On Friday in New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) denied that he was “Santa Claus” who will “give away a lot of free stuff.”
At the “Politics and Eggs” breakfast, the self-described Democratic Socialist said that “one of the arguments against me in this campaign is that I’m a really nice guy, I’m Santa Claus. I want to give away a lot of free stuff, but I don’t pay for it. Well, we do actually pay for it.”
Sanders said he would pay for a lot of his proposals by ending loopholes that corporations use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
At debates and in town hall events, Sanders has said that he would pay for his programs—like free public college and “Medicare for all”— by taxing “Wall Street speculation” and raising taxes on middle-income families. Sanders has argued that he believes Americans may want to pay more taxes if they do not have to pay their insurance premiums under his proposed “Medicare for All” program. He has even argued that his policy proposals are not “radical.”
During Thursday night’s debate, Clinton accused Sanders of making promises that he cannot keep. She said she believes in “affordable college, but I don’t believe in free college, because every expert that I have talked to says, look, how will you ever control the costs.”
Clinton has also argued on the stump that she did not understand how Sanders could be serious about raising the wages of working-class families if he wants to increase their taxes. And she made that point again in Thursday’s debate.
“I’m not going to tell people that I will raise your incomes and not your taxes, and not mean it, because I don’t want to see the kind of struggle that the middle class is going through exemplified by these promises that would raise taxes and make it much more difficult for many, many Americans to get ahead and stay ahead,” Clinton said. “That is not my agenda.”