Bernie Sanders, who incessantly preaches about the greediness of the upper class, has an interesting history; in the last ten years, as his income has risen, he has only once (barely) given more than 4% of his income to charity, twice given a little more than 3%, twice given roughly 2.5 %, and five times given less than 2% of his income to charity.
In fact, in 2016, he made over $1,062, 626 and gave slightly more than $10,600, which just so happens to amount to 1%. He got called out:
Considering how stingy Sanders is when it comes to charity, let’s review what he has said about people who make a lot of money and greedily hold on to it: Writing in the Burlington Free Press in May, 2011, Sanders stated, “As Vermont’s senator and a member of the Budget Committee, I will not support a plan to reduce the deficit that does not call for shared sacrifice … At a time when the top one percent earns more income than the bottom 50 percent, we must ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes … Every segment of our society, including those who have money and power, must contribute and must sacrifice.”
The New York Times reported in 1981 that Sanders was hostile to charities:
For the kickoff of the 40th annual Chittenden County United Way fund-raising drive in Burlington, Vt., the sponsors considered themselves fortunate to have as guests Mayor Bernard Sanders of Burlington and Gov. Richard Snelling of Vermont. But the charity workers heard the sort of things they wanted to hear from only one of their guests. ”I don’t believe in charities,” said Mayor Sanders, bringing a shocked silence to a packed hotel banquet room. The Mayor, who is a Socialist, went on to question the ”fundamental concepts on which charities are based” and contended that government, rather than charity organizations, should take over responsibility for social programs.
But Sanders’ stinginess predates the last ten years; as the independent newspaper Seven Days reported in 1996:
According to his 1995 tax return, Ol’ Bernardo still doesn’t believe in charity. Vermont’s most prominent bald eagle raked in $133,000. About $8000 was deferred income. His 1040 reports “total income” of $125,842. According to the Bern’s return (prepared by Progressive City Councilor Martha Abbott of Underhill, who runs Independent Tax Service, Inc.), Sanders paid $19,563 in federal taxes. Not bad. Sounds like Ms. Abbott really knows her stuff … And our beloved congressperson deducted a grand total of $1,369 for “Gifts to Charity.” That’s all of 1 percent of his impressive income going to charity.
For Sanders, apparently, charity begins at home. Vanity Fair reported in 2016, referencing a story in The Washington Free Beacon about Sanders’ wife Jane O’Meara Sanders and her daughter Carina Driscoll:
… the Free Beacon’s revelations about Sanders’s wife’s tenure as the president of Burlington College will certainly raise eyebrows. During her time there, the college paid nearly $500,000 to the Vermont Woodworking School, run by Driscoll, for classes, according to the Free Beacon. The college also reportedly paid tens of thousands of dollars to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort run by Jonathan Leopold, the son of a family friend, for a study-abroad program. Between 2009 and 2011, when O’Meara Sanders stepped down, Burlington College paid around $68,000 to the resort. The Free Beacon reports that payments to both the woodworking school and the resort stopped soon after she left.
But he does seem to have an obsession with millionaires (of which he is one) and billionaires: