Bernie’s Plan To Pay For Projects Would Create Huge Budget Shortfall

( – How is Bernie Sanders going to pay for his expansive Medicare for All program, as well as other ideas such as universal college, expanded Social Security and a Green New Deal?

That’s been the main question on a lot of voters’ minds over the early part of the Democratic primary campaign, and a question that Sanders hasn’t been able to answer to this point.

On Tuesday, though, in advance of the debate in South Carolina, Sanders released his plan to pay for all his proposals. The main source of additional revenue in his plan comes from aggressive taxes on the wealthy as well as the middle class that would result in an addition $37 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years.

Despite whether you like that funding plan or not, the fact that Sanders finally has provided an answer to the funding source is a good sign — until you dig deeper, of course.

An additional $37 trillion in revenue is all fine and dandy, but even if that plan works, it would still result in a huge shortfall in the budget because of how expensive Sanders’ plans are. CNN conducted an analysis that estimated that Sanders’ spending would total roughly $60 trillion. The Progressive Policy Institute estimated the plans would total about $47.8 trillion.

In both estimates, Sanders would be adding to the nation deficit considerably, instead of hacking away at it, as he has said he plans to do.

All this, of course, gives Sanders the complete benefit of doubt and assumes that he’s spot-on with his estimates for revenue. He has said his wealth tax plan would bring in about $4.35 trillion annually, for example. The Tax Foundation estimates the tax would only result in $3.2 million each year, though which would subtract $10 trillion from Sanders’ projections for the next 10 years.

Senior Policy Analyst Garrett Watson of the Tax Foundation outlined the issues with the calculations in a recent interview:

“While there may be some gains from eliminating duplicate spending (e.g., safety net duplications under Medicare for All and the job guarantee), there would be an equal or greater than equal offsetting decrease in revenue from reductions in the tax base. The same source of tax revenue is taxed multiple times in his plan, which has an interaction effect that lowers the revenue that can be gained from the entirety of his plan. Overall, the sum of each component tax is likely an upper bound for what can be raised realistically.”

Perhaps the biggest computing error comes from how much Sanders and his campaign estimates the Medicare for All plan will cost. The revenue plan Sanders’ camp released this week shows avenues for raising $17.5 trillion to cover the total cost of the health plan over the next 10 years. Many standard industry projections say it will cost closer to $2.5 trillion to $3.6 trillion per year, though — which would equate to $25 trillion to $36 trillion, potentially double what Sanders and his team have planned for.

So, while Sanders has done well for himself by releasing how he will pay for all his plans, the picture isn’t as rosy once you peel back the layers.