Global Independent Analytics

Sanders' tax returns highlight contrast with rival Clinton

Hillary Clinton was paid $675,000 for just three speeches by banking giant Goldman Sachs, while Sanders' declarations were three times less than that amount

Matt Broomfield for Independent reports: Bernie Sanders has revealed he earns 205,000 dollars (£145,000) a year, after being challenged by Hillary Clinton to publish his tax returns. Mr Sanders' annual income, which is shared with his wife, is less than his multimillionaire rival made for three recent speeches delivered to Goldman Sachs employees.

By comparison, Sanders’ net worth is about $300,000 while Clinton’s couple combined equals to about $110 million. Sanders, whose campaign key plank is income inequality, played the game when accepted Clinton's challenge to publish his income. On Tuesday, she said: "I've released 30 years of tax returns, and I think every candidate, including Senator Sanders and Donald Trump, should do the same."

The Senator rapidly quickly responded, saying: “They are very boring tax returns. No big money from speeches, no major investments. Unfortunately, I remain one of the poorer members of the United States Senate.”

Hillary, however, never misses a chance to increase her wealth: she generally commands a minimum of $225,000 per speech, or over four times as much as the $52,000 the average American citizen earns in a year. She once pocketed $315,000 for a 20-minute address to Ebay staff. On the other hand, Sanders’ income mainly bases on his Senate salary of 174,000 with his wife adding about $5,000 to the family budget.

“With an estimated wealth of around $3m, the average US Senator is worth ten times as much as Mr Sanders. While his income puts him in the top 5 per cent of US earners, the Vermont senator is one of the poorest 20 per cent of members of the Senate. He also has tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, a rental property in Vermont capital Burlington and a condo in Washington, DC.,” continues Broomfield.

Sanders’ campaign is also memorable for making almost $140 million without resorting to large businesses or Super PACs of any kind, bur almost entirely funded by small donations. On the opposite, all “America’s biggest tax dodgers” announced by him, have effectively donated to Clinton.

“Neither Mr Sanders nor Mr Clinton, however, come close to matching Donald Trump. The tycoon has not published any tax returns, but is believed to be worth somewhere between $3bn and $10bn,” concludes Broomfield.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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