Bernie Sanders—the man whose popularity rests on his decrying high earners who are allowed to pay lower effective tax rates than blue-collar works—just released his tax forms this weekend. Mr. Sanders, the Vermont socialist, just saved himself thousands of dollars using legal deductions that he would ban under his own tax plan. As NRO’s Jim Geraghty writes:
On the campaign trail, Sanders’s taxation philosophy is simple: If you can pay more, you should; deductions are not a justifiable reason for a wealthy person to pay a lower effective rate than someone who earns less. His web site declares, “We need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on ability to pay. It is not acceptable that corporate CEOs in this country often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than their secretaries.”
What Sanders did, using every option and advantage available under a Byzantine tax code to minimize his tax payment, is a normal practice for many Americans. But it’s also exactly what the targets of his anger do. You can argue about whether or not that’s greed, but it’s impossible to argue that it isn’t hypocrisy. The paragon of liberal purity is not as pure as he’d like the world to believe.
Read more on from Richard C. Young on how “The U.S. Tax Code Benefits Washington Insiders.”.