Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders
Railing against income inequality has made Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) a wealthy man.
Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, released 10 years of federal income tax returns Monday showing that their financial fortunes have soared along with the senator's political aspirations.
The returns show that the couple earned nearly $2.8 million in the three years since Sanders’ first presidential campaign catapulted him to national political prominence.
After years of earning less than $300,000, Sanders’ income shot up to $1,073,333 in 2016, mostly on the sale of his best-selling book Our Revolution.
The book was released in November 2016, after his rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, lost the presidential election to Donald Trump.
The following year, Sanders earned slightly more, $1,131,925, again largely on royalties from the book’s publisher, Macmillan.
The income from royalties dropped off sharply last year, however, falling from $855,000 to $391,000. That figure could very well bounce back, given that Sanders’ followup book, Where We Go From Here, was released by Macmillan in November.
Other 2018 income included wages from his job as Senator and $51,000 in Social Security earnings, according to his filing.
In a statement released by his campaign, Sanders noted that while the returns show his family is fortunate, he also grew up with a “stress of income insecurity” that informs his political views.
“I consider paying more in taxes as my income rose to be both an obligation and an investment in our country,” Sanders said. “I will continue to fight to make our tax system more progressive so that our country has the resources to guarantee the American Dream to all people.”
The campaign noted that Sanders paid a 26 percent effective tax rate last year, but in 2016 and 2017, when he earned more than $1 million, he paid rates of 35 and 30 percent respectively.
While Sanders has filed congressional disclosures for 30 years, Monday’s release represents the most in-depth financial disclosure to date by Sanders, who can be prickly about his personal life and finances.
Sanders resisted releasing his full returns during the 2016 presidential campaign, initially sharing only parts of his 2014 return that showed a joint income of $205,271. Clinton, by contrast, released 8 years worth of complete returns. Sanders has said he didn’t release more information because he didn’t win the nomination.
This year, however, a resurgent Sanders has sharpened his attacks on Trump for failing to release his tax returns. In addition, other Democratic contenders like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have released their returns.
The news of the Sanders’ newfound wealth won’t surprise many in his home state. The pair have owned a home in Burlington’s new North End for decades, and in 2016 purchased a $575,000 Lake Champlain waterfront vacation home in North Hero. The Sanders also own a row house on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Here's his most recent tax return, for 2018:
And here's the senator's 2017 return.
Lastly, here's his 2016 return. To see older returns, visit his campaign's website.