Bernie Sanders’ Tax Plan Would Actually Probably Save You Money & Here’s How

One of (if not the) most resounding criticisms of Democratic-socialist and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is how his ambitious progressive platform would require just about everyone to pay more taxes than they’re currently paying. Sanders’ campaign focuses on demanding wealthier Americans pay their fair share to ~make America great again~ with free public college and universal healthcare — amenities enjoyed by just about every other industrialized nation. But a truth that not everyone is too comfortable with is that under Hypothetical President Sanders, we’d all be paying more taxes. However, according to new analysis by Tax Policy Center, Sanders’ tax increases would save 95% of Americans money — and quite a lot of it, too.

Basically, the average American household even within the 95th percentile of all American households would save money under Sanders’ tax plans through the additional government benefits they would enjoy for their tax dollars. According to the study, the average household would pay about $9,000 more in taxes under Sanders’s plan, but would gain about $13,000 in government benefits, too.

These benefits include an expansion of current Social Security benefits, paid family leave, and, of course, the crown jewels of Sanders’ platform: single-payer healthcare and free public college. As for what this looks like in numbers: the poorest fifth of Americans would pay about $209 more in taxes for about $10,265 in benefits; within the 40th percentile Americans would pay $1,858 more in taxes for $9,763 in benefits; the next fifth of Americans would pay $8,528 for $17,092 in benefits; and the wealthiest Americans would pay $42,719 for $19,807 in benefits.

Sanders’ tax proposals would benefit low- and middle-income Americans more than any other group, and the Tax Policy Center told Vox reporters that it has “never seen a proposal as progressive as Sanders’ tax and transfer plan.” The primary means through which Sanders plans to raise the $15.3 trillion that the Tax Policy Center reported he would, back in March, is an ambitious Wall Street tax. But it’s also worth noting that Sanders is a proponent for federal marijuana legalization, and states like Colorado where marijuana is legal have raised millions of dollars through taxes placed on marijuana. In the same vein, Sanders supports reducing military spending which could allow for additional investment in education and healthcare.

Single-payer healthcare and tuition-free public college seem like pretty daunting government expenses, or, at least they do until you consider the trillions of dollars we poured into the failed War on Drugs, or those never-used war planes that cost roughly $432 million.

bernie sanders increased taxes save money
CREDIT: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

This study is ultimately great news for Sanders supporters in need of new ammunition to spar with doubtful, argumentative friends, but unfortunately, the study is not without its drawbacks. The government benefits proposed by Sanders could potentially cost more than the $15.3 trillion he would raise, and, according to recent polling by Vox, most voters aren’t willing to look past how much more taxes they would have to pay to and consider the benefits they would receive in exchange.

There’s also the unfortunate reality that even if Sanders were elected, not all of his ambitious plans would be passed by Congress, and passing any of them would probably require a good amount of compromise. But if Sanders’ record in Congress proves anything, it’s that even in the most divisive of settings, he’s fairly capable of making reform happen.