Democratic presidential candidate Senator Michael Bennet (Colo.) called out fellow candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) for selling new government programs on the campaign trail without offering proposals on how they will be funded.
“There’s a leading candidate in this race, my estimate is that of the stuff she’s proposed, she’s proposed how to pay for 15 percent of it,” Bennet said, without naming Warren, at a “Politics and Eggs” meeting in the early primary state of New Hampshire.
“You know, you ask yourself, are these bold ideas, or is it responsible to have all these plans and only pay for 15 percent of it? Or should you be saying something different to the American people?” Bennet continued.
A Washington Free Beacon report from May estimated Warren’s proposed plans would require $129 trillion in new spending over the next 10 years if all were successfully implemented.
Bennet has previously said Warren is “not being honest” about the cost of her Medicare for All plan.
“I mean it is a massive increase in taxes to this country and it hasn’t been explained to the American people,” he said in an appearance on CNN Newsroom. “It’s a sound bite.”
Warren has faced similar criticism for months, including from some in her own camp.
A top economic adviser to Warren told Bloomberg News two weeks ago that Warren’s tax plans fall short.
“Her taxes as they currently exist are not enough yet to cover fully replacing health insurance,” University of California, Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez said. Saez helped craft Warren’s proposed “wealth tax.”
Other Democratic candidates have also criticized Warren’s proposals. Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar said Warren wasn’t “being honest” about costs. South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg said she was being “extremely evasive” on the issue. Joe Biden exhorted her to admit the plan is “gonna cost a lot of money.”
Warren repeatedly dodged the funding question on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough lamented that Sanders and Warren weren’t being pressed enough to explain the revenue side of the equation.
Todd Shepherd is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He began his reporting career in radio, working as an anchor and reporter for KOMA in Oklahoma City and KOA in Denver. He spent eight years as the investigative reporter for the Independence Institute in Colorado, a free-market-based think tank. Campaigns and Elections magazine named him a “Top Colorado Influencer” for his reporting and news blog. He’s a graduate of the media studies program from Oklahoma Baptist University.