- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Bernie Sanders in garnering much buzz of late, scaring Team Hillary in Iowa and prompting party leaders to ratchet back expectations for the one-time shoo-in nominee. 

For his part, Sanders is doubling down on his socialist rhetoric, which he says is resonating with voters across the country. And a big part of that plan is raising taxes — not just on the wealthy and those evil corporation, but on everyone.

While Sanders complains that oil companies get subsidies and other corporations channel cash overseas to avoid the hefty U.S. business taxes, the self-avowed socialist would need to do much more than “tax the rich.”

The U.S. is currently running a deficit of some $500 billion annually (after several years at the beginning of President Obama’s first term when the deficit topped $1 trillion). Cost for entitlement programs continue to skyrocket, and with Baby Boomers set to retire en masse and suck off the government teat, deficits are only expected to get higher.

Sanders solutions to “dampen down the speculation on Wall Street” and “break up” the country’s largest financial institutions — would barely make a dent. What’s more, his plan to tax “the rich” — that mythical One Percent — would fall well short as well.

In a study last year, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center said there are fewer than 3 million Americans who make $250,000 or more (and for anyone with college kids, $250,00 isn’t exactly “rich”). And that’s the top 2 percent of taxpayers.

If the tax rate on the top income brackets was raised 39.6 percent, that would bring in $40 billion to $45 billion.

“Yes, we have to raise individual tax rates substantially higher than they are today because almost all of the new income is going to the top 1 percent,” Sanders said in a CNN interview, vowing to “substantially” raise taxes.

“And yes, those folks and large corporations will have to pay under a Sanders administration more in taxes so that we can use that revenue to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create the jobs we need, make sure that every kid who has the ability is able to get a college education in America because public colleges and public universities will be tuition-free,” he said.

 

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