Bernie Sanders' Trillion-Dollar Legislative Agendas

September 15, 2015
Michael Tasselmyer
Bernie Sanders

The Wall Street Journal recently published a breakdown of Senator Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) campaign proposals, which would cost an estimated $18 trillion over the next decade if enacted. The presidential hopeful is running on a progressive agenda that has been putting pressure on Hillary Clinton in early voting states.

NTU Foundation has been tracking the costs of Senator Sanders' legislative agendas ever since he was elected to the Senate. We noted in June that he has proposed, on average, over $1 trillion in annual spending increases during that time.

Our data reflects the costs of all of the bills that Senator Sanders sponsored or cosponsored in the Senate, tracked via our BillTally project.

  • Sanders supported an average of 72 bills that would increase federal spending and 7 that would decrease outlays in each Congress.
  • For every dollar Senator Sanders would cut from the federal budget, he proposed over $151 million in spending increases.
  • He has repeatedly supported legislation that would establish a federally-administered universal health care system. Most recently he sponsored S. 1782, which would cost about $4.12 trillion over the next five years, or $824 billion annually. That bill was the second most expensive legislation that NTU Foundation scored in the previous Congress.

Based on the Senator's previous legislative agendas, the multi-trillion dollar price tag associated with his campaign proposals should come as no surprise.

Michael Tasselmyer

Policy Analyst

Michael Tasselmyer is the Policy Analyst for the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. He is primarily responsible for conducting research associated with the Foundation’s BillTally project, which tracks the impact of proposed legislation on federal spending.

Prior to joining NTUF, Michael worked as a legislative assistant within the Maryland State Senate, where he conducted research on the economic implications of proposed legislation, prepared testimony on key issues, and oversaw various constituent outreach and communication initiatives. He has collaborated with several Maryland-based think tanks and consulting firms on research related to a wide range of policy issues.

Originally from Baltimore, Michael holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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