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Bernie Called Out on Accepting Tax Breaks: ‘I Paid the Taxes That I Owe’

Bernie Called Out on Accepting Tax Breaks: ‘I Paid the Taxes That I Owe’

Socialism for thee, but not for me.

2020 presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released 10 years of his tax returns right before he participated in a town hall with Fox News.

It turns out the self-proclaimed socialist belongs to the 1% his side hates. The returns also show that he donated little to charity despite making a ton of money.

From Fox News:

According to the returns, Sanders and his wife paid a 26 percent effective tax rate on $561,293 in income, and made more than $1 million in both 2016 and 2017. Sanders donated only $10,600 to charity in 2016 and $36,300 in 2017, the records showed, followed by nearly $19,000 in 2018.

But 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. (“I didn’t suggest a wealth tax,” MacCallum responded.)

“Pfft, come on. I paid the taxes that I owe,” Sanders shot back. “And by the way, why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes? President Trump watches your network a little bit, right? Hey President Trump, my wife and I just released 10 years. Please do the same.”

Sanders has always pressured for the wealthy, which would include himself, to pay their “fair share,” yet he willingly accepts the tax cuts and refuses to send more of his wealth to the Treasury Department.

When called out on it, Sanders attempted to deflect. From The Daily Wire:

A few moments later, Fox News host Martha MacCallum pressed Sanders again on the issue, asking: “So would you be willing to pay 52% on the money that you made? You can volunteer, you can send it back.”

“You can volunteer too,” Sanders responded. “Martha, why don’t you give? You make more money than I do.”

“I didn’t suggest a wealth tax,” MacCallum replied.

“And she’s not running for president,” Baier added.

Brett Baier asked Sanders if his success and decision to hold onto his wealth isn’t “an implicit endorsement of the capitalist system he has repeatedly called dysfunctonal (sic).” Of course Sanders said no, but explained that he wants everyone in this country to have an opportunity and tried to connect it to people not having a college degree and that a lot of them “are not United States senators.”

I don’t get this. At all. He cannot give a straight answer and deflects all the time. He accepts the tax cuts he railed against, yet accepted them. He also took advantage of the tax deductions, which everyone should do. But the hypocrisy is too much.

Progressives have lashed out at Sanders. ThinkProgress released a video that mocked him after he changed his “millionaires and billionaires” attacks to just billionaires after he raked in millions after his best selling book. The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift said that he will need “to change his rhetoric to railing against billionaire and zillionaires to keep his brand.”


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“It’s only bad when they do it. Not when I – and I’d like to be inclusive here, when our kind – do it, it’s for the betterment of the whole world.”

Man, the hypocrisy of the left is truly breath-taking.

Very cavalier too when asked about only 3% given to charity, where he praised Gates Foundation, then says “but that’s not us…” Never mentioned that he owns 3 homes. What is he sharing with others? Nothing. Typical tyrant.

    Massinsanity in reply to snapper451. | April 16, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    I thought Warren and her husband were cheap when it comes to charitable giving but these two are downright miserly.

    So generous with others’ money but with their own… cheap, cheap, cheap.

      Bob the fake Mexican is even worse. Check out his .031 charity “donations”.
      Couple of comments from the link.

      His medical expense deduction = self employed med/dental insurance premiums. In 2014, this was $7684 (for a family of 4). Anybody else not in congress paying that low? And who’s the CPA who doesn’t instantly recognize he was nowhere close to the threshold for deductibility?

      i make about 1/7th what he does, gave a larger percentage to charity, and paid more for my health insurance and healthcare costs. Maybe i should run for president. Or take a road trip in an RV and blog about it.

      Also: Family of 5, not 4. This was when congress had to buy Platinum ObamaCare, but then gave themselves a 78% subsidy. Even better: AGI = $337,823 and he actually listed a single $8 cash donation as part of his charitable contributions.

Those evil rich people….then you find out you are one of them.
Must be his tax preparers fault.

Heh heh heh!

What’s that, Bernie? I can’t hear you over your hypocrisy.

Sadly, we all know this, it is the mental midgets that really NEED to know this.

“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” – Saul Alinsky

It is amazing how rich socialist leaders always are. None of them are wearing sack cloth, while asking everyone else to.

As to charitable donations. I do not disclose how much I donate to charitable causes on my tax returns. As far as I am concerned, how I spend MY money, or WHO I choose to give it to, is no one else’s business. And, I am certainly not going to disclose it to the government for a lousy 12% tax return on the value of the donations. I provide the government information on my sources, and amount, of income and my dependents and that is all. I take the standard deduction and owe the government nothing else.

    Granny in reply to Mac45. | April 16, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Stalin wasn’t known as the Red Czar simply for the power that he wielded.

    sometimes its impossible to actually quantify a figure also when its labor/personal equipment used.

    02sbxstr in reply to Mac45. | April 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Before Pres Trump cut our taxes, I always itemized charitable contributions to save maybe $300 year. Why would you not? Maybe you are financing some weird entities. I was financing Goodwill, Wounded Warriors, ASPCA, nothing controversial. What are you hiding? And whom at the IRS is going to be paying attention to you?

      Mac45 in reply to 02sbxstr. | April 17, 2019 at 7:55 pm

      Why would the IRS be looking at me? I, unlike others, am not claiming that I GAVE money to various charitable entities in order to reduce MY tax burden. The IRS LOVES my tax return. My income matches my 10-99s and I even report dividends which are too small to have a 10-99 issued. What the IRS DOES look for are excessive charitable donations or years in which charitable donations show a significant increase. Deductions can end up causing a person trouble.

      Mac45 in reply to 02sbxstr. | April 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm

      Why would the IRS be looking at me? I, unlike others, am not claiming that I GAVE money to various charitable entities in order to reduce MY tax burden. The IRS LOVES my tax return. My income matches my 10-99s and I even report dividends which are too small to have a 10-99 issued. What the IRS DOES look for are excessive charitable donations or years in which charitable donations show a significant increase. Deductions can end up causing a person trouble. Now, this is a free country. If you want to claim deductions, that is entirely up to you.

    jpwcpa in reply to Mac45. | April 17, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I’m surprised that Bernie Sanders didn’t make a similar claim about charitable contributions. To avoid looking like a cheapskate on the tax returns he has released, he could take the position, “Hey, I made big contributions to lots of charities, but because I consider the tax rates to be too low, I intentionally deprived myself of the tax deduction for those contributions. This in effect raised my tax rates significantly. It’s not that I didn’t give to charities, I just didn’t report the majority of it on my tax returns.”

Hey, if you didn’t already know that under socialism some people are more equal than others, you haven’t been paying attention.

DJT is not going to release his tax documents any time soon.

This is a person who gets audited by the IRS every year. It is a safe bet that every number in the whole return has some reasonable basis, if only because the IRS is after him, and he is good at paying for legal advice. The only issue in tax law is,” what is the meaning of the statute?” All of his audited returns are settlements.

The Democrats know this, but they need an Issue, and doubtless one of their candidates or prominent Party members has some tax problems, so here we are.

DJT will fight them every step of the way, because it’s bad precedent, and he knows the Dems will take whatever they say they find and spin it into some sort of mortal sin. The fluff and chaff will fly for months. And then, maybe he releases the information, or it is leaked, and they get thrown for a loop again, just like when Rachel Maddow got a copy of one of his returns, showing that he pays plenty of taxes.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Valerie. | April 16, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Remember, there are few actual criminal provisions of the IRS codes, including failure to file, and failure to disclose all income. As I had explained years ago, the deductions are all matters of opinion and interpretation of the various and sundry rules and regulations.

    Some people like those battles; I don’t. Been audited once and in putting the documents together I discovered a business expense that I had missed. When the dust settled they owed me money. When it comes to IRS, I turn up field at the hash marks, nowhere near the sideline.

      healthguyfsu in reply to amatuerwrangler. | April 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      I detest those battles but also detest tax cheats.

      Simple tax is good…less chance of being caught in the crossfire of that conflict.

This is Nobel Peace Prize Green Champion Al Gore all over again in his wasteful McMansion and private jet.

Breathtaking. Project Veritas has dropped a new video.

Chase Bank is playing fake big shot with its customers.

I wonder who has been pushing them to do this?

Connivin Caniff | April 16, 2019 at 12:32 pm

This is one big reason the Kronstadt sailors in Russia rebelled against the Bernies of the time in revolutionary Russia – the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks believed sacrifice and suffering were for the “Proletariat”, while they themselves could feast and fatten. The sailors sort of thought, “Hey that isn’t what we signed on for.” But, fortunately, it all worked out in the end: The Bolsheviks killed the Kronstadt sailors. Vote for Bernie and experience history repeating itself.

Charitable donations:

(1) one Berkenstok sandal.
(1) one paperback Catcher in the Rye (front cover torn off) *never read.
(1) one LL Bean windbreaker (zipper broken.)
(1) one 1978 Herb Tarlek sport jacket (moth bitten – missing elbow patch.)

Come on, Bernie. Stop being a hypocrite. Write that check to IRS for more than you owe. They will gladly cash it. And the idiots in Congress will gladly spend a little more because of it on their foolish pet projects. I hate people who complain they are under taxed when they could easily correct the problem by writing a larger check to the IRS to pay their “fair share,” but they never do. Yes, I’m talking to you Bernie, and Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Ray Davio, etc.

He likely donates his crusty old suits to Goodwill and claims 1000% of their value

And then buys them back from Goodwill for $5.99

This sanctimonious posturing from Dumb-o-crats/Dhimmi-crats, vis-a-vis personal wealth, is simply standard operating procedure.

Recall how the sainted Obama once admonished Americans, “At a certain point, I think you’ve made enough money.” St. Obama himself has obviously not reached that much-exalted point of “enough,” even after bagging a $60 million Netflix deal and a $50 million publishing deal — these windfalls coming AFTER he has already amassed considerable wealth in the years prior to those deals being consummated, from book royalties and speaking fees. Oh, yeah, and, St. Obama receives a $400,000 annual presidential pension.

So, we all know that Dumb-o-crats/Dhimmi-crats are total hypocrites, when it comes to amassing wealth. They love money and wealth as much as anyone — they just want to vilify those people who actual toil in the private sector to obtain such wealth, by creating tangible goods and innovation — as opposed to lazy demagogue-apparatchiks whose wealth was “earned” by warming a government sinecure seat and then leveraging their government sinecure into a few large, lucrative, non-job-creating, deals, that only enrich themselves (as opposed to creating jobs and wealth for other Americans, like Jeff Bezos).

    jpwcpa in reply to guyjones. | April 17, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    I think Obama’s remarks should have been interpreted as, “At a certain point, I think you [but not I] have made enough money.”

“…I paid the taxes that I owe,”

Correction Bernie, you paid the taxes that detestable free market capitalism society says you owe. But as a man who became a millionaire writing a book about how millionaires and billionaires need to pay their fair share, you should be offended that it is so low. Your math calculates that debt as being much, much higher.

Nobody is preventing you from paying what you purport to be your fair share. Pay up Bernie. Consider that 26% as being a down payment.

It appears Mr. Sanders has finally found a comb.

NAME ONE PERSON THAT BOUGHT SANDERS’ BOOK – beside george soros (and by the truckload.)

Sanders is one of the most corrupt hacks EVER to infest D.C.

Bernie says: Don’t do as I do, do as I say. You are now dead in the water. Goodbye you crusty commie pinko. Be grateful the Obamacare Death Panel didn’t stop your medical care at 70. You are beyond the pale. Goodbye………

Yeah, but Bernie earned that money, all the other folks got rich off of exploiting the workers. Party apparatchiks never expect to have to live like the peasants. As if.

Behind every commie democrat is corrupt wealth, little to no charitable giving, and as little tax as they can pay and often cheating on that.

As a conservative I want to keep more of my money to help those of my own choosing. I give to charities that I feel are well run to help people in ways that I believe are productive. Like providing a home and educational training to single mothers as opposed to supporting abortion services.

Liberals want to take my money to help people in ways they feel is appropriate regardless of my beliefs.

I guess Liberals assume Conservatives are as cheap and thrifty with charitable giving as they are.