Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has always slammed people who are successful and enjoy wealth and the lifestyle it facilitates and that it is not right that they have more than the folks who are not successful and have fewer assets as a result — rhetoric that was ramped up when he was a candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign.
But recent reports by the media in his home state and also national reports reveal that while Sanders is not among his most-hated category of the top 1% of the nation’s wealthiest, he is not one of the less fortunate or even the Middle Class.
“Thanks in large part to his successful foray into authorship, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made more than $1 million in 2016,” the Vermont outlet Seven Days reported. “That’s according to his latest U.S. Senate financial disclosure, which he filed Sunday after receiving a 20-day extension.”
The Seven Days piece, published on Sunday and written by political columnist John Walters, states that a large chunk of that income came from a $795,000 advance for his best-selling book, “Our Revolution.”
Sanders also got $63,750 for an upcoming book, “Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Political Revolution,” a publication aimed at young readers and co-authored with Kate Waters, according to Seven Days. And Sanders received $6,735 in royalties for his 1997 memoir “Outsider in the House,” Seven Days reported.
“That’s more than $865,000 for peddling his working-class ideas,” Walters wrote. “Not bad.”
Add in an additional $2,521 Sanders earned last year in royalties from his 1987 spoken-word folk album, “We Shall Overcome.”
“Senate rules do not require members to report their government salaries on their annual disclosures, but all rank-and-file members earn $174,000 a year. That, combined with the more than $878,000 Sanders reported in his filing, puts the democratic socialist’s 2016 payday at roughly $1,052,000,” Seven Days reported.
And he actually made more, but it’s uncertain how much more:
“In addition to his take-home pay, publisher St. Martin’s Press paid all expenses on Sanders’ national book tour last November and December, which took him to 12 states and the District of Columbia. Disclosure of the total was not required, and Sanders did not provide it.”
“Then there’s a batch of retirement mutual funds held in the name of his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders,” the Seven Days piece states, adding that while “it’s impossible to ascertain the exact value of the retirement funds, but they are worth somewhere between $192,000 and $815,000.”
In the “liabilities” category, Sanders reports he has two mortgages — one worth between $250,001 and $500,000, the other worth between $100,001 and $250,000.
“Sanders’ most infamous real estate transaction — his 2016 purchase of a $575,000 lakefront home in North Hero — has been concealed behind an entity named the Islands Family Trust,” Seven Days reported. “In his Senate filing, Sanders discloses that he is “a co-trustee in a family trust created when we bought a summer home.”
Even with all these financial facts, there could be more to learn if Sanders released his tax returns, which he did not.
“During his 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders released only a summary of his 2014 tax return. As the fact-checking website PolitiFact noted, of all the candidates for president last year, ‘Sanders’ releases are less extensive than anybody’s but Donald Trump.’”
In an April article published by Newsweek entitled “Bernie Sanders Mocks Greedy Rich People, Is Also Rich,” the news about his summer home purchase was reported.
“Sanders and his wife, Jane, recently bought a summer home in Vermont on Lake Champlain to add to their houses in D.C. and Burlington, Vermont,” Newsweek reported. “Local magazine Seven Days reported in August the Sanders family paid about $600,000 for the lakefront home in North Hero, Vermont.
“We’ve traveled up to the islands many times over the years—almost always on day trips,” Jane O’Meara Sanders said about the summer home purchase. “We’ve been impressed with the North Hero community, eaten at the North Hero House and Shore Acres and have suggested them to friends who were looking for a beautiful place to stay or have dinner.
“St. Anne’s Shrine in Isle La Motte is my favorite church and it is nearby,” O’Meara Sanders said.