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Thomas Gallatin / Sep. 19, 2019

Colbert Advises Warren on Tax Increases

The "Late Show" host aims to correct a glaring vulnerability in Warren's campaign.

Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was a guest this week on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” where the host surprisingly pressed her on how she planned to pay for her Medicare for All plan. The interaction went as follows:

Colbert: You keep being asked in the debates: “How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle-class taxes?”

Warren: So, here’s how we’re going to do this: Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations—

Colbert: Taxes is what you mean by costs?

Warren: Yeah, and hard-working middle-class families are going to see their costs go down.

Colbert: But will their taxes go up?

Warren: But, here’s the thing—

Colbert: But, here’s the thing. I’ve listened to these answers a few times before and I just want to make a parallel suggestion for you about how you might defend the taxes that perhaps you’re not mentioning in your sentence. … Isn’t Medicare for All like public school? There might be taxes for it, but you certainly save a lot of money on sending your kids to school, and do you want to live in a world where kids aren’t educated? Do you want to live in a world where your fellow citizens are dying, even if it costs a little bit of money?

Warren: So, I accept your point and I believe in your point. Health care is a basic human right. We fight for basic human rights, and that’s Medicare for All. Everyone gets covered.

While the late-night comedian ventured where no mainstream-media journalists have dared to tread, it would be a mistake to interpret Colbert’s intention as an effort to knock Warren. If anything, Colbert was serving as a campaign consultant, recognizing the fact that Warren’s claim that only the wealthy and Big Business would foot the bill for Medicare for All is simply not a practical or viable solution. Ergo, Colbert’s advice to Warren to put a positive spin on raising middle-class taxes.

There may also be another reason why Warren is reluctant to connect the middle class to tax hikes to pay for Medicare for All. Warren has also promised to repeal President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, which she fallaciously asserts benefited only the wealthy and Big Business, as a means of funding her climate agenda. Add this to the list of all the other “universal” items on Warren’s socialist platform and it quickly becomes apparent that everyone’s taxes will increase to pay for all this “free stuff.” Colbert knows that Warren, should she win the Democrat nomination, will be forced by Trump to come clean on the fact that her Big Government plans will require tax increases on everyone. So he’s trying to prepare her with the right spin.

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