Bernie Sanders Just Showed His Full-Throated Embrace of Capitalism

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"You can volunteer too", Sanders responded.

Sen. Bernie Sanders released his tax returns from the past 10 years Monday, revealing that in recent years he has entered the class of millionaires he so often critiques. The impact of his book contracts is most evident in Sanders' return for 2017, when he and his wife reported wages of US$139,549 and business income - most of it from books - of US$961,784. Since the income threshold for the top 1% of earners is around $480,000, Harris, Warren and Sanders are all 1 percenters.

In 2018, his income dipped to $561,293, according to tax returns. These royalties were more modest, at $539.47 in 2017 and $2,520.60 in 2016. Sanders said that his newer returns will show that he is a millionaire thanks to book sales.

Finally, just before the town hall began, Sanders released ten years of tax returns, putting an end to demands from both left and right that have grown more clamorous especially over the past month. "Hey, President Trump. My wife and I just released 10 years".

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The backdrop for the town hall was an abandoned steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the heart of a 2020 battleground region. He joked his supporters might be thrown off by "my trillions of dollars of investment in Saudi Arabia or Russian Federation".

"I wrote a best-selling book", he said in the interview. Kirsten Gillibrand, the NY senator who is also running for the White House, also received 16 percent of the early $3 million she raised from small donations. Translated to five or six languages. Second book, I didn't make quite so much money. In 2014, prior to his first presidential run, he reported an income with his wife of about US$206,000, according to his tax returns.

He promised "no great revelations".

Former senior Hillary Clinton aide and current CNN political commentator Jess McIntosh slammed Independent Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' defensive responses to his newfound wealth, noting that after having years to come up with a response, "his message is capitalist".

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren of MA, who has also made anti-corruption a key focus of her campaign, reported the next highest income out of the six Democrats who have released at least a decade of returns, showing an adjusted gross income between her and her husband of over $846,000. They paid just under $700,000 in federal taxes, a tax rate of almost 37 percent. His effective tax rates in 2016 and 2017, his other high-earning years, were 35 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Most other Democratic contenders have pledged to do the same soon. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Buttigieg officially declared his candidacy on April 14.

There is no requirement that presidential candidates release their tax returns, but many have done so by tradition.

From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly anxious that their effort to defeat President Trump in 2020 could be complicated by Mr. Sanders, in a political scenario all too reminiscent of how Mr. Trump himself seized the Republican nomination in 2016.

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