Sanders Infrastructure Proposal Adds Up

Bernie Sanders made a lot of people raise eyebrows when he put forward hisĀ $18 trillion worth of proposalsĀ in September. This is paired with added tax revenue that makes the entire proposalĀ net positiveĀ over ten years.

Within his proposal is $1 trillion worth of infrastructure improvement, which had aĀ D+ rating in 2014. Bringing our crumbling infrastructure up to code, according to the Sanders campaign, will net over 13 million jobs over five years. Washington Postā€™s fact checker found this claim asĀ credible, both in the jobs generated and the tax revenue raised to finance it. What is more interesting in their study is both the Postā€™s and Sanders own narrow view of options on the table for corporate taxation. While yes, he hasĀ proposed a wealth tax, it is only one tool in the tool chest available to the federal government.

A tool used by other nations is a Value Added Tax or a Turnover Tax. VATā€™s are incredibly common in Europe, and some proposals to bring a VAT to the United States exist such as the so-called ā€œFairTaxā€œ, including in Sanderā€™s preferred talking point of Denmark. Turnover taxes are a bit less common, being mainly found in South Africa and China, but may be a better subject for a Sanders plan. Unlike VATs, which are general sales taxes, Turnover taxes are only applied at theĀ end of the manufacturing process. As demonstrated byĀ China, a nation can use a Turnover tax as a way to add a functional tariff without having an actual tariff.

Spending $1 To Earn $5

Beyond the taxes, however, what neither the Washington Post nor Sanders himself discuss is the impact of improved infrastructure beyond the immediate role in job creation. Estimates are that infrastructure shortcomings will directlyĀ cost the United States overĀ $1 trillion per year, with aĀ cumulative economic loss of $3.5 trillion per yearĀ by the end of a theoretical President Sanders first-term in office if nothing is done to address it. A 5-year plan costing $1 trillion would,Ā therefore, save us $4 trillion in our economy before the 2020 presidential campaign. An investment well worth it to the American people.

What Sanders is proposing is only common sense after all.

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