How Bernie Would Balance the Budget

In his book “Outsider in the White House”, Bernie Sanders points out that the Federal budget could be balanced, not just by the usual Republican cuts to Medicare, Social Security and numerous other social programs, but by cutting numerous instances of “corporate welfare”. He gives a possible example. The following list totals increased tax revenue of about $125 billion dollars -- enough to cover the Federal deficit for the year 2002.

The figures are in billions of dollars, so that 123 million dollars shows as 0.123 and $120.5 billion shows as 120.5


143.500 -- Change how income of multinational corporations is allocated between nations

82.500 -- Eliminate foreign tax credit for multinational corporations and subsidiary income

5.700 -- End US firm’s delay of tax on income of foreign subsidiaries

1.900 -- Close loopholes for foreign-owned firms in the US including bond interest income

7.200 -- Repeal housing and wage exemptions for US citizens working abroad

0.560 -- Eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

7.000 -- Subject major foreign stockholders in US companies to a capital gains tax

1.400 -- Reduce Export-Import Bank subsidies to foreign purchases of US products, increase fees based on credit risk and direct loans to worthy firms in growing countries

49.000 -- Tax capital gains at regular rate


34.800 -- Cap the home mortgage interest deduction at $300,000

160.000 -- Reform standards allowing corporations to deduct equipment faster than it wears out

50.000 -- Cap deductions for CEO pay, counting excess salary/stockoptions/perks as taxable profit

18.300 -- End deduction of advertising costs, instead depreciating 20% as capital cost to build recognition of increased income

3.060 -- End nuclear weapons production and test site costs

9.100 -- Terminate the Advanced Neutron Source Project, Tokomak experiment and Gas Cooled Reactor

2.300 -- Phase out grants for fossil and nuclear energy development

1.400 -- Suspend purchases for Naval Petroleum, Oil Shale Reserve, Strategic Petroleum Reserve

0.330 -- End funding for Clean Coal Technology research

0.300 -- End 1872 Mining Act’s patent provision and set an 8% roualty on minerals recovered from public lands

1.500 -- Phase out Senatech and Technology Reinvestment Project subsidies

2.500 -- Discontinue subsidies to foreign purchasers of US defense products

0.400 -- Raise fees to cover Securities and Exchange Commission and commodity market operation costs

0.760 -- Reduce subsidy of wealthy farmers, by limiting payments to $50,000 per person

4.200 -- End subsidy of products purchased by foreign consumers

0.500 -- End subsidy of overseas advertising campaigns and trade shows for US firms

0.287 -- End tobacco subsidies

0.280 -- Increase fees for grazing on public lands

2.600 -- Rescind new funding for highway projects that do not qualify under state transportation plans or highway grant programs


30.000 --- Stop funding for 20 additional B-2 bombers

35.000 --- Stop funding for Star Wars and space stations

Bernie says “the total seven-year savings for such a budget deficit program is over $800 billion – enough to balance the budget for the year 2002.