Sanders says his $1 trillion infrastructure bill would cost less than Iraq War

Updated Feb 14, 2015

bernie sandersSen. Bernie Sanders says his 5-year $1 trillion infrastructure bill would cost less than the estimated cost of the “Bush/Cheney Iraq War”, according to a report from The Hill.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, the independent senator from Vermont said estimates of the total cost of the war “will total $3 trillion by the time the last veteran receives needed care.”

The Senate Budget Committee ranking member introduced his bill January 27. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and would “create or maintain at least 13 million decent-paying jobs,” Sanders said of the filing.

Sanders added, according to The Hill report, that repatriation (taxing overseas corporate profits) could be a good measure. Such a tax has had some bi-partisan support as of late, and has been a proposed counter to raising the gas tax that supports the Highway Trust Fund.

“In terms of other infrastructure, for example, we are losing about $100 billion every single year because of corporations and wealthy people are stashing their money in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere,” Sanders is reported as saying. “Real tax reform can generate a significant sum of money which should be used for infrastructure and education.”

With no additional support, the Highway Trust Fund is set to dry up by May 31 this year. There is an annual shortfall of $16 billion in road construction and transportation works projects, with the current gas tax bringing in an estimated $34 billion per year, and the federal government spending $50 billion annually. The tax was last increased in 1993.

A statement from Sanders on his infrastructure bill is available here.