By Andrew Kerr
Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released 10 years of tax returns Monday, confirming his membership in the millionaire class.
Sanders, who frequently railed against millionaires and billionaires during his 2016 presidential primary campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saw his income skyrocket into seven figures in 2016.
After earning an average of $280,975 per year from 2009 through 2015, the self-avowed Democratic-socialist disclosed earning an adjusted gross income of $1,062,626 in 2016, $1,131,925 in 2017, and $561,293 in 2018.
“These tax returns show that our family has been fortunate,” Sanders said in a statement. “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.”
Sanders said in a late-December 2016 tweet that he was “not” comfortable in seeing a “huge increase in millionaires in billionaire but have more people living in poverty than ever.”
Are we comfortable to see a huge increase in millionaires and billionaires but have more people living in poverty than ever? I know I'm not.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 23, 2016
NEW: @BernieSanders releases ten years of tax returns. Adjusted gross income & effective tax rate took a jump after his presidential campaign:
2018: $561k | 26%
2017: $1.13m | 30%
2016: $1.06m | 35%
2015: $240k | 15%
2014: $205k | 13.4%
— Adam Kelsey (@adamkelsey) April 15, 2019
Sanders and his wife, Jane Sanders, paid an effective tax rate of 26 percent in 2018. In 2016 and 2017, when he earned “significant income from his books,” Sanders paid an effective tax rate of 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
Sanders admitted he was a millionaire in an interview Tuesday with The New York Times.
“I wrote a best-selling book,” he said. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”
After Sanders released his tax returns, his campaign manager called on President Donald Trump and all Democratic primary candidates to disclose their tax returns.
“Bernie Sanders has been filing detailed financial disclosures for almost 30 years, and he is proud to voluntarily make these tax returns available many months before the election,” said Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir. “Senator Sanders believes it is a privilege to live in the United States and he believes it is patriotic to pay the taxes that support our country. As a strong proponent of transparency, the senator hopes President Trump and all Democratic primary candidates will disclose their tax returns.”
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