From free college to healthcare for all — if the government can be put in charge of paying for it, then Bernie Sanders thinks you should be taxed for it. The love of taxation, though doesn’t extend to his own returns, as Fox News viewers discovered this week.
Sanders was appearing on a Fox News Town Hall this week, talking about running for the 2020 Democratic nomination. During the program, Fox News hosts brought up the senator’s own taxes – which Sanders clearly did not want to discuss. This conversation came after Sanders’ tax returns revealed that instead of the humble, everyman socialist exterior he shares with his followers, he is n fact one of the “1 percent” and a millionaire several times over.
Sanders has repeatedly demanded that the “wealthiest” Americans pay what he terms as their “fair share”. This sounds good in theory, until it was revealed that Sanders himself took full advantage of Republican sponsored tax reforms to reduce his own taxes. Fox News host Bret Baier called Sanders out.
“Your taxes do show you’re a millionaire,” Baier said. “But your marginal tax rate [in 2018] was 26 percent because of President Trump’s tax cuts. So why not say: ‘I’m leading this revolution, I’m not going to take those.’?”
Details about Sanders’ tax returns and high net worth came out after the candidate submitted 10 years of past returns as part of his bid for president. The returns tell a far different story than Sanders’ outward disdain for people with high income.
Sanders deflected the question, responding: “Pffttt…come on…I am— I paid the taxes that I owe.”
He then swiftly changed the subject to President Donald Trump, stating angrily:
“And by the way, why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes,” Sanders sniped. “I am eagerly awaiting you doing that.”
Despite Sanders’ attempt to deflect and ignore the question, Baier continued to push for an answer. He asked why Sanders continued to vilify millionaires and high income earners when he is in fact part of that group himself. Sanders denied any maligning of high earners – but then repeated that those individuals (except himself) should be required to pay “their fair share.”
After Sanders refused to directly answer Baier’s question, fellow Fox News host Martha MacCallum tried again. After Sanders noted that he does not support taxing wealthy Americans at 70% of their income, he does think they should be taxed at 52%, or slightly over half of their income.
In response, MacCallum asked:
“Alright, so 52 percent. So, would you be willing to pay 52 percent on the money that you made?” MacCallum continued, “You can volunteer, you can send it back.”
Sanders was quick to interrupt, stating that MacCallum herself could volunteer to pay more taxes as well.
“But that’s what you suggested everybody in your [tax] bracket should do,” MacCallum replied.
MacCallum continued to point out that she is not running for president, and is not the one who suggested a wealth tax. Sanders ignored this and resumed bashing President Trump and the very tax reforms he personally took advantage of.
The interview ended without an answer from Sanders.