Bernie Sanders: Rely on more tax revenue for deficit reduction

The senator’s comments come as Republicans and Democrats in Washington remain at something of a loggerheads over the federal deficit and government funding levels.

President Obama signed a spending measure last week that will fund the government through March 18 that included $4 billion in spending cuts. But, looking past that date, GOP lawmakers are pushing for another $57 billion in cuts this year, while Democrats have proposed trimming an additional $6.5 billion.

Sanders indicated in his release that top Senate Democrats have already agreed to roughly $50 billion in cuts, and said that additional revenues should account for the rest of deficit reduction.

According to the senator, a 5.4 percent surtax on adjusted gross incomes over $1 million could bring in as much as $50 billion a year, while ending tax loopholes for the oil-and-gas industry could chip in $3.5 billion.

Democrats in Washington have also called for rolling back tax breaks for oil-and-gas, while the Sanders release notes that a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll contained some positive feedback on the idea of a surtax on millionaires. 

Democrats have recently been saying that they have been meeting House Republicans — who campaigned last year for $100 billion in spending cuts — halfway when it comes to deficit reduction, noting that the spending measure they passed late last year was $41 billion under the president’s budget request for the current fiscal year. 

But some independent fact-checkers have questioned those statements, with The Washington Post calling the $41 billion figure “largely illusory.”