Leftists attack an inaccurate meme as a way to silence opposition to Bernie's plans

On Friday, after the Democrat Party debate in Nevada, James Woods tweeted out a little mathematical calculation that quickly went viral.  It purported to show how Bernie's demand for a $15 minimum wage would be meaningless, as Bernie's proposed 52% tax rate on those same earners would leave them with less money than before.  Leftists from Snopes on down instantly started debunking the calculation.  What they missed is that Bernie's actual plans are infinitely worse for lower- and middle-class Americans than the erroneous calculation suggests.

It started with one of James Woods's cute tweets.  This one shows a simple math problem.  The gist of it is that, if someone works a 40-hour week for 52 weeks a year and gets paid the Bernie-mandated $15 per hour, that person will bring home $31,200 per year.  It then noted that Bernie has said that, to pay for his free health care, he will raise to 52% the taxes imposed on anyone making $29,000 a year.  Run those numbers, and you end up taxing your hypothetical minimum wage–earner so much that he ends up bringing home only $14,976 per year, or $7.20 per hour, which is less than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour:

Various leftist outlets leaped on the fallacy contained in that tweet.  Snopes is representative:

One proposal offered by Sanders would raise the tax rate to 52% on earnings over $10 million. Sanders also proposed that the first $29,000 of a person's income would be exempt from taxes, and a 4% income-based premium would be applied to earnings over $29,000.

That's accurate, so far as it goes, but what Snopes and its fellow travelers missed is that the economic reality of Bernie's proposals is such that Americans will be lucky if federal taxes eat up only 52% of their annual earnings.  The reality is much worse.

In October 2019, Brian Riedl looked at how much Bernie's proposals will cost — a staggering $97.5 trillion over the next ten years (hat tip: Dan Bongino):

The $97.5 trillion price tag is made up mostly of the costs of Sanders's three most ambitious proposals. Sanders concedes that his Medicare For All plan would increase federal spending by "somewhere between $30 and $40 trillion over a 10-year period." He pledges to spend $16.3 trillion on his climate plan. And his proposal to guarantee all Americans a full-time government job paying $15 an hour, with full benefits, is estimated to cost $30.1 trillion. The final $11.1 trillion includes $3 trillion to forgive all student loans and guarantee free public-college tuition — plus $1.8 trillion to expand Social Security, $2.5 trillion on housing, $1.6 trillion on paid family leave, $1 trillion on infrastructure, $800 billion on general K–12 education spending, and an additional $400 billion on higher public school teacher salaries.

As you contemplate programs that will add almost $10 trillion to the annual federal budget, keep in mind that our current annual federal budget hovers at around $4.8 trillion.  Meanwhile, current taxpayer revenue comes in at around $3.8 trillion.  Bernie's proposals will bring the annual budget close to $14.8 trillion.  Tax revenue will have to grow by $11 trillion annually to cover it.  No wonder that, during his interview with Anderson Cooper on Sunday night, Bernie became very coy about the probable cost of his campaign promises.

Bernie has already proposed raising taxes dramatically, including that 52% tax on people earning more than $10 million, but Riedl explains that Bernie's plans would raise only $23 trillion, leaving a $90-trillion deficit over the decade, equal to $66,000 per household per year.  To give a little perspective on what $23 trillion means, if you think in terms of time, and each dollar is equivalent to one second, those 23 trillion seconds would equal 725,558 years.

Sanders is insisting that his plan will boost economic growth.  History tells us otherwise.  While some people like their jobs, most Americans do not work for pleasure.  They work for money.  If the government takes most of the money, they'll either leave the country, taking their money with them, or stop working.  (See the Laffer curve.)  Since the government has money only because it takes it, not because it creates wealth, that bankrupts government.  At that point, the only way to squeeze money out of people, or to get labor equivalent to money, is coercion, otherwise known as the slavery of the socialist state.

And that's what Bernie wants for America: something infinitely worse than a silly, easily debunked little back-of-the-napkin calculation.

On Friday, after the Democrat Party debate in Nevada, James Woods tweeted out a little mathematical calculation that quickly went viral.  It purported to show how Bernie's demand for a $15 minimum wage would be meaningless, as Bernie's proposed 52% tax rate on those same earners would leave them with less money than before.  Leftists from Snopes on down instantly started debunking the calculation.  What they missed is that Bernie's actual plans are infinitely worse for lower- and middle-class Americans than the erroneous calculation suggests.

It started with one of James Woods's cute tweets.  This one shows a simple math problem.  The gist of it is that, if someone works a 40-hour week for 52 weeks a year and gets paid the Bernie-mandated $15 per hour, that person will bring home $31,200 per year.  It then noted that Bernie has said that, to pay for his free health care, he will raise to 52% the taxes imposed on anyone making $29,000 a year.  Run those numbers, and you end up taxing your hypothetical minimum wage–earner so much that he ends up bringing home only $14,976 per year, or $7.20 per hour, which is less than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour:

Various leftist outlets leaped on the fallacy contained in that tweet.  Snopes is representative:

One proposal offered by Sanders would raise the tax rate to 52% on earnings over $10 million. Sanders also proposed that the first $29,000 of a person's income would be exempt from taxes, and a 4% income-based premium would be applied to earnings over $29,000.

That's accurate, so far as it goes, but what Snopes and its fellow travelers missed is that the economic reality of Bernie's proposals is such that Americans will be lucky if federal taxes eat up only 52% of their annual earnings.  The reality is much worse.

In October 2019, Brian Riedl looked at how much Bernie's proposals will cost — a staggering $97.5 trillion over the next ten years (hat tip: Dan Bongino):

The $97.5 trillion price tag is made up mostly of the costs of Sanders's three most ambitious proposals. Sanders concedes that his Medicare For All plan would increase federal spending by "somewhere between $30 and $40 trillion over a 10-year period." He pledges to spend $16.3 trillion on his climate plan. And his proposal to guarantee all Americans a full-time government job paying $15 an hour, with full benefits, is estimated to cost $30.1 trillion. The final $11.1 trillion includes $3 trillion to forgive all student loans and guarantee free public-college tuition — plus $1.8 trillion to expand Social Security, $2.5 trillion on housing, $1.6 trillion on paid family leave, $1 trillion on infrastructure, $800 billion on general K–12 education spending, and an additional $400 billion on higher public school teacher salaries.

As you contemplate programs that will add almost $10 trillion to the annual federal budget, keep in mind that our current annual federal budget hovers at around $4.8 trillion.  Meanwhile, current taxpayer revenue comes in at around $3.8 trillion.  Bernie's proposals will bring the annual budget close to $14.8 trillion.  Tax revenue will have to grow by $11 trillion annually to cover it.  No wonder that, during his interview with Anderson Cooper on Sunday night, Bernie became very coy about the probable cost of his campaign promises.

Bernie has already proposed raising taxes dramatically, including that 52% tax on people earning more than $10 million, but Riedl explains that Bernie's plans would raise only $23 trillion, leaving a $90-trillion deficit over the decade, equal to $66,000 per household per year.  To give a little perspective on what $23 trillion means, if you think in terms of time, and each dollar is equivalent to one second, those 23 trillion seconds would equal 725,558 years.

Sanders is insisting that his plan will boost economic growth.  History tells us otherwise.  While some people like their jobs, most Americans do not work for pleasure.  They work for money.  If the government takes most of the money, they'll either leave the country, taking their money with them, or stop working.  (See the Laffer curve.)  Since the government has money only because it takes it, not because it creates wealth, that bankrupts government.  At that point, the only way to squeeze money out of people, or to get labor equivalent to money, is coercion, otherwise known as the slavery of the socialist state.

And that's what Bernie wants for America: something infinitely worse than a silly, easily debunked little back-of-the-napkin calculation.