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Why Bernie Sanders' Plans for College and Healthcare Can And Will Work

Updated on March 4, 2016
Bernie Sanders speaks to a massive crowd of supporters.
Bernie Sanders speaks to a massive crowd of supporters.

The year 2016 is an election year in The United States of America, we are currently in the process of choosing nominees from both the Democratic and Republican parties. In the Democratic race Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders run a close race, despite what Clinton and her supporters would have the voters believe, after Super Tuesday she only leads by less than 10% with still 80% of the country still to vote. A major issue in this campaign has been the topic of Sander’s “free” healthcare and college plans, the quotations around free are because it is in reality funded by a very reasonable increase in taxes for the upper classes that we will explore in detail for this article.

Bernie Sanders' proposed tax changes.
Bernie Sanders' proposed tax changes.

Evidence for Bernie's Success

Many people cite Bernie Sanders plans as unrealistic, even when they haven’t looked directly at how he plans to pull off these ideas. If they had, they would realize that Bernie's plans would actually pull in more revenue than it would cost and his medical plan would save the average american between 500 and 5000 dollars annually. Specific examples of revenue increasing plans include a tax on wall street speculation that would generate an estimated 300 billion dollars a year, increasing income taxes on the rich (see chart to the right), and removing a tax cap on incomes above 250,000 dollars a year all of these would mainly affect those already living well enough that a small increase in taxes would not cause a devastating financial loss.

Even the rich support Bernie, Ben and Jerry founders of the ice cream company Ben and Jerry's are both outspoken supporters of Senator Sanders.
Even the rich support Bernie, Ben and Jerry founders of the ice cream company Ben and Jerry's are both outspoken supporters of Senator Sanders.

Is it Ethical to Tax the Rich?

A common argument against Bernie's plans is the question of “why tax rich people more? They worked hard to get their money without any help.” However, In a recent study only 35% of the Forbes 400 actually came from poor to middle class circumstances, 22% of them inherited more than a million dollars, 7% inherited over 50 million dollars, and nearly a quarter of the top 400 inherited enough to automatically put them on the list. Even if we were to simply focus on the 35% who earned their way in, not a single person on that list did it on their own, they all had help from employees, business partners, investors, and even tax funded government programs, so to say that they “pulled themselves up on their own” would be highly inaccurate. The bottom line when it comes to taxing the rich is that the real question should be "Why tax rich people less? They got their money on the backs of others, why shouldn't they contribute to other's success and well being?"

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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 21 months ago from Ohio, USA

      I love that Bernie deludes people into believing we can tax ourselves to prosperity. He is skilled at ginning up class envy like no politician I've ever seen.

      It's fascinating that we reduce the discussion to an ethical analysis of taking 52% of someone else's income. Why not 53% ? Is 54% still ethical?

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 21 months ago from Orange County California

      The problem with college and healthcare is that the focus to fix them is itself a problem.


      College needs to change from higher education to finding jobs in a country that has lost most of its traditional jobs to other countries. Business has changed through tax evasion, mergers and acquisitions, and technology, and our new paradigm as a service centered market.

      What this means is that most of the college degrees are useless to obtain a job that can even pay back the student loans, much less build a family and buy a home.

      Academia won't allow you to survive much less thrive in the US today, unless you work for academia.

      K-12 and college curriculum need to be updated to the world that exists today, and how it may change for tomorrow.

      K-12 need to be fortified to where a high school degree would be the equivalent of a two yr college degree today. And it would shorten the 4 year college degree to two years.

      Businesses would then be the transitional educators for these college graduates.


      The fix that is needed in healthcare is not Obamacare, or National Health Services, it is quality and finding cures that will reduce the costs and the failures of the current system, including Sanders plan.

      We haven't have cures for major diseases since the Salk Vaccine in the 1950s. And that was before the FDA was given the overseer of the drug industry. The FDA has no independent labs and they must rely on the data provided to them by the drug industry. FDA approved drugs are continually attacked in court as failing to provide safety.

      The FDA needs to be reformed or replaced as it has been shown by its history of not providing a useful service.

      We need less healthcare, and more health cure.


      We already tax the rich with higher marginal tax rates, but the real cause of the disparity in income in the US is a result of giving them almost exclusive use of the Internal Revenue Code which makes the rich immune to any high tax rates.

      A National Sales Tax that would totally replace the Income Tax and the Internal Revenue Code would see greater tax revenues from the rich.

      How much of the IRC can the average worker use?

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 21 months ago from the short journey

      Just one problem with "taxing the rich" is that "the rich" will just move more of their money, more of their business, and even themselves to another country if they have to support everyone else here. That leaves the "everyone else" to have even more taxes.

      There are more problems with the concept, but if people have lost sight of why there was an American Revolution then they may get what they ask for on this matter of education and many others. The more dependent the general population is on taxes (government) the poorer they will be, and that's poorer financially, poorer health wise, poorer emotionally, poorer religiously, poorer in development of municipalities...

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 21 months ago

      "Free stuff Bernie" , being from my state , has very little of and if any positive legislative record . He IS an avowed socialist -self described . He has given the same speech's in even empty halls for decades , Vermont is full of old hippies , and that is the wind that fills his sails , He's a relic left over from the sixties revolutionary times and has never held a real job . He believes in a utopian kingdom where the rich are the givers and the poor or lazy are the benefactors. I only ask that his supporters simply VET him , you too will learn of his empty promises !

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 21 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      To me this seems like a Robin Hood approach of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. If you soak people making more than $250,000 per year, you are going to discourage a lot of people from wanting to stay in the States and earn money. 50% tax on an income of 500,000 is quite a lot. I have talked to some residents of Denmark who are now working in Thailand instead of Denmark. They are here in Thailand because the "free" education and socialized medicine they are getting in Denmark isn't worth it compared to how much they have to pay in taxes.