Elizabeth Warren Can’t Dodge the Middle Class Tax Question Forever

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Posted by Adam Sabes on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019, 2:47 PM PERMALINK

2020 Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren dodged questions asking if the middle-class would see a tax increase under her proposed “Medicare for All” plan during the CNN debate on Tuesday night.

Here is the key exchange:

Jake Tapper: “At the last debate, you said you were ‘with Bernie on Medicare for All.’ Senator Sanders has said ‘people in the middle class will pay more in taxes to help pay for Medicare for All,’ though that will be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums and other costs. Are you also ‘with Bernie on Medicare for All’ in regards to raising taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for it.”

Elizabeth Warren: “Giant corporations and billionaires are going to pay more middle class families are going to pay less out of pocket for their health care.”

Tapper: “15 extra seconds, would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for all offset obviously, by the elimination of insurance premiums, yes or no

Warren: “Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations. For middle class families costs, total costs will go down.”

However, 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.

“Yes, [the middle-class] will pay more in taxes,” Sanders said during the June Democratic debate on NBC.

Jeff Greenfield from Politico 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.

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