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  October 20, 2017

Debate Recap: Sanders Vs. Cruz on Trump's Tax Plan


Senators Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders squared off over a Koch brothers-backed effort to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans
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transcript

Jaisal Noor: Wednesday night CNN special. Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Vermont Senator

Bernie Sanders square off over the Republican tax plan. With Cruz framing the plan as

reducing taxes on all Americans.

Ted Cruz: Bernie and the Democrats want every one of you watching today to pay more

taxes. And Republicans want to lower the taxes for each and every person watching this

debate. Tax cuts are about jobs and more money in your pocket. More money for the single

mom to buy books for her kids. For the truck driver to be able to afford sending his daughter

to college. For the family who's struggling to make ends meet, to be able to save up and go

to Disneyworld.

Jaisal Noor: And Sanders noting the vast majority of cuts will go to the wealthiest.

Bernie Sanders: Let me make a prediction. In two minutes, Senator Cruz is going to tell

you that if we give tax breaks to the billionaires like George W. Bush did, like Ronald Reagan

did, we're going to create zillions of jobs and you're all going to become very, very rich. That

we have a trickle-down economic theory. Tax breaks for the wealthiest people, the largest

corporations, and whoa, everything is good. That is a totally fraudulent theory.

Jaisal Noor: Sanders emphasized the proposal as being pushed by wealthy interests like

the right wing billionaire [Coate 00:01:26] brothers, who held a donor's summit in Manhattan

last week to garner support for the plan. Promising to spend some $400 million on pushing

the effort and warning of dire consequences if it fails.

Bernie Sanders: This proposal is being pushed by Senator Cruz's campaign contributors,

some of the wealthiest people in this country, by the Coke brothers who are worth $90 billion.

Why are they pushing this agenda? Because 80% of the tax breaks in this proposal will go to

the top 1%.

Jaisal Noor: Cruz tried to portray raising taxes and regulations as a harmful legacy of the

Obama presidency that increase inequality. But Sanders argued rising inequality is a longer

trend.

Ted Cruz: And the Democrats love corporate welfare. They love to rail on the insurance

companies. What they won't tell you, is that under Obamacare, the profits for the insurance

companies doubled. When you have Washington giving out goodies, the big guys do great.

It's the little people who hurt. It's the young people, it's the entrepreneurs. Look, when my dad

came to America from Cuba, he couldn't speak English, he was washing dishes, he was

making 50 cents an hour. Our economy has been the place where people can come and do

that. And it doesn't work. You notice Bernie didn't disagree with what I said. That the gap

between rich and poor has increased more under Obama than any President in history.

Bernie Sanders: It's increased significantly over the last 40 years under Republican

Presidency [crosstalk 00:02:55] It did increase under Obama. And did increase under Bush.

Under the Bush proposal, and remember what Senator Cruz is talking about, if we give tax

breaks, we're going to create all these jobs, and we're going to have all this growth, and we're

going to have a surplus and so forth and so on. Under President Bush, he did it. He gave tax

breaks, and you know what happened? He gave tax breaks to the rich. And you know what

happened? We lost 500,000 private sector jobs and the national debt almost doubled under

Bush.

Jaisal Noor: Trump's proposal to repeal the estate tax was also raised with Senator

Sanders rebutting Cruz's claim it would hurt working people.

Ted Cruz: What the death tax does, is other business owners like you, when they pass the

business on, the simple fact that you died, means you've got a massive tax bill that the only

way to pay for it is to lay those people off. You know the first question that was asked about

as a young person, why should I care? Young person may be saying, "Well gosh, the death

tax when you're 19 or 20 you think you're going to live forever. Why do I care about the death

tax?" Well, you care about it if you want to be one of those 1000 employees. If you want to

have an opportunity to grow in a small business, and small businesses provide two thirds of

all new jobs.

Bernie Sanders: That's a good speech.

Ted Cruz: Thank you.

Bernie Sanders: But it has nothing to do with reality.

Ted Cruz: I appreciate that.

Bernie Sanders: Here's the reality. You know, after Trump and people like Senator Cruz

go around saying, "Oh, it's mostly the workers and the farmers and the ranchers who are

going to pay the estate tax," Steve Mnuchin, who is our Secretary of Treasury. This is what

he said, and I quote, "Obviously the estate tax, I will concede, disproportionately helps rich

people." Yeah, it helps rich people, the top two tenths of 1%. 99.8% of families of somebody

who died do not pay a nickel in the estate tax. Factcheck.org said, quote, "Less than 1% of

farm of farm operators, less than 1% of farm operator estates is projected to pay any estate

tax." Tax Policy Center said, quote, "Only an estimated 80 small farms will pay any estate tax

in 2017." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said, "Only the wealthiest two tenths of 1%

will pay estate tax."

Jaisal Noor: Asked what programs he would cut, Sanders raised the recent $70 billion

increase in military spending approved by Congress.

Bernie Sanders: He said, "Okay, what programs am I going to cut?" Ted, how'd you vote

on the authorization bill for the Department of Defense which increased military spending by,

if I'm not mistaken, $70 billion. So that we are now spending more on the military than the

next 12 nations combined. Check ... Correct me if I'm wrong Ted, I think you voted for that

huge increase military spending.

Ted Cruz: So I-

Bernie Sanders: Is that right or not?

Ted Cruz: I voted enthusiastically, yes, and I will accept, as your friendly amendment, you will

slash the military, you'll cut the army and navy and marines and air force [crosstalk 00:05:58]

Bernie Sanders: I didn't say, whoa-

Ted Cruz: But you won't cut anything else.

Bernie Sanders: Whoa. No, no, no, no, no, nope, nope, nope, nope.

Ted Cruz: I agree, you'll cut the military. And I think that's an enormous mistake.

Bernie Sanders: No, we're are going to-

Ted Cruz: You would cut the military.

Bernie Sanders: Okay, no-

Ted Cruz: I'll concede.

Bernie Sanders: All right. But don't concede for me. You have to explain to people-

Ted Cruz: No, no, no, I'm conceding. You would cut the military, I wouldn't. That's the real

difference-

Bernie Sanders: I didn't say I would cut the military-

Ted Cruz: Democrats want to cut the military, Republicans want to defend our nation

[crosstalk 00:06:18] that's the real difference.

Bernie Sanders: That is inaccurate statement. What was the vote on that [crosstalk

00:06:23]

Ted Cruz: Would you cut the military?

Bernie Sanders: What was the vote ... You just said-

Ted Cruz: I voted yes, you voted no.

Bernie Sanders: Correct. But how many people voted no?

Ted Cruz: I don't know. But this is a great [crosstalk 00:06:32]

Bernie Sanders: It was a few. There was about ten ... Let me finish. All right, there was

about-

Ted Cruz: Well, you're asking a question. Let me respond to it.

Bernie Sanders: You said Democrats voted to cut the military. In fact, they didn't.

Overwhelmingly they voted the same way you did. I voted no. Because I think that at a time

when we have people working two or three jobs trying to make ends meet, where kids can't

afford to go to college, or are leaving school deeply in debt, I happen not to think that

spending $70 billion more on the military and giving a huge boondoggle to the military

industrial complex-

Debate Moderator: Senators-

Bernie Sanders: That Ronald ... That Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about. I happen to

think that was not a good idea.

Jaisal Noor: Cruz attacked Sanders for supporting universal healthcare, saying countries

like Denmark have long waiting lines. Moments later he was fact checked by a Dane.

Ted Cruz: He lionized socialized medicine in Europe. If you look at socialized medicine, there

are waiting periods, there's rationing. The Government says, "If you're an elderly person, you

need a hip replacement," It says, "Well, you may not get a hip replacement, we were talking

about Denmark." The average wait time for cataract surgery-

Bernie Sanders: If you believe that gentleman up there-

Ted Cruz: Was 83 days.

Bernie Sanders: Come on back. Come on back.

Ted Cruz: And the average time-

Bernie Sanders: Sorry.

Ted Cruz: In Denmark, which he brought up, for hip replacement, was 55 days, 59 days for

knee replacement.

Bernie Sanders: I wish we had opportunity for everybody. Now you heard his remarks

about the ... You're with the Peterson Institute which a conservative group. So I'm talking to

somebody who is a conservative, all right. How bad is the ... And I don't know the answer,

you tell me, is the Danish healthcare system also terrible?

Jacob Kirkegaard: No I mean I think the general characterization of waiting lists across the

board is vastly incorrect. And I'll give you the example of my mother, who is hospitalized with

cancer. She was treated in a matter of one or two days, and this is true on a number of

issues. So the demonization of healthcare systems in Europe is just not true.

Jaisal Noor: Finally, Cruz closed on a message that cutting taxes create jobs, and Sanders

countering that.

Ted Cruz: Cut taxes and the economy booms, everyone benefits. That's what we need to do

and that's what the Republican majorities need to deliver on now.

Debate Moderator: Senator Sanders.

Bernie Sanders: When President Bush was in office, Ted, he cut taxes for the wealthy and

large corporations and the national debt nearly doubled, from $5.7 trillion to over $10.6 trillion

and we lost about a half a million jobs. All right? Voodoo economics, which, as you may

recall, is what the first Bush referred to trickle-down economics, is a fraud.

Jaisal Noor: For much more on this debate, go to therealnews.com. This is Jaisal Noor.



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