Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was cornered over his hypocrisy on taxes during a Fox News town hall Monday, dodging tough questions from two Fox News hosts.
Sanders — who is now officially confirmed as a member of the infamous "one percent" after he released his past 10 years of tax returns — was asked why he accepts the lower tax rate afforded to him by Republican-passed tax reform when he advocates the wealthiest Americans pay their "fair share."
"Your taxes do show you're a millionaire," Fox News host Bret Baier said. "But your marginal tax rate [in 2018] was 26 percent because of President Trump's tax cuts. So why not say: 'I'm leading this revolution, I'm going to take those.'?"
Sanders responded: "Pffttt...come on...I am— I paid the taxes that I owe."
Without directly answering Baier's question, Sanders launched into a broadside against President Donald Trump.
"And by the way, why don't you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes," Sanders said angrily. "I am eagerly awaiting you doing that."
But Baier was not satisfied, and pushed the line of questioning further asking Sanders why he is "vilifying" millionaires and billionaires for being wealthy. Sanders denied that he vilifies wealthy Americans, repeating his oft-cited talking point that wealthy Americans should pay their "fair share."
Bret Baier calls out millionaire Bernie Sanders and asks him why he accepted tax breaks when he claims rich people… https://t.co/qkZEjkrLwB— Ryan Saavedra (@Ryan Saavedra)1555368282.0
What happened next?
Then it was Fox News host Martha MacCallum's turn. Noting that Sanders does not advocate taxing the wealthiest Americans at 70 percent — like some of his Democratic colleagues — Sanders said he believes the rate should be 52 percent, which he advocated for during his 2016 presidential campaign.
"Alright, so 52 percent. So, would you be willing to pay 52 percent on the money that you made?" MacCallum asked. "You can volunteer, you can send it back."
"You can volunteer, too," Sanders interrupted.
"But that's what you suggested everybody in your [tax] bracket should do," MacCallum shot back.
"Martha, why don't you— you make more money than I do! Why don't you give—" Sanders replied.
"I didn't suggest a wealth tax," MacCallum said back. Baier added that MacCallum also is not running for president.
Sanders later said he's going to "fight for a wealth tax." He went on to bash Trump once again, vilifying the tax reform bill by highlighting the savings it provided for billionaires and massive corporations.
MacCallum: “So would you be willing to pay 52% on the money that you made? You can volunteer, you can send it back”… https://t.co/sVzXB0TnV6— Ryan Saavedra (@Ryan Saavedra)1555368824.0