Joe Biden slammed Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to give an honest answer to the middle class tax question, calling it “absolutely ridiculous” during a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, according to a video by Bo Erickson.
Biden: “It’s fascinating, that, um, a person who has a plan for everything, has no plan for the single, most consequential issue in this election, in the minds of the American people. It’ll cost them more. And, you know, credibility matters. It matters. And the question that I think that Senator Warren is going to have to face, she’s going to have to tell the truth. Or the question we raised about whether or not she’s going to be candid and honest with the American people. I mean, look, I’m not picking on Elizabeth Warren, but this is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.”
Biden continued later on, saying: “And I’m hoping that, um, Senator Warren gets to the point that after months and months and months will tell you how she’s going to pay for this plan.”
Warren is avoiding the reality that middle-class Americans would have to pay more in taxes — as Bernie Sanders notes is necessary — to fund “Medicare for All.”
“Yeah, [we’d have to] raise taxes on the middle class,” Sanders told a CNN reporter after the July debate.
Warren repeatedly dodged the question in September during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. An exasperated Colbert tried to offer advice about the “taxes that perhaps you’re not mentioning.”
In July, Warren got into a heated exchange with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews while refusing to answer Matthews’ question on middle class tax hikes. She also dodged the question during the CNN and ABC debates.
In POLITICO Jeff Greenfield noted that Warren could be holding back an admission that Medicare for All will lead to higher taxes for the middle-class because she is worried about losing voters.
This leaves an obvious question that will follow her through the campaign: “Bernie Sanders is frank enough to acknowledge the obvious, and then explain it. Why won’t you?” The answer may be as simple as: If you say you will raise middle class taxes, an unmeasurable but likely significant number of voters simply will not bother to wait for the rest of your explanation.
As ATR noted earlier, Medicare for All would require anywhere from $32 trillion and $36 trillion in higher taxes over the course of the next decade.