Bernie fluffs his lines in '60 Minutes' interview, can't say how he'll fund his trillion-dollar proposals
The rise of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary season ahead of the 2020 presidential election has been quite a phenomenon. The veteran senator from Vermont is known for his socialist viewpoints and he has vowed to take on the 'powerful establishment' by banking on a leftist alternative. His rise has even made his own party leaders apprehensive for many of them believe that if socialist Sanders goes on to bag the nomination, the Dems could be in a more vulnerable state and could even lose their dominance in the House.
But as the standings show at the moment, Sanders is leading the race with 45 delegates after winning in New Hampshire and Nevada and finishing a close second in Iowa. His rivals are increasingly falling behind.
But during an interview in “60 Minutes” with Anderson Cooper on CBS News recently, Sanders uttered words that are bound to make the Democratic supporters and pundits disappointed. The veteran politician acknowledged that he is yet to put a "price tag” on much of the proposals that he has pushed during the presidential campaign.
The interview soon touched upon the core issue of Sanders’ socialistic ideals. The CBS summary of the candidate’s interview read, “There’s a profound skepticism in Congress about Sanders‘ ability to get his agenda passed. Two-thirds of Democrats in the Senate have not signed on to ‘Medicare for All,’ which would cost an estimated $30 trillion to $40 trillion over ten years. And that’s just one of Bernie Sanders‘ many proposals. There’s also free public college, cancellation of all student debt, a federal job guarantee, and a Green New Deal to rapidly reduce carbon emissions.”
Sanders' responses seemed less convincing
Cooper asked Sanders how much his entire vision would cost to which Sanders was less forthcoming. He acknowledged that his proposals were “expensive propositions” but added that they have done their best on issue after issue in paying for them.
Cooper continued to grill Sanders asking: “How much though? I mean, do you have a price tag for all of this?”
“We do, I mean, you know, and, and, the price tag is, it will be substantially less than letting the current system go. I think it’s about $30 trillion,” the former Burlington mayor said.
The interviewer then asked whether Sanders was just talking about “Medicare for All” to which the latter nodded. Sanders then said he doesn’t have a price tag for all his visions when Cooper persisted with his questions on the issue.
“No, I don’t. We try to — no, you mentioned making public colleges and universities tuition-free and canceling all student debt, that’s correct. That’s what I want to do. We pay for that through a modest tax on Wall Street speculation.”
Cooper then asked Sanders how he could be sure about the ways of paying for his visions when he said he has no idea about the total price.
“But you say you don’t know what the total price is, but you know how it’s going to be paid for. How …?” he asked. Sanders replied: “Well, I can’t, you know, I can’t rattle off to you every nickel and every dime. But we have accounted for — you — you talked about Medicare for All. We have options out there that will pay for it.”
In a critical opinion piece on the Washington Times, Cheryl Chumley advised against asking Sanders the price tag put on his “ridiculous socialist proposals” for he won’t answer and it is because he can’t tell.
“Cause he can’t. ‘Cause he hasn’t bothered to pin down the costs — ‘cause it’s so much easier to sell socialism when the petty tangibles aren’t brought into the picture. Like taxpayer costs. It’s a simple question, senator, "How much?” Chumley said in the piece before signing off with a quote of the late prime minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher, reading, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money.”