Friday, 19 April, 2019

Socialist Bernie Sanders' tax returns show millionaire status

Bernie Sanders speaking to a crowd at James Madison Park on the shores of Lake Mendota in Madison Wisconsin. Friday April 12 Bernie Sanders’ campaign escalates feud with top liberal think tank
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2019, 10:29

U.S. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders released 10 years of tax returns on Monday, providing details of his growing status as a millionaire fueled by a sharp jump in income from book royalties since his losing 2016 White House run.

Mr. Sanders's criticism of the Center for American Progress, delivered on Saturday in a letter obtained by The New York Times, reflects a simmering ideological battle within the Democratic Party and threatens to reopen wounds from the 2016 primary between him and Hillary Clinton's allies.

Sanders, a USA senator who routinely rails against the "millionaires and billionaires" he says have rigged the system to protect their wealth and power, had an adjusted gross income of $561,293 in 2018, $1,131,925 in 2017 and $1,062,626 in 2016, the returns showed.

The Sanders' annual income reached its highest point in 2017 when they earned $1,131,925. Sanders' campaign said in a news release that he paid 26% effective tax rate in 2018.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders released his 2014 tax returns and said he would release more if he earned the nomination. "This clearly is not the tax return of someone who does either a lot of tax planning or complex investing". "And by the way, why don't you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes?"

Fox News host Bret Baier first pressed Sanders on the issue, to which Sanders responded: "Pfft...come on..."

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Eighteen Democrats are now vying to win the party's nomination to challenge Trump in November 2020. President Trump watches your network a little bit, right? Sanders said to the moderators at the event in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The Vermont independent made his records public on this year's tax filing deadline, just ahead of an appearance at a Fox News town hall where he is expected to call on Trump to do the same. "Please do the same".

There's still a lot we don't know about Democratic presidential candidates and their finances. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a rally on April 06, 2019, in Fairfield, Iowa. According to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, families in the United States earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group. "I will continue to fight to make our tax system more progressive so that our country has the resources to guarantee the American Dream to all people". By 2018, his wife, 69, was also taking Social Security, providing the couple with almost $52,000 for the year. The three most liberal Democrats running for president-Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris-have approached or eclipsed $1 million in earnings in recent years, making them wealthier than some of the more capitalist-minded candidates.

Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir brushed off those suggestions, telling CNN the candidate's personal wealth had "zero impact" on his policies.

Sanders and his wife disclosed $36,300 in charitable contributions in 2017, but their return does not detail each individual contribution.

Sanders was recently targeted by ThinkProgress, a website under the umbrella of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress.

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