With more than a hint of rage, the senior policy adviser for the Bernie Sanders campaign trashed a Tax Policy Center analysis that found that the Sanders tax plan would raise taxes on all income groups by more than $15 trillion.
The Tax Policy Center analyzed Sen. Sanders’ tax plan and concluded, “Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposes significant increases in federal income, payroll, business, and estate taxes, and new excise taxes on financial transactions and carbon. New revenues would pay for universal health care, education, family leave, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, and more. TPC estimates the tax proposals would raise $15.3 trillion over the next decade. All income groups would pay some additional tax, but most would come from high-income households, particularly those with the very highest income. His proposals would raise taxes on work, saving, and investment, in some cases to rates well beyond recent historical experience in the US.”
Sanders Policy Director Warren Gunnels tore apart the TPC analysis:
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bold plan to rebuild the middle class, raise wages and reduce the poverty rate during his presidential campaign. At a time when income and wealth inequality are skyrocketing, Sanders pays for his economic agenda by making Wall Street, large corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes.
Unlike Citizens for Tax Justice, the Tax Policy Center chose to analyze Sanders’ tax plan in a vacuum without taking into account the savings the American people would gain under his Medicare-for-all plan. That is misleading.
The analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice found that 95 percent of American households will see their take-home pay go up, not down, under Sanders’ Medicare- for-all plan which is paid for by his progressive tax plan.
Citizens for Tax Justice also found that middle class families would see their take-home pay go up by more than $3,200 a year under Sanders’ plan.
Not only did the Tax Policy Center fail to estimate the savings the American people will gain under Medicare-for-all, they also fail to count the economic gains that would be achieved by Sanders’ plan to rebuild the middle class.
Sanders has a plan to create and maintain at least 13 million jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. It is widely accepted among many economists that rebuilding roads, bridges, drinking water facilities, airports and other infrastructure needs creates jobs for Americans in the short-term while allowing commerce to flow more smoothly in the long-term, a win-win for prosperity in the U.S. The Tax Policy Center did not look at that.
Sanders has a plan to make public colleges and universities tuition free that would save the typical middle class family $9,400 a year. Creating a workforce that is more educated and less bogged down in student debt would benefit the economy immensely. The Tax Policy Center did not look at that.
Sanders’ has a plan to extend and expand Social Security boosting the income of senior citizens by an average of about $1,600 a year. The Tax Policy Center did not look at Bernie’s plan to expand Social Security.
Sanders has a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and to protect the pensions of more than 1.5 million workers. The Tax Policy Center did not look at that.
Sanders’ tax plan is the mechanism for achieving universal health care and education, creating jobs, and a secure retirement. Without estimating the benefits the American people would gain under these initiatives, the Tax Policy Center’s report is inaccurate and one-sided.
The American middle class has been disappearing for 40-years. This is a big problem that demands big solutions.
The reality is that Sanders’ plans will make our tax system more progressive and will make the investments that are key to our future prosperity.
The Sanders campaign reacted so strongly to the TPC analysis because they know that it could be the final nail in the coffin of their presidential campaign. Sen. Sanders was already combatting the perception that his tax plan would lead to historic levels of tax increases to pay for the political revolution that he is proposing. The last thing the campaign needed was for the headline Sanders Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes By $15 Trillion to be splashed all over the media.
With the critical Michigan Democratic primary a few days away, voters should expect a vigorous pushback from the Sanders campaign on the TPC analysis.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association