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Taxation in Bernie Sander's Democratic Socialism

Updated on March 1, 2020

It is appealing. free tuition, no student college loans, no taxes on the middle class, tax the rich and corporations, free health care for all even non-citizens. Sounds like a utopia. But, you know, that anything that too good to be true is probably a lie, or, half truth. Your gut tells you this despite the appeal.

Under the Sander's Democratic Socialism modeled after the Nordic systems that Bernie seems to want to copy, what Bernie does not want to tell you is about how it is paid for, the amount of disruption that his plan would cause, which would be bad. Even getting these passed via the Congress and Senate would hinder if not stop their progress. Not all Democrats want or like what Sander's wants.


The Nordic countries have what Bernie wants for America. Yet, the reality is it is their high taxation is mostly on the average middle class.

  • All income $60,000 or more is taxed at 60%!
  • A national VAT would be 25% (in addition to a local state tax) on most all things purchased (there is no VAT in USA now).
  • Taxes on corporations today is nearly 40%
  • Payroll taxes would also be raised to around 25% from the 15% today
  • The high income earners would be taxed 60%

As you can see, the Sander's methodology to pay for the free services would cost everyone much more than you are paying now. The VAT tax would increase your monthly food, fuel costs much more. Your income would not necessarily increase as employers also pay more in payroll taxes. Would your life be better? Waiting for a medical procedure for months, like many do in socialist countries, is not a good thing. While the college may be free tuition, you just know the college will make up for this loss of income, in some manner, or, not provide student health services etc. Student loan forgiveness would be an impossible task to implement. Millions of student loans would vanish, but how do the banks handle this sudden loss?

The Bernie Sander's pipe dream would disrupt everyday American life in many ways. It would be a disaster.


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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      13 months ago

      I agree Ken, it is way too disruptive and would never get past the Senate or Congress

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      13 months ago

      It's true, the Sander's socialism is just that for the most part based on how the Nordic nations pay for it

    • fpherj48 profile image


      13 months ago from Carson City


    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      13 months ago from Florida

      Yes, all true.

      I once reviewed in some detail why these "socialist" efforts work in places like Canada (for instance), and while I don't remember all the details there were some stark reasons why it worked there and could not work here.

      Population Size - Canada had around 32 million.

      Size of population employed - Canada more than 50%

      Lets keep in mind, in these systems with "free" healthcare, you are subject to what they deem prudent for you to get... less choice, longer wait time for high risk operations and transplants.

      Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in 2017 found that on average a Canadian spends $6,604 in taxes for healthcare coverage.

      How that is broken down, I have no idea, but if half the population doesn't work, does that mean the other half that does pays $13,208 on average?

      The total U.S. population age 18 and over is around 245 million. Subtract around 155 million that are employed, that is, those who were either working or looking for work -- that leaves 90 million that aren't working or looking for work.

      (rough figures, not meant to be exact)

      So that leads to a similar situation.... except for two critical issues.

      America technically has less than 40% of its population actually working and making income.

      The American medical system is far more expensive.

      Drugs cost tenfold or more what they do in Canada. The American Big Pharma industry gouges Americans for profits like no other nation in the world, and they have their claws sunk deep into our political and regulation agencies... good luck changing that.

      Doctors make salaries far in access of anything they make in nations like Canada or Sweden or any of these more socialist states. How else can they afford to pay off their student loans as well as drive around in their Mercedes and Boats on the weekend?

      Hospitals like everything else, are geared towards making a profit, a fact complicated by outrageous drug prices, high doctor salaries, costly but necessary security features (to deal with a growing problem of homeless and mentally unstable persons which flow regularly through their doors), insurance (workers comp, liability) and on top of all this, they have to treat anyone who comes through their doors, whether they have a penny to their name or not.

      With the Medical Industry in total being about 1/5 (a fifth) of our economy, good luck getting the politicians to truly make that change.

      Collapse a fifth of the economy, tell all those nurses and doctors and specialty techs that they are no longer going to make a living wage... because we are going to adopt a more fair and equitable system... and on top of their wages being drastically cut, their taxes are going to go up to support it... see where that gets you.

      I'd be willing to bet half the hospitals would close in the first year, and the ones that remained open would be overwhelmed and under staffed.

      To those that like socialist states and free health care, they should just move to a nation like Canada that has it. Because only a "revolution" that completely collapses the Nation, and brings total economic ruin to America, is going to allow for a transition to social medicine and social education that is "free".

      Every single "Middle Class" American from millionaire to barely getting by would suffer, millions more would die unnecessarily, those in 'retirement' communities and care facilities would be those that suffered the most and lost all care.

      Its just insane to think such a change could be made in America without totally upending our political system and putting the population through a very painful upheaval period.


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