Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a senator famous for his campaign against the unjust power of the richest 1%, released years of tax returns on Monday that showed he is now a millionaire himself. 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.
Watch:"I didn't know that it was a crime to write a good book, which turned out to be a best seller".
As Democrats continue to hammer Trump on the issue, several presidential candidates have now made a point of releasing their own financial information earlier than presidential hopefuls have in past campaigns.
He augmented his Senate salary with book royalties in each of those years, particularly in 2016 and 2017 when he made more than $800,000 each year in royalties. Bernie Sanders' tax returns for the first time. And we're going to demand that we end the absurdity, where major corporation after corporation.
The effective rates and income both represent substantial increases from 2014, which was the a year ago of tax returns publicly released by the candidate, when he earned $205,617 and paid a 13.4% effective rate. This is just something that has happened over the course of many years in this country, and it's kind of become a standard practice, but Donald Trump said in 2016 he was under audit.
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire says she's taking another road.
According to returns provided by his campaign, Sanders reported he paid $137,573 in federal taxes in 2018 and owed $8,267 in taxes for the year.
"I consider paying more in taxes as my income rose to be both an obligation and an investment in our country", he added.
A video produced last week by ThinkProgress entitled, "Bernie's Millionaire Problem", criticized Sanders by attempting to paint him as a hypocrite for asking wealthy Americans to pay their "fair share" in taxes.
Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir has also defended the candidate against claims that his increased income diminished his message or ability to deliver it, telling CNN on Wednesday that Sanders believes in "opportunity for all".
'I'm happy to answer questions anybody has, ' he insisted. "He could earn another million dollars and it would still wouldn't matter".
The returns provide a more detailed look at Sanders' finances than when he ran for president in 2016. In 2017, Sanders and his wife reported an adjusted gross income of a little more than $1.1 million from book sales.
The context was Sanders' wealth - revealed after he released 10 years' worth of tax returns on Monday showing that he had been "fortunate" even as he pushed for a more progressive tax system. He also conceded that vague promises from Sanders and the campaign about their plans had contributed to the speculation.