New National Anthem

Lobby for the people Bernie!

Barbara Dayan
Barbara Dayan

Bernie Sanders Echoes Pope Francis: “Money Has to Serve, Not to Rule”


“Money has to serve, not to rule,” Sanders said. “We are living in a nation … and in a world, which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth. I do not believe that is the country we should be living in.”

 “Throughout human history, there has been endless discussion and debate about the meaning of justice and about the meaning of morality,” he said, noting that at Liberty there are sure to be many discussions after his appearance. “I would hope very much that as part of that discussion, and part of that learning process, some of you will conclude that if we are honest in striving to be a moral and just society, it is imperative that we have the courage to stand with the poor, to stand with working people, and, when necessary, take on very powerful and wealthy people whose greed, in my view, is doing this country enormous harm.”—Bernie Sanders


Watch the entire Liberty University speech on YouTube: https://youtu.be/p5ZB8Lg1tcA

Recon2/3
Recon2/3

" If you like your healthcare you can keep your healthcare". "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor". People will see there healthcare premium reduced on average by $2,500. Yeah the leftist Democrats believed that guy now they're flocking to this new guy running for president whose even a bigger snake oil merchant.

John Rintala
John Rintala

@Recon2/3 

You're talking about the sellout deal Obama made with the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, right. Single payer will cut our health care costs almost by half


Recon2/3
Recon2/3

@RafeHollister @Recon2/3 

Unfortunately, for the country we're seeing such a migration by rank and file Democrats to the very far-left that it has placed them in a party whose allegiance is now focused on an ideology rather than what's best for the nation. Their embrace of Bernie Sanders, pretty much supports that belief. We're in trouble.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

It is sad to me to see that the proggies have decided that the principals of hard work, motivation, entrepreneurship, charity, and a regulated free enterprise economy no longer work anymore.   It is not America that has changed, but the citizens, who now want more than what they can earn and provide for themselves and their families.  Many want to supplement what they can provide with some extras, that they can use the government to take for them.  I read somewhere that if we killed the 1% and confiscated everything they owned, we could run the government for about 2 days.  I am not sure who the proggies think would provide for them the other 363 days.


Trading our economy and lifestyle in for more well baby checkups, prostate exams, mammograms, colonoscopies, and blood pressure checks is not going to significantly reduce medical costs.  People don't get cancer or pneumonia or appendicitis because they didn't a check up.  People get sick because bodies deteriorate and get diseased by nature.  Finding some of these diseases early can save money and lives, but that seems to be more about luck and knowing your own body, than how recent you had your yearly checkup.  National Healthcare works great in preventative care, but experience in other countries show it is not as good as America's healthcare in treating serious illness.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV @RafeHollister That would be the proggie way, frame everything as an extreme either or, where the left wing position seems slightly less extreme.

Claver
Claver

@RafeHollister "I read somewhere that if we killed the 1% and confiscated everything they owned, we could run the government for about 2 days."  I read that the top 1% take in around 25% of the nation's income and have 40% of the wealth.  40% of the nation's wealth should cover a heck of a lot more than 2 days.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister “People don't get cancer or pneumonia or appendicitis because they didn't a check up.  People get sick because bodies deteriorate and get diseased by nature.

Next step – let’s get rid of physicians and hospitals!

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

So let’s say that Bernie Sanders became president and passed a single-payer health care system of some sort. And let’s say that it did indeed cost $15 trillion over 10 years. Would that be $15 trillion in new money we’d be spending? No, it would be money that we’re already spending on health care, but now it would go through government. If I told you I could cut your health insurance premiums by $1,000 and increase your taxes by $1,000, you wouldn’t have lost $1,000. You’d be in the same place you are now.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/09/15/no-bernie-sanders-is-not-going-to-bankrupt-america-to-the-tune-of-18-trillion/


Kyle understands this as well. But he has a job to do. 


BakerOwens
BakerOwens

@MarkVV @Kyle_Wingfield @Hedley_Lammar I realize it's not an exact comparison but I seem to remember something about the VA having some trouble. Like tens of thousands of claims unprocessed and men dying because of it trouble.

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @Hedley_Lammar Yeah Kyle that $1,000 spent by you and others on Medicare premiums will easily get you $10,000 of medical treatment once you reach 65 and are hospitalized. Just look at the cuts in Hospital overbilling for any Medicare recipient.  They are not required to fund Reagancare like private insurers who pay $10 for the paper cup with a $5 for a Tylenol pill.


Hard concept for Conservatives to absorb but it is reality in US Hospitals. 


Just wait until you are 65. You will be singing Medicare's praises if you are  hospitalized.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg "Just wait until you are 65. You will be singing Medicare's praises if you are  hospitalized."

I increasingly have relatives hitting that age and complaining about Medicare's enormous flaws, hidden costs and limited physician network. The more I learn about it, the more I think it's a terrible idea to foist that system on everyone.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Hedley_Lammar Anyone who believes government could take the $1,000 you spend elsewhere, and give you the exact same $1,000 worth of goods and services, probably falls for Sanders' shtick. 

In any case, thanks for acknowledging that Sanders would indeed be increasing the size of government by (at least) 50 percent. There is no one else in the race, on either side, who would change the relationship between citizen and government so drastically.

Headley understands this as well. But he has ... a job? A far too serious hobby? 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Kyle_Wingfield @lvg  That, again, must be the reason why people get so upset when somebody wants to take Medicare from them

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Kyle_Wingfield @Hedley_Lammar Anyone who believes that if you give $1,000 to the private health insurance company to pay your medical bills you get better health service than if you give it to the government to pay for the same health service probably falls for Kyle’s shtick.

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

"...leftward shift has been underway for two decades"

One of the biggest contributors to the left's inequality/haves versus have-nots resentment is the widely publicized upward spiral in corporate executive compensation. Boards of directors have doled out ludicrous pay packages that frequently are not linked to performance and we (shareholders) have let them get away with it.

Not singling out Mr. Kent but, for example, does the CEO of Coke really add $18 million a year of value to the company?   

Seb Williams
Seb Williams

The intellectual dishonesty is staggering. This "analysis" conveniently circumvents the fact that a single-payer healthcare system -- the bulk of that $18 trillion -- would REPLACE much of current healthcare spending, not ADD TO it. For instance, the $1.3 trillion that we're spending on the Affordable Care Act -- gone. The implication here that we'd require $15 trillion in ADDITIONAL revenue is just completely, utterly false. Sure, there'll be additional spending on infrastructure, college education, etc., but not $15 trillion.


What this amounts to is an opening salvo by the Wall Street Journal. They're acknowledging Bernie Sanders as a threat. The absurd disinformation in that headline is a business-sector call to arms. That's all.


Even WaPo got it right this time.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/09/15/no-bernie-sanders-is-not-going-to-bankrupt-america-to-the-tune-of-18-trillion/

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Seb Williams As for this: "For instance, the $1.3 trillion that we're spending on the Affordable Care Act -- gone."
No, the $15T figure refers to additional federal spending, on top of existing programs.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Seb Williams  the bulk of that $18 trillion -- would REPLACE much of current healthcare spending


Really not that surprising. Look at how they counted people who "lost" their insurance due to Obamacare.


Remember those crazy numbers ? 


When what really happened is policies changed to meet the requirements of the law. They were never without coverage.


If you want intellectual honesty you might want to look elsewhere. Ideology reigns supreme here. 


Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Hedley_Lammar "Look at how they counted people who "lost" their insurance due to Obamacare."

You have this exactly backwards. The government counts the people whose plans were canceled, and who were forced to buy a plan on the exchange, as among those who "gained" insurance thanks to Obamacare.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Seb Williams If it's intellectual dishonesty, complain to the Sanders campaign, which described the $15T figure as "fair."

MarkVV
MarkVV

“His agenda includes an estimated $15 trillion for a government-run health-care program that covers every American, …”

“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.”

Notice the way these data are presented, with the clear intention to scare and mislead people. First, there is always the 10 year, not one year estimate, to make the total look so large. Then, the cost of the single payer system is presented as “a tax increase,” as if it were something people would have to pay in taxes in addition to what they are paying now for health care. Why not identify it as what essentially it would be, a total of expected health care costs, which includes premium payments paid to the government?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

However would a sixteen trillion dollar economy manage with less than ten percent of it going toward Nice Things?

Kill the witch!