Illinois Senate to Trump: No tax return, no spot on ballot

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer D-N.Y. speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington Tuesday

Bernie Sanders on Monday released 10 years of his long-anticipated tax returns as he campaigns for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

This juxtaposition forced Sanders to defend his wealth, most of which he claims came from his book sales.

Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., of using its resources to smear him pushed back Sunday, saying the 2020 Democratic presidential contender was attempting to "muzzle" journalists with its independent news outfit, ThinkProgress.

"These tax returns show that our family has been fortunate". I wrote two books in recent years.

"Today I say to Donald Trump, you're a really tough guy, you're prepared to shut down the federal government, you're really a tough guy to deny tens and tens and thousands and thousands of workers a paycheck, you're really tough on that one, well lets see how tough you are, tell general motors today, no more federal contracts until they deal with Lordstown", Sanders said.

The increased wealth of the liberal candidate who has positioned himself as a champion of the people has raised questions about whether he can still speak for working-class Americans.

Former Sanders surrogate Jonathan Tasini in an email called the ThinkProgress clip "despicable" and said he initially "thought it was a Republican attack video masquerading as a Democratic production". "As a strong proponent of transparency, the senator hopes President Trump and all Democratic primary candidates will disclose their tax returns".

On Saturday, Democratic lawmakers gave tax authorities a final deadline of April 23 to hand over Trump's returns, but it remained unclear if his administration will comply.

As part of his policy agenda, Sanders has proposed a big expansion of the estate tax, lowering the threshold where it kicks in to $3.5 million from $11 million, and placing a 77 percent tax rate on the portion of estates worth more than $1 billion.

The debate, hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, was held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in a county won by Trump in 2016 after a 9% swing from Democrats.

Sanders and his wife Jane made a $2.7 million from 2016 through 2018, according to the returns.

Mr Trump himself has claimed that he can not release his tax returns because they are under audit, although technically there is nothing preventing him from doing so. The documents underscore how much money the populist presidential candidate has earned in recent years, as his public profile has risen.

This caught some off guard, given Sanders' distaste for millionaires in the past. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her husband earned about US$215,000 in 2018. "Hey, President Trump. My wife and I just released 10 years".

The Sanders campaign said in a press release that he paid 26 per cent effective tax rate in 2018. The former Florida governor released 33 years of tax returns during his failed 2016 presidential bid. In 2017, he and his wife Amy's adjusted gross income was $366,455, and they paid a total of $81,019 in taxes for a 22 percent tax rate.

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