Sanders Gets Combative on Wealth Tax: 'Martha, Why Don't You Give? You Make More Money Than I Do'

April 15, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who recently admitted he was a millionaire, dodged a question Monday about whether he would pay a wealth tax, flipping the question back on the host.

Sanders participated in a Fox News town hall in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was asked questions about several issues, including the wealth tax.

Martha MacCallum, one of the town hall hosts, said Sanders proposed a 70 percent wealth tax, appearing to confuse his plan with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D., N.Y.) proposal. Sanders pushed back and said that he did not propose the plan, but later said that his proposal during the 2016 campaign was 52 percent.

"Would you be willing to pay 52 percent on the money that you made?" MacCallum asked, adding that he can "volunteer" the money if he wants.

It is unclear what Sanders murmured after the question, but he flipped MacCallum's statement back on her and said that she can "volunteer too." MacCallum pointed out that Sanders suggested that his bracket should pay the 52 percent tax, but Sanders suggested MacCallum pay the money because he claimed she makes more than him.

"I didn't suggest a wealth tax," MacCallum said.

"And she's not running for president," host Bret Baier said.

"Then we are going to fight for a wealth tax and we're going to demand that we end the absurdity where major corporation after major corporation—you know what? In this tax bill that you are defending, families like the Koch brothers get billions and billions of dollars in savings. That is absurd," Sanders said, as MacCallum said he wasn't answering her question.

Sanders released ten years of his tax returns earlier Monday, which showed that he and his wife, Jane, paid a 26 percent effective tax rate in 2018. The senator is a millionaire after writing popular books about how to bring about democratic socialism in America, and Jane is a former college president who lost her job amid a financial mismanagement scandal.