Sanders defends against criticism over income, taxes

Sanders defends against criticism over income, taxes
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE (I-Vt.) dismissed the suggestion on Monday that his newfound status as a millionaire undermines his criticism of economic inequality and the U.S. tax code.

Sanders’s defense came minutes after he released 10 years of his personal tax returns.

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Those returns showed that he and his wife, Jane, earned nearly $1.7 million in income over the past two years, including $561,293 last year and $1,131,925 million in 2017.

Sanders said that most of that income came from sales of his 2016 book, "Our Revolution," which became a best-seller.

"If anyone thinks I should apologize for writing a best-selling book, I’m sorry, I’m not going to do it," Sanders said at a town hall event hosted by Fox News.

Sanders insisted that under the current tax code, wealthy Americans do not pay their fair share of taxes, proposing a wealth tax on some of the nation’s highest earners.

"We’re going to fight for a wealth tax, and we’re going to demand that we end the absurdity," Sanders said.

Sanders isn’t the only 2020 hopeful who has proposed a so-called wealth tax.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-Mass.) has called for a 2 percent tax on Americans with assets exceeding $50 million. Those with more than $1 billion would see a 3 percent tax under that proposal.