On Thursday, top Democratic candidates officially took the stage, prepared to fight for the Presidential Democratic nomination. The front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden sparred with candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, Businessman Andrew Yang, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris, and others.
Sen. Sanders Announces Tax Increases On All Americans
Moderators asked a direct question to Sen. Bernie Sanders, “Will you increase taxes on the middle class.” Sanders attempted to dodge the question but ultimately admitted that his tax plan to adopt “Medicare For All” will result in a middle-class tax increase. (Not much has changed.)
Independent auditors such as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have examined Sen. Sanders’ “Medicare For All” plan and estimated that it would cost a whopping $28 trillion and would be funded until 2026.
Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders Promise Free Community College
Buttigieg was first asked why he does not support fulling funding a college education for students and said that he supports free community college. Biden also agreed that community colleges should be free. The question that was not asked is how much it would cost.
The American Enterprise Institute ran numbers and determined that it would cost $60 Billion dollars to start the free community college program. However, AEI has also stated that the total cost cannot be determined and is expected to be higher.
The free college program was adopted in New York by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Since its start, nearly 70% of all students who applied for the program were rejected. A total of 95,000 students applied for the scholarship and between 22,000 and 23,000 ended receiving it.
Sen Sanders recently introduced a bill called, “College for All Act.” The plan is estimated to cost taxpayers $75 billion-per-year. The plan does not mention whether it covers other costs such as books, but rather only examines tuition and required fees for students. The cost of textbooks has risen approximately 812% since 1989, according to the American Enterprise Institute.
Andrew Yang Endorsed $1,000-per-person Universal Basic Income.
Andrew Yang, a former tech executive, outright endorsed a universal basic income of $1,000 per adult in the United States. However, when moderators asked how much it would cost and how his administration would pay for it, Yang struggled to answer the question and briefly froze. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that a universal basic income plan would cost taxpayers $30 to $40 trillion dollars over ten years. Those numbers are most likely to be adjusted based on inflation and a rising cost of living.
If a President were elected who believes a basic universal income, the problem would be whether Congress would pass a bill and write it into law. As of right now, the House of Representatives is controlled by Democrats and the U.S. Senate is controlled by the Republicans. Whether Speaker Pelosi would adopt such a policy is not yet known. However, the likelihood that Leader McConnell would adopt such a policy is slim to none.
The Total Cost
Currently, taxpayers pay the federal government a total of $3.4 Trillion dollars and have a rising debt of $22.4 Trillion dollars as of this publication.
The total cost of the proposed programs is over $68 Trillion dollars, meaning the current revenue is not enough to cover them. Candidates have not stated whether they would have to borrow money or raise taxes. Either way, taxpayers will have to pay more.
The problem – how much will this truly cost and how will this affect the American people?