READ: Bernie Sanders' Full 10 Years of Tax Returns

Sergio Conner
April 17, 2019

Most of the money came in connection with the book Sanders wrote after his 2016 bid, Where We Go From Here.

The Sanders campaign said in a press release that he paid 26 per cent effective tax rate in 2018.

Sen. Bernie Sanders used tax day Monday to release his returns for the past decade.

It's tradition for presidential candidates, and most candidates for federal office, to release their tax returns. Other outlets, from the New York Times to Fox News itself, focused on his tax returns and took a decidedly negative tone within a neutral framework, but across the Internet the reaction was nearly unanimously positive, even if that positivity was occasionally grudging.

Pressed by anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum as to why he was holding onto his wealth rather than refusing deductions or writing a check to the Treasury Department, Sanders began laughing dismissively and, in an apparent non sequitur, asked why MacCallum didn't donate her salary.

Democrats have seized on the issue of Trump's undisclosed taxes since taking control of the House of Representatives in January, and have cited a little-known law that allows Congress to review anyone's returns to conduct an investigation. Sanders said to the moderators. "Please do the same".

The 2018 returns show that the Sanders contributed about US$19,000 to charity out of their income of US$566,000, or 3.35 per cent.

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According to the Economic Policy Institute, families in the U.S. earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.

In a statement released by his campaign, Sanders noted that while the returns show his family is fortunate, he also grew up with a "stress of income insecurity" that informs his political views. "While millions of people are paying more in taxes than they anticipated, Amazon, Netflix and dozens of major corporations as a result of Trump's tax bill pay nothing in corporate taxes, and I think that's a disgrace", he added. That year the couple paid about $340,000 in taxes.

The revelation that Sanders is now a millionaire had, in some quarters, surfaced doubts over his ability to effectively deliver the progressive populist message that made him a political star.

Sanders has become wealthier, in part, by cashing in on his status as a presidential candidate.

Other 2020 hopefuls have also released their tax returns, including former Texas Congressmember Beto O'Rourke and Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand. The field of candidates has since swelled, with 18 Democrats vying to win the party's nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in November 2020.

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington released 12 years of tax returns, showing that he and his wife earned US$202,912 last year.

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