What Bernie Sanders proved to the world in 2016 is that socialism is a fairly popular idea in the United States, a country that was founded and built on the back of free market principles.
Sanders’ socialistic rhetoric struck a chord with millennials who are very open to the idea of mass wealth redistribution and higher taxes. Surveys from last year show that up to 43 percent of Americans under 30 had a favorable view of socialism.
Well, it turns out that Bernie, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is actually quite the capitalist.
According to his latest U.S. Senate financial disclosure, Sanders made a killing in 2016 from royalties on his book “Our Revolution” and his forthcoming “Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Political Revolution.”
John Walters of Seven Days breaks it down (emphasis mine):
Sanders received a $795,000 advance for his best-selling book, “Our Revolution.” He got another $63,750 for his forthcoming “Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Political Revolution,” a book aimed at young readers co-authored with Kate Waters. And he took in $6,735 in royalties for his 1997 memoir “Outsider in the House.”
That’s more than $865,000 for peddling his working-class ideas. Not bad.
Then there’s the $2,521 Sanders earned last year in royalties for his 1987 spoken-word folk album, “We Shall Overcome.”
Senate rules do not require members to report their government salaries on their annual disclosures, but all rank-and-file members earn $174,000 a year. That, combined with the more than $878,000 Sanders reported in his filing, puts the democratic socialist’s 2016 payday at roughly $1,052,000.
So, while spending months speaking about a rigged economy where the 1% of earners are the only beneficiaries of the governmental system, it turns out that Bernie himself was making 1%’er level income.
According to statistical data from the Internal Revenue Services, the top 1% had an adjusted gross income of $465,626 or higher for the 2014 tax year.
If ever enacted, the tax plan Sanders ran his 2016 presidential campaign on would have forced the Senator to surrender over 45% of his income in taxes.
With his recent purchase of $575,000 lakefront home in North Hero, Vermont, and possession of two six-figure mortgages which were revealed in his financial disclosure, it is clear that Sanders is a big fan of keeping and using the fruits of his labor.