Image 01 Image 03

I Watched the Sanders Cruz Tax Debate So You Didn’t Have to

I Watched the Sanders Cruz Tax Debate So You Didn’t Have to

A civil discussion despite being worlds apart.

This was like a trip down memory lane. Let me begin by saying the debate style of Bernie Sanders hasn’t changed since the 2016 Democratic primary. I lost track of how many times he said millionaires, billionaires and Koch brothers in the first 30 minutes.

As you can imagine, the argument made by Bernie was to raise taxes and spend more on public programs like education and healthcare. Cruz advocated for cutting taxes and letting people decide how to spend their own money.

Here are some highlights via CNN, which hosted the event:

Cruz’s opening was strong:

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says his party wants to lower taxes for Americans.

“Tax cuts are about jobs and more money in your pockets,” he said.

He slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tax plan, saying it would raise taxes.

Bernie’s opening was just what you’d expect:

The issue of estate taxes came up. Bernie was for it, Cruz against:

Scott Nash, chief executive officer of Mom’s Organic Market, asked the senators why should his children inherit millions of tax-free dollars while other Americans will have to pay taxes on the money they earned.

Speaking to Nash, Sen. Ted Cruz said the death tax “is not about you or your kids, it’s about the thousand workers you said you employed.”

“What the death tax does … the simple fact that you died means you’ve got a massive tax bill, that the only way to pay for it is to layoff those people off,” he said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says the death tax helps the wealthiest Americans.

The subject of socialism came up, naturally:

There were some humorous moments as well. This was one of them:

Cruz’s response here was also very funny:

Cruz’s close was strong:

Sen. Ted Cruz says Republicans must “deliver on promise” to cut taxes for small businesses and working families.

During his final remarks, Cruz says Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Democrats believe government “knows best,” but they “want to raise taxes for all Americans.”

“American is a land of opportunity,” he said. We are going to cut your taxes and it is going to make a difference in terms of a better future for American all across this great nation.”

Bernie’s close was about defeating Republican tax reforms:

It was good to see these two treat each other respectfully. I don’t think this was really about who won the debate or lost, it was about two different views of America’s future.

Featured image via YouTube.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


The two are civil but will never agree. While it’s a nice respite from our current reality, the mobs outside of this forum will not be so civil.

This is a dying form of information dissemination that is no longer persuasive to the masses. You could argue about the ratings for the POTUS debates but those were not for civil discourse…they were for gotchas and shouting matches and a prelude to the idiocracy that abounds in highly contested political elections nowadays. This one was only cloaked in civility because the stakes are so low right now for these two.

    Cruz is a lawyer. On the issue of civil debate it is pretty much part of his DNA. For him (at least) low or high stakes are not really relevant to his discourse.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Shane. | October 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      My intent is not to criticize Cruz at all, but I sadly think rational and civil debates are an exercise in futility nowadays.

I wouldn’t say their visions for America’s future are different. They’re both bankruptcy. Bernie’s vision is bankruptcy sooner, Cruz’s is a bit later. Government debt exceeding the nation’s ability to pay are baked-in to both.

Bernie’s “free stuff for all”, Uncle Sam as Santa Claus is obviously a puerile fantasy. The fatal flaw in Cruz’s vision is not quite so obvious.

All tax reform is mere rearrangement. Taxes are never lowered, they’re moved around; if well done, the tax burden is shifted a bit to someplace where it won’t damage the general economy too much, or to someone who won’t complain too loudly. But it’s still a burden, sucking the economy’s life blood, and there’s a limit to how much it can give without wasting away. We don’t know exactly where that point is, but we know without a doubt that it’s there, somewhere, waiting to bite. The endless appetite for ever-increasing tax revenues are the problem which must be addressed. Government spends too much and produces too little. As spending becomes an ever-larger portion of the national economy, the entire economy becomes increasingly inefficient and nonproductive.

Not that any of this is Cruz’s fault. But I find it helpful to bear in mind that pretty much all modern talk of tax reform is really just window-dressing.

    To be fair Cruz is totally for lowering government spending and has stated as such on numerous occasions, but that isn’t a politically reality right now. This dog and pony show is for the current politically reality of campaign promises made by Trump.

    inspectorudy in reply to tom_swift. | October 19, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I think your argument about Cruz is flawed because you act like every pol should be as absurd as Rand Paul. He sees everything in black and white terms and there is no middle ground on ANY issue. It’s either his way or the highway. Cruz has a lot of experience and knows that you can’t be in office and blurt out the end result you wish would happen, you have to take it through the steps of public acceptance. Paul shows what happens when there are no steps taken and wanting the end results today. The results are zero!

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 20, 2017 at 4:35 am

    Wrong. Taxes are lowered. Frequently.

buckeyeminuteman | October 19, 2017 at 10:00 am

It was an excellent “debate” which showcased how out of touch Bernie Sanders (and the Democrats) is from reality. $15 per hour minimum wage, universal college degrees and universal healthcare were footstomped to death.

I’m all about tax reform, but I’d be even more excited about spending reform which is a topic the Republicans haven’t touched with a 39.5 foot pole.

This is why Bannon isn’t primarying Cruz. He’s not a sellout.

These debates are great lessons…on several levels…of civics.

A broad subject very much in need of illumination, since most public school students are innocent of any education along these lines.

This is great. It reminds of all those times the media and the Democrats were interested in debating policy with the Republicans when they controlled congress and the presidency. This is just like all those debates about the stimulus, Healthcare, and so on that were televised.

Oh wait. No it’s not. No one bothered with what the party with no power thought back then.
I understand why Cruz is attempting to enlighten people, but this tax stuff should already be implemented, then we can take the time to hand out knowledge to the hapless and befuddled CNN viewers.

Paul In Sweden | October 19, 2017 at 11:32 am

I have lost track of the investigation regarding the Sanders Vermont College bankruptcy scandal and if Bernie had a hand in his wife’s misdeeds. Anyone know?

The situation in the US makes it impossible to enact meaningful tax reform.

In the first place, ~50% of Americans pay NO taxes. How do these people live? That’s right, various public assistance programs, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. So, that leaves the other 50% of Americans to pick up the tab and support the other 50%. Of the 50% who actually pay any taxes, the top 10% actually pay over 70% of the tax revenue collected.

In the second place, federal revenues go to subsidize all kinds of local and state initiatives. If the citizens of Alaska want a bridge to nowhere, let them pay for it. why should the residents of California, Nebraska or Florida foot the bill for something that they will never use and which is not needed.

Then we have the social service programs. Taxpayers pay for medical care, business investments, higher education, child care, and other social services which should be paid for by the consumer or private charities.

All of this leads to the current problem. To reduce taxes, some of these expenditures have to go. The problem is which. Lawmakers do not want to cut any program which benefits his constituents. They are elected to bring home the bacon, after all. So, we find ourselves in the position where spending cuts will have to be made in order to accommodate tax cuts. And, the politicians are going to be loath to do that. This means that deficit spending will have to continue at even higher levels than today.

    The immediate problem with that is a very small word: cut

    If the Republicans propose even the smallest reduction in the natural growth rate of any government program, the Dems promptly begin howling about how it will starve children, kill the disabled, and make the elderly eat dog food. I vaguely remember the Republican ‘cuts’ to the school lunch program in which actual spending went up by X% a year, but since it was not X+1% like was scheduled, it was going to result in hordes of starving children stalking the cities in search of crusts of moldy bread in the gutters.

    If a president could use the word ‘freeze’ in a meaningful way, that would be good step forward. For example, a ‘flexible freeze’ at the current rate of inflation on budget items that need to expand to account for growth but not at the 7% or so that baseline budgeting demands, or a ‘firm freeze’ on budget items that would hold their funding to exactly (to the penny) what was budgeted for them in the previous fiscal year.

    It would require Republican message discipline to *thwack!* back at every mention of the word ‘cut’ with something like “This is not a cut, as you keep trying to falsely claim. In fact, spending on this item will increase at the rate of inflation.” Even if they have to repeat that over and over and over and over…

A free college education for .. what? Right now I can think of several trades that provide better income than a degree in basket weaving many of these graduates get. For many, the first year in college is remedial for what should have been taught in high school. Attending college doesn’t make one “edgemacated”.

I don’t plan to be civil to socialists or communists.
They can eff off, they’d see civility as weakness and put you in a gulag as soon as they gained power.

Scott Nash, chief executive officer of Mom’s Organic Market, asked the senators why should his children inherit millions of tax-free dollars while other Americans will have to pay taxes on the money they earned.

Because you’ve already paid the taxes on it when you earned it; why should they pay them again, just because you had the misfortune to die? Inheritance isn’t income; the heir simply takes the original owner’s place.

People, especially those on top, should be asked to pay their fair share

I agree. But (a) those people are already paying many times more than their fair share. And (b) you’re not asking, you’re pointing a gun at them and demanding; when someone without an IRS badge does that it’s a felony. Possession of a badge can make a legal difference, but how can it possibly make a moral difference? All it means is “we’re not arresting him because he’s on our team”.

DINORightMarie | October 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm

OK – I just got a chance to see this, as I have been very busy the last few days.

So, I watched the clips in this post, expecting the BEST (it is Legal Insurrection, after all), and they were virtually ALL Bernie talking, even the ones that noted “Cruz was funny here” or “Cruz’s reply was X” – what gives?

Please post the entire debate, and don’t cut the bites into Bernie sound-clips. (I will note that apparently these are Twitter clips that came from CNN. So, yeah, I get the bias there.)

Please, don’t imply that Cruz is going to reply or rebut, then NOT have a clip of that.

    rustyshamrock in reply to DINORightMarie. | October 22, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    You’re right. I saw it a day or so back, and there was one clip that said Cruz’s response was funny. I didn’t think he had much of a reaction at all, much less funny.