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How Much Would a Bernie Sanders Presidency Cost?

Bernie Sanders
The policies put forth by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) would effectively bankrupt the country, if enacted. (Reuters photo)

On Wednesday, we learned that policies enacted by the wife of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) bankrupted a liberal arts college she used to run. On Thursday, we learned that if he became president, his own policies could very well bankrupt the country.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget issued a report that said Sanders' policies would add $19 trillion to the national debt—nearly twice the current national debt—with massive amounts of new spending. The CRFB estimate is a sharp departure from its previous estimate last month.

In April, the think tank said Sanders' policies would add between $2 and $15 trillion to the national debt. In a statement, the group explained the change in its estimate:

Senator Bernie Sanders deserves credit for trying to pay for his spending proposals' costs, but the offsets fall far short, according to our new analysis as part of our Fiscal FactCheck project. Senator Sanders's proposals would add almost $19 trillion to the debt. As a share of the economy, debt under these policies would grow from roughly 75 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) today to 154 percent of GDP in 2026 (compared to 86 percent of GDP under current law).

Senator Sanders would also increase spending and revenue levels as a share of the economy to well-above historical averages. Spending as a percentage of GDP would average about 37 percent over the next decade, compared to the historical average of about 20 percent. On the revenue side, it would increase to 25 percent over the next decade, while revenue as a share of GDP has averaged about 17.4 percent over the last half-century.

The full CRFB report may be viewed by clicking here.

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