4/7/19

Why won't Bernie Sanders release his tax returns?

From The Intercept:

One possibility behind Sanders’s hesitancy is that the returns may show that he made actual money from his book about his 2016 campaign, and is now one of the millionaires, though not billionaires, that he routinely calls out. But the independent senator from Vermont resisted releasing his returns long before he published “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In,” a New York Times best-seller. As a protest candidate in the last cycle, he barely campaigned until December 2015, only hitting the trail when the Senate was out of session. He didn’t expect to win the nomination, so he didn’t bother with releasing what he considered to be mundane tax returns that would just back up his financial disclosures. The louder the media demanded his returns, the more convinced he became that the issue was manufactured trivia.

From New York Magazine:

At a time when the longstanding chorus of Democratic demands to see Donald Trump’s tax returns is reaching a crescendo (and extending into congressional requests to the IRS for the documents), there’s a bit of an embarrassing sideshow going on. One of the top candidates for the nomination to oppose Trump, Bernie Sanders, has been conspicuously dragging his feet on disclosing his own tax returns, for years. 
The saga has been going on for a good while, as CNN reports: 
Bernie Sanders has effectively been running for president steadily since, at least, 2015. And over all that time — which now spans two campaigns for president — we’ve seen exactly one year of his tax returns. In the 2016 campaign, Sanders released the two summary pages of his 2014 returns only. He said he would release a more robust tax history if he became the Democratic nominee, which, well, didn’t happen. By contrast, Hillary Clinton released eight years of returns — spanning 2007-2014 — in August 2015. A year later, in the midst of the general election against Donald Trump, Clinton released her 2015 return.

Washington Post:

 Enough with the excuses. It’s time for Sanders to release his tax returns.
It has been more than a month since Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told a national audience during a CNN town hall that he would release 10 years of his personal taxes “soon,” adding, “We have to do just a few little more things.” Five weeks later, it seems those “little” things still aren’t done; he told CBS on Sunday that “we have it all done and it’s just a question of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.” 
Enough with the excuses, Senator. These sorts of shenanigans — and make no mistake, that’s exactly what they are at this point — both reduce the pressure on cowardly congressional Democrats to pursue President Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns, and endanger Democrats’ hopes of taking back the presidency in 2020. The progressive positions that Sanders champions, including Medicare-for-all, expanded Social Security and increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, are much too important to both the future of our country and our own personal finances to risk them over tax returns.