Thursday 22 August 2019

Sanders releases 10-year tax returns - showing he's in top 1pc of earners

Bernie Sanders: Challenged Trump to release his tax returns. Photo: Don Emmert/Getty Images
Bernie Sanders: Challenged Trump to release his tax returns. Photo: Don Emmert/Getty Images

Conrad Duncan

Bernie Sanders became a millionaire in 2016, putting him in the top 1pc of earners in the US, according to the senator's long-anticipated release of 10 years of his tax returns.

The release confirms Mr Sanders's income crossed the $1m (€885,000) threshold in 2016 and 2017, although he reported lower earnings in his most recent return.

In the Vermont senator's 2018 return, he and his wife, Jane Sanders, earned more than $550,000, including $133,000 income from his Senate salary and $391,000 in book sales.

The Sanders campaign said he paid 26pc effective tax rate in 2018.

The release comes as Mr Sanders faces criticism that his new-found wealth contradicts his political message of democratic socialism in his 2020 presidential campaign.

During a Fox News town hall meeting on Monday, the senator said his increased income came from the publication of his book, 'Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In'.

Bestseller

At the televised meeting, Mr Sanders said he would not apologise for his recent wealth. "That money in my case, and my wife's case, came from a book I wrote, a pretty good book, you might want to read it," he said.

"It was a bestseller, it sold all over the world, and we made money. So if anyone thinks I should apologise for writing a bestselling book, I'm sorry I'm not going to do it."

He also challenged Donald Trump to release his tax returns. "I guess the president watches your network a little bit, right?" Mr Sanders said to moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

"Hey, President Trump. My wife and I just released 10 years. Please do the same."

Mr Trump broke from decades of presidential tradition by refusing to show voters his tax returns during his 2016 presidential campaign.

In 2016, Mr Sanders released just one year of his tax returns and faced criticism from his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for refusing to release multiple years of tax documents.

Mr Sanders's tax returns show he is among the top 1pc of earners in the US, which some critics argue undermines his calls for an economy and government that works for everyone, not just the 1pc.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, families in the US earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group. (© Independent News Service)

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