Watch: Bernie Sanders Pretty Much Admits Democrats Can’t Defeat GOP Tax Bill

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 3:30 PM

UPDATE: Senate passes tax bill after procedural trip up; House will re-vote later on Wednesday.  


Well, it passed the House. Now, it's off to the Senate. It’s going to pass. It’s going to President Trump’s desk. And it will be law. The GOP has the votes. Despite concerns from Sens. Lankford (R-OK), Corker (R-TN), Johnson (R-WI), Collins (R-ME), and Rubio (R-FL) over a range of issues relating to the deficit and expanding child tax credits, all of these senators are projected to vote “yea” in the coming hours. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will not vote, as he’s flown back to Arizona for the holidays following cancer treatments. Yet, unlike the health care fiasco, he was another “yea” vote. With pretty much universal Republican support in the Senate, this bill will become law. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who had been going ballistic over this bill for weeks, admitted defeat on CBS’ Face The Nation this past Sunday, which is why he resorted to prolonged trashing of the bill.

JOHN DICKERSON [Host]: And we're joined now by Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. He's in Burlington, welcome Senator. This looks like it's going to get passed through the Senate and the House and signed by the president, this tax cut bill. Is there anything more that opponents like you could have done to stop this?

BERNIE SANDERS: Well I think we did everything that we could -- but at the end of the day what you had is people like Mr. Mnuchin, who himself is worth three or four hundred million dollars, or the president of the United States who is worth several billion dollars, as you mentioned, some four or five thousand lobbyists doing everything that they could to write a bill which significantly benefits the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations. The latest analysis that we have seen suggest that 72 percent of the benefits go to the top 5 percent. My guess is that 60 percent of the benefits will go to the top 1 percent and at the end of the decade because the benefits for the middle class are temporary while- while the corporate benefits are permanent, at the end of the decade over half of the middle class will be paying more in taxes. What we are seeing here is a real massive attack on the middle class and what I worry very much, John, is that if you listen to what the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan is talking about, what he is saying is that as a result of this bill, the deficit will go up by $1.4 trillion dollars. And what Ryan, in my view, will come back with are massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in order to offset that deficit-

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask yo-

BERNIE SANDERS: So massive tax breaks for the rich, cuts to Social Security, this is a grossly unfair tax bill.   

Unfair, huh? Attack line very focused on the wealthy and corporations, I wonder why? Maybe that’s because even a left-leaning tax analysis says this bill will benefit 80 percent of Americans:

The Senate vote is set to occur later tonight.