Bernie Sanders Defends Price Tag of his Agenda

Image: Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures as he speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Prince William Fairground in Manassas, Va., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)Cliff Owen / AP

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By Andrew Rafferty

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told NBC News/MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that a Wall Street Journal report that found his proposals will cost $18 trillion was “significantly exaggerated.”

“We will be responding to The Wall Street Journal on that. I think most of the expense that they put in there, the expenditures have to do with the single payer health care system,” Sanders said on Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday. “They significantly exaggerated the cost of that and they forgot to tell the American people in that article that that means eliminating the costs that you incur with private health insurance.”

The newspaper reported that Sanders calls for a government run health care program would alone total $15 trillion. When combined with his ideas for expanding social security, making tuition free at public colleges and investing in infrastructure, the total price tag comes to about $18 trillion over ten years, according to The Journal.

“We are going to demand that the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country do start paying their fair share of taxes,” Sanders said. “When we have massive income and wealth inequality, when 58 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent, when you have major corporations in a given year paying zero in federal income taxes, yes, we need real tax reform to bring in substantially more revenue.”

More from Sanders interview with Mitchell, including his take on his rising poll numbers and Donald Trump, can be found here.