Bernie Sanders is set to be the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. With his ambitious goals and Democrat majority throughout DC, his only obstacle will be so-called moderates in his own party.
While the contents of his ambitious spending plans are certainly subjective to debate, the reality of paying for such ambition remains our primary concern. This comes from reviewing budget plans put forth by then Presidential Candidate Sanders to achieve his progressive agenda as laid out on his website. It relies on 10 year spending and revenue projections, coupled with 10 year estimates on tax revenue rates on proposed increases, as well as projected expenditures not yet incurred.
Statistically speaking, these types of proposals may sound good for a start-up investment pitch, but alone probably wouldn’t get you the money on Shark Tank.
Especially when that cost adds $21 trillion to the national deficit, as CNBC reported:
Sanders’ proposals would cost $33.3 trillion in new spending, mostly from his health-care proposals — more than double the $15.3 trillion in new taxes, mostly on wealthier American households, that he proposes if he’s elected president, according to the analysis by the Tax Policy Center.
That difference adds $18 trillion to the federal budget deficit over the course of 10 years, according to the center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. That amount is equivalent to about 7.5 percent of gross domestic product.
On top of that, the government would be on the hook for $3 trillion in additional interest payments to finance that extra spending, the analysis found.
Considering that Sanders proposal is supposed to pay for itself, that is quite a gap that should raise any eyebrow. 18 trillion in overlooked expenditures is hardly a positive qualification for Budget Chairman.
Sanders Plans to use Democrat Majority to Push Agenda as Budget Chairman
In an interview with Politico, Sanders made no secret that he is looking at agendas pushed through by Republican majorities, and eyes using the 50/50 majority in the Senate to do just that. He told Politico:
“Understanding that my Republican colleagues have in the past — both under Bush and certainly under Trump — used reconciliation for massive tax breaks for the rich and large corporations, and they’ve also used reconciliation to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I’m going to use reconciliation too, but in a very different way.”
This is one of what will surely be endless examples of the need for reinstating protections of the minority – regardless of who holds what portion in each chamber.
He emphasized that he will be pushing for his progressive agenda, but was careful to indicate he will operate under the parameters of the Biden administration. His number one priority is pandemic relief, which is no surprise. The question will be how it gets paid for.