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President Bernie Sanders Would Be a Nightmare for Taxpayers

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/John Locher

If elected, Bernie Sanders would crush American families with bloated bureaucracy, explode the national debt, and drastically raise taxes on middle class Americans.


Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Brian Riedl has calculated that all of Sanders’s proposals could cost up to a staggering $97.5 trillion over the next decade, and total government spending would bloat to 70 percent of GDP. The ten-year budget deficit would be nearly $90 trillion, and the government would employ nearly half of all Americans.

Sanders would fund his radical proposals by raising taxes on you and everyone you know. Sanders has openly admitted that he wants to raise taxes on all Americans making more than $29,000 per year, and has bizarrely claimed that people would be “delighted to pay more in taxes.”

The Sanders campaign has promised to repeal the Trump tax cuts, which would raise taxes on Americans in every state and Congressional district. Sanders has also pledged to “absolutely” raise the corporate rate from 21 to the Obama-era 35 percent, which would decimate economic growth and give the U.S. the highest corporate rate in the developed world.

Following avowed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders would impose a 70 percent top tax bracket for ordinary income and capital gains income. This would give America the highest income tax rate in the world. According to the Tax Foundation, a top 70 percent rate for ordinary income and capital gains income above $10 million would actually cost the government $63.5 billion because the proposal suppresses investment and economic growth.

Sanders wouldn’t just raise taxes on the living. Sanders proposes raising the death tax rate to 77 percent. Under the proposal, the death tax would kick in at $3.5 million with a rate of 45 percent. This proposal will increase taxes by $315 billion over ten years.


In his own words, Sanders also believes “billionaires should not exist,” and proposes a new wealth tax designed to eliminate wealthy Americans within a decade. The Sanders wealth tax kicks in at $32 million in assets and has a top rate of 8 percent. This tax would be calculated to include the value of individuals’ 401ks, homes, savings, and other assets.

Workers and employers aren’t spared from the Sanders obsession with tax hikes. Sanders wants to impose a new 4 percent payroll tax on employees and a new 7 percent payroll tax on employers. According to Sanders’s estimates, this would increase taxes on American families and individuals by $3.9 trillion and $3.5 trillion respectively. Sanders would require business owners to report more of their business income as salary, increasing the amount of self-employment tax owed. This would increase taxes by $247 billion over ten years.

Sanders would also raise taxes on American healthcare consumers by eliminating health tax “expenditures,” which would ban employer-provided insurance and repeal the deduction for health care. This provision would increase taxes on businesses by more than $3 trillion over a decade.

Sanders would also eliminate Health Savings Accounts, which are utilized by an estimated 25 million American families. These tax advantaged savings accounts largely benefit the middle class – roughly half of all HSAs are owned by families earning between $60,000 and $200,000. In all, Sanders estimates this will increase taxes on families and businesses by $4.2 trillion.


Finally, Sanders would raise taxes broadly on the financial services sector. Sanders would impose a 0.5 percent tax on stock trades, 0.1 percent tax on bond trades, and 0.005 percent tax on derivative trades. Sanders estimates that this proposal will raise taxes by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. Sanders also proposes a tax on financial institutions totaling $800 billion over ten years.

All of the Sanders taxes would cost the American people upwards of $20 trillion over the next decade. Despite this, the Sanders administration would still run a budget deficit of about $90 trillion if all of his radical socialist policies were implemented. Even confiscating all $82 trillion of household financial assets wouldn’t be enough to fully fund his crazy schemes.

Under a Sanders administration, government would be astronomically more expensive, dramatically less efficient than it already is, and American taxpayers would be on the hook for a laundry list of socialist fever dreams. No thanks.

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