Sen. Bernie Sanders' tax and spending proposals would provide new levels of health and education benefits for American families, but they'd also blow an $18-trillion hole in federal deficits, piling on so much debt they would damage the economy.
That sobering assessment comes from a joint analysis released Monday by the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Urban Institute Health Policy Center, well-known Washington think tanks.
Democratic presidential candidate Sanders would raise taxes by more than $15 trillion over 10 years, with most of that paid by upper-income earners.
But that wouldn't be enough to cover the cost of his proposed government-run health care system, along with free undergraduate college, enhanced Social Security, family and medical leave, among other new programs. The cost of the health care plan alone is more than $30 trillion, according to the study.
The bottom line: Sanders would add $18 trillion to federal debt over a decade. That's about double the current total government debt of $19 trillion.
Other news agencies have reported on the study as well.
Courtesy of Politico:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has proposed a whopping $33 trillion federal spending increase over 10 years, according to a new report likely to fuel complaints his campaign promises are unrealistic.
His proposed tax increases would not come anywhere close to covering those costs, the centrist Tax Policy Center said Monday, and his plan would drive federal debt to “unprecedented” levels.
Courtesy of the Washington Post:
The studies, published jointly by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the Urban Institute in Washington, concludes that Sanders's plans are short a total of more than $18 trillion over a decade. His programs would cost the federal government about $33 trillion over that period, almost all of which would go toward Sanders's proposed system of national health insurance. Yet the Democratic presidential candidate has put forward just $15 trillion in new taxes, the authors concluded.
In principle, national health insurance could make many families better off overall, without imposing unsustainable burdens on the federal budget. For the system to work in terms of dollars and cents, though, the benefits would have to be less generous than they are in the system Sanders has proposed, or the taxes would have to be more onerous for the middle class, as they are in many European countries.
And the Chicago Tribune simply accuses Sanders of selling a "fantasy agenda."
This is certainly not the first report we have seen that Sanders' plans are simply not workable, but it seems to be the most comprehensive.
Of course ultimately it really doesn't matter what the cost might be because even IF Sanders was to win the nomination, and then the general election, there is absolutely no way any of this would ever make it past Congress.
And in fact it would be this very move towards a more socialist system that would help Republicans hold onto power and most likely increase their hold over the House and the Senate.