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Though long an advocate for raising taxes, Ivy League socialist Cornel West has yet to pay over $500,000 of his own

Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Leftist academic Cornel West is a big proponent of higher taxes for the rich and other forms of state-coerced wealth redistribution. It appears, however, that he has set for himself a different standard.

Having thrown his hat into the ring for president as the Green Party's presumptive nominee, the 70-year-old Ivy League socialist has attracted a closer inspection by comrades and conservatives alike.

The Daily Beast has discovered that West owes the Internal Revenue Service well over $500,000 in back taxes.

Documents filed in Mercer County, New Jersey — where West reportedly owns a home in the college town of Princeton, which has a median home sale price of $1,404,750 — reportedly revealed a total of $543,778.78 in outstanding federal tax liens against the socialist.

The liberal blog noted that in nearly every one of the years recorded, the frequent critic of the well-to-do "owed more in unpaid taxes that the median American household earned," including $85,477.02 in 2017; $136,916.26 in 2016; $82,396.14 in 2015; $98,818.25 in 2014; and so on.

Since the IRS has yet to file a release for any of these liens, it appears West has either yet to pay them or has paid them off inside the last 30 days.

The Harvard graduate also made a habit of leaving his taxes unpaid prior to 2005, having accrued $724,397.26 over a six-year period ending in 2004. The Daily Beast indicated he paid down that sum in 2010.

West also has reportedly shirked paying his taxes beyond New Jersey.

The IRS submitted documents in California that indicated between 2011 and 2012, West racked up over $159,000, which he appears to have resolved on June 14, 2023.

The Daily Beast noted in a subsequent report that West did not dispute these findings, but had rejected a secondary claim that he had skipped out on a $49,500 child support judgment against him from 2003.

It is unclear which child this judgment was in reference to. West has been divorced four times and is presently on his fifth marriage.

After being exposed for his apparent efforts to hamper the state in its redistribution of wealth, West told Lenard McKelvey of "The Breakfast Club" that "any time you shine a flashlight under somebody’s clothes, you’re gonna find all kind of mess, because that's what it is to be human," adding, "They want to use it as a distraction."

West suggested the intention behind noting his apparent hypocrisy was distracting from "the suffering" that he is trying to highlight, which he has previously indicated can be remedied in part by taxation.

In his June 9 interview with Semafor, West stated, "How does one go about engaging in massive, downward redistribution of wealth downward? We’ve got to have massive cutbacks to the military. We’ve got to have taxes that are higher, much higher."

Higher taxes and persons willing to paying their fair share would likely be required were West elected, given that he has vowed to deliver Medicare for all, housing for all, "quality education for all, free college tuition for all, and jobs with living wages for all," as well as the resurrection of the Green New Deal.

A recent Emerson College poll indicated that when West is included on the ballot, support for Biden decreases from 48% to 44% and support for Trump slides from 41% to 39%, with the tax-averse socialist picking up five points.

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