2020 presidential hopeful and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released ten years of his federal income taxes on Monday, revealing the self-described Democratic Socialist to be in the top one percent of U.S. earners.
“The filings show that Sanders, who throughout his career has called for an economy and government that works for everyone and not just the 1 percent, is among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S, according to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute,” the Associated Press reported. “Families in the U.S. earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.”
Just days before the release of his taxes, Sanders admitted that he is a millionaire and defended his financial status:
Sanders said in his remarks at a community meeting in Gary, Indiana:
I didn’t know that it was a crime to write a good book which turns out to be a bestseller. My view has always been that we need a progressive tax system which demands that the wealthiest people in this country finally start paying their fair share of taxes. If I make a lot of money, you make a lot of money, that is what I believe. So again, I don’t apologize for writing a book that was number three on the New York Times bestseller, translated into five or six languages and that’s that.
“His 2018 return reveals that he and his wife, Jane, earned more than $550,000, including $133,000 in income from his Senate salary and $391,000 in sales of his book, ‘Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In,’” AP reported.
“These tax returns show that our family has been fortunate,” Sanders said in a statement accompanied the online posting of his tax returns. “I am very grateful for that, as I grew up in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck and I know the stress of economic insecurity.”
“That is why I strive every day to ensure every American has the basic necessities of life, including a livable wage, decent housing, health care, and retirement security,” Sanders said. “I consider paying more in taxes as my income rose to be both an obligation and an investment in our country.”
“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,” Sanders said in the statement.
Aside from their earned income, Sanders’ tax return reveals both he and his wife are now receiving $52,000 in Social Security benefits. Sanders is 77 and his wife is 69.
“In 2018, the Sanders donated 3.4 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity,” says the website revealing Sanders’ tax returns.
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