In a face-to-face interview, CBS’s Stephen Colbert called out Elizabeth Warren on The Late Show for repeatedly refusing to answer the question of whether or not she would impose tax increases on middle class Americans:
Here is the key exchange:
Stephen Colbert: “You keep being asked in the debates ‘How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle class taxes?’ How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle class taxes?“
Elizabeth Warren: “So, here’s how we’re going to do this. Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations.”
Colbert: “Taxes which will be in those costs?”
Warren: “Yeah. Hard working, middle class families are going to see their costs go down.”
Colbert: “But will their taxes go up?“
Warren: “Well, but here’s the thing.”
Colbert: “No, but here’s the thing. I’ve listened to these answers a few times before, and I just want to make a parallel suggestion for you about how you might defend the taxes that perhaps you’re not mentioning.”
This is at least the sixth time Warren has dodged the middle class tax question.
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.
If you want to stay up-to-date on Democrats and their threats to raise taxes, visit www.atr.org/HighTaxDems.