Anderson Cooper Presses Sanders on Total Cost of His Proposed Government Programs


Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has promised a vast range of new programs if elected president, but what the total of his programs will be is a question he has been loath to address in interviews.

In an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” aired on Sunday, host Anderson Cooper asked Sanders if he had a total cost of all his proposed government programs.

While Sanders couldn’t say the exact cost of all the plans together, he said that his campaign has figured out a way to pay for them all.

“Obviously, those are expensive propositions, but we have done our best on issue after issue in paying for them.”

“Do you have a price tag for all these?” Cooper asked.

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“We do, I mean, you know, and the price tag is … it will be substantially less than letting the current system go — I think it’s about $30 trillion,” Sanders responded.

Watch the interview below:

Cooper pointed out that the $30 trillion figure was just for Medicare for All and asked again if Sanders has a total cost of all his programs.

“No, I don’t,” Sanders responding, adding, “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 with a modest tax on Wall Street speculation.”

Cooper asked Sanders how he can be sure his programs would be paid for if he can’t list to the total cost of them, and Sanders responded, “Well, I can’t rattle off to you every nickel and every dime. But we have accounted for — you talked about Medicare for All — we have options out there that will pay for it.” 

The issue of how much Sanders’ plans would cost has come up before in other interviews. In an interview in January, CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell pressed him on one estimate that found his plans could cost $60 trillion over 10 years.

When Sanders tried to dismiss that estimate as one cooked up by political rivals, O’Donnell interjected, “You don’t know how much your plan costs?”

“You don’t know, nobody knows, this is impossible,” Sanders responded.

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“You’re going to propose a plan to the American people, and you’re not going to tell them how much it costs?” She asked. 

Sanders argued that the health care costs will skyrocket in the coming decades and cost more than a Medicare for All system.

Critics have routinely blasted estimated costs of Sanders’ proposals, but he has maintained that in the long run, they will be less expensive than the current systems. 

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