Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) has released the outline of his budget, which he claims would pay for all of his Free Stuff spending. Here are a couple of the high points of his budget.
- tax the investing process
- 5% tax on stock trades
- 1% fee on bond trades
- 005% fee on derivative trades
- wealth tax on the “top 0.1%”
These, without inhibiting investments, including those of the mutual funds in our 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc, are supposed to raise more than $6 trillion over ten years, and—poof—there go all college expenses and housing costs. Never mind that this would drive up the cost of investing by a factor of five—but no, there’d be no effect on investing.
- sue the lights out of fossil fuel companies
This is supposed to raise another $3 trillion. Never mind that with the courts being returned to ruling on the Constitution and the law rather than ruling on the feel-good social issue du jour, that’s a bit chancy.
- cut defense spending by $1.215 trillion
This one, in the end, may be the most effective at eliminating concerns about paying for the Sanders Free Stuff industry. Once we’re no longer able to defend ourselves, we’ll be easy prey for our enemies. Or the least effective, depending on whether the perspective is ours or our enemy’s.
And as an aside, one non-economic cynical contradiction:
[A]fter arguing that people should not be judged solely by their skin color, Sanders promised that his vice president “definitively” would not be an “old white guy.”