Bernie Sanders Is Asked How He Would Fund the Programs He’s Pitched—Here’s His Response

January 26, 2016 Updated: January 27, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been asked to specify how he would fund the programs he’s proposed, such as free community college for everyone.

On CNN’s Democratic Presidential Town Hall, an audience member asked him how he would fund the programs, noting the funds would likely have to be reallocated from elsewhere and include some other programs being cut.

Sanders acknowledged it was “a fair question,” before saying “a massive redistribution” of wealth over the past 30 years has left more money in the hands of the rich. 

Sanders said taxes would be levied against rich individuals and wealthy corporations, along with a tax on Wall Street for speculation. The proceeds would then be used to fund the free community college initiative as well as other proposals.

[Skip to the 13-minute-mark for the part talked about in this article]

But host Chris Cuomo wasn’t satisfied, asking if it was true that the health care proposal alone would require implementing “one of the biggest tax hikes in history.”

“That is an unfair criticism for the following reason,” Sanders replied. “If you are paying now $10,000 a year to a private health insurance company, and I say to you, hypothetically, you’re going to pay $5,000 more in taxes — actually less than that — but you’re not going to pay any more private health insurance, are you going to be complaining about the fact that I saved you $5,000 in your total bills?”

“So, it’s demagogic to say, ‘Oh, you’re paying more in taxes.’ Let’s all talk about—we are going to eliminate private health insurance premiums and payments not only for individuals, but for businesses,” he added.

“Just to be clear, you are going to raise taxes?” Cuomo asked.

“We will raise taxes. Yes we will. But also, let us be clear, Chris, because there’s a little bit of disingenuity out there,” Sanders said, adding, “We may raise taxes, but we also are going to eliminate private health insurance premiums for individuals and for businesses.”

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