Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) refused during CNN’s climate town hall Wednesday to guarantee that his $16 trillion Green New Deal proposal would not burden U.S. taxpayers, admitting that it would “end up on some taxpayers’ shoulders.”
CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Sanders to address the mounting concerns that his $16 trillion climate change proposal will “end up on taxpayers’ shoulders.”
“Would you guarantee to the American public tonight that the responsibility for $16.3 trillion, which is a massive amount of money, wouldn’t end up on taxpayers’ shoulders? ” he asked.
Sanders would not give Cooper a guarantee and admitted that his plan will, in fact, “end up on some taxpayers’ shoulders.”
“Well, it will end up on some taxpayers’ shoulders. If you are in the fossil fuel industry, you’re going to be paying more in taxes, that’s for sure,” Sanders said, pivoting to his familiar talking points on wealth inequality:
And I happen to believe, in general, that at a time when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, where the richest three people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of American society, where major profitable corporations like Amazon, who made over $10 billion in profits last year, didn’t pay a nickel in taxes, am I going to guarantee Jeff Bezos he’s not going to be paying more in taxes? No, I won’t.
However, Sanders also did not guarantee that his plan will not burden middle-class Americans with additional taxation.
This is not the first time Sanders has admitted that his plans would burden U.S. taxpayers. He faced a similar question during the first Democrat debate in June and confirmed that he would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for his big government programs, like Medicare for All. Sanders argued that the benefits of his programs will far outweigh the costs: