He and his wife Jane went from $241,000 in total income in 2015-about 18% of that in Social Security payments-to $1.06 million in 2016, $1.13 million in 2017 and $561,000 in 2018. Harris, a senator from California, enjoyed taxable income of almost $2 million in 2018, with her lawyer husband earning about three-quarters of that.
During his first presidential bid, Sanders was also reluctant to make his financial information public, releasing only his 2014 tax return. "This clearly is not the tax return of someone who does either a lot of tax planning or complex investing".
Fox News host Bret Baier first pressed Sanders on the issue, to which Sanders responded: "Pfft...come on..." But his efforts at transparency paled in comparison to his opponent for the Democratic nomination Hillary Clinton, who released eight years of her tax returns. Sanders said to the moderators.
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington released 12 years of tax returns, showing that he and his wife earned US$202,912 last year. "Please do the same".
Other Democratic hopefuls Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg each raised $90,000. He defended proposals for higher taxes geared toward the largest USA companies and a top individual tax rate of 52 percent. According to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, families in the USA earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.
"I consider paying more in taxes as my income rose to be both an obligation and an investment in our country", Sanders said.
Sanders earlier Sunday wrote a harshly-worded letter accusing CAP of "using its resources to smear" him and two of his Senate colleagues running in 2020 after ThinkProgress published a video suggesting Sanders stopped disparaging millionaires when he became one. In 2016, the couple reported a little more than $1 million, mostly from sales of the book, which was also translated into five other languages. His higher income in two of the three most recent years could potentially prompt questions from voters about his frequent criticisms of the influence that millionaires and billionaires have over the political process.
Sanders had faced mounting pressure to release his taxes, with critics saying the democratic socialist's millionaire status undercut his populist economic message.
Sanders and his wife disclosed $36,300 in charitable contributions in 2017, but their return does not detail each individual contribution.
The piece details the still pervasive enmity between Neera Tanden, a former top Clinton campaign aide who now runs the Center for American Progress, and Faiz Shakir, the former chief editor at CAP's ThinkProgress website and now the campaign manager for Sanders. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota - have released tax records to varying degrees.
Sanders had refused to release his tax returns throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, and had taken heavy incoming fire from allies of his Democratic rivals this year for not putting out his returns.