In case you missed it, Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz debated the Republican tax reform plan on CNN last night. It was the second time that the pair had met post-election to debate their political beliefs and the issues of the day.
As with the previous occasion, it’s unlikely that anyone went into the debate and came out with a different opinion. Supporters of Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz have their minds made up on pretty much every issue and taxes are no exception. Nonetheless, the pair did a lot to educate and entertain the audience throughout the night.
Ted Cruz got Bernie Sanders to admit he wants to raise everyone’s taxes
One of the highlights of the evening was about halfway through the debate. The focus shifted from the Republican tax reform plan to what Bernie Sanders had proposed in 2016.
As Ted Cruz rightly pointed out, the plan put forward by Sanders during his presidential campaign would have raised taxes on just about everyone. The middle class would see their taxes raised by nearly $5,000. For a family struggling to recover from the recession, that’s an untenable proposal.
Unlike his opponent in the 2016 Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders didn’t dodge the accusation. Instead, he insisted that while everyone’s taxes would go up, people would receive more government benefits to make up for that. The audience didn’t buy such a dubious claim.
Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz agreed on one part of the Republican tax proposal
In a rare moment, the two senators at opposite ends of the political spectrum actually found common ground. One of the signature pieces of the Republican tax reform proposal is increasing the standard deduction. If implemented, it would be a major tax break for low income families.
Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz agreed that more should be done to lower taxes for those in lower income brackets.
Besides that one area, the rest of the debate was fraught with disagreement. Ted Cruz spent most of his time citing specific statistics, and even brought along the graphs to boot. Bernie Sanders mostly relied on idealistic comparisons to European countries and lamenting how the United States differed from them.
Watch the full Bernie Sanders vs Ted Cruz tax debate below: