Bernie Sanders: Champion for the Everyday Worker—or Total Hypocrite?

It’s a common liberal refrain we hear every single election season. Leftist candidates simply love exploiting the public and their delusional expectations of “free this” and “free that.” From cheap healthcare to free education to lowered taxes, mindful conservatives can only sit back and shake their heads as millions of Americans reach out their hands with eagerness.

Democrats’ grandiose promises of handout after handout are exasperating enough. Now, enter Bernie Sanders, the thorn in the side of democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton. As election season drama continues to build, the public is learning more and more about the “Bern” and his platform. Beyond the ridiculous promise of free college education, Sanders is running on the stance that rich Americans aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.

No surprise there.

But as the Democratic underdog continues to raise support and funds from his leftist base, did anyone ever stop to ask how much he pays in taxes? In speech after speech, debate after debate, all we hear about is the incredible injustice of the American tax code and how it unfairly favors the ruthless earning elite. How is it that the 1% are paying lower tax rates than the average Joes who struggle paycheck to paycheck? It’s a fair question, but with new revelations into Bernie’s financial records, he shouldn’t be the one asking it. Is the candidate himself paying his fair share?

Luckily, American Liberty Report has done the digging. With the exception of Donald Trump, all of the major contenders have released documents detailing their household’s annual income, deductions, and other tax-related stats. According to the facts, Sanders and his wife took deductions in 2014 of over $56,000 with an adjusted gross income of roughly $205,000, which significantly lowers their taxable total. Presumably, all of the couple’s deductions were perfectly sound and legal according to the U.S. tax code.

So what’s the problem?

When you crunch the numbers, the data reveals that the Sanders family only paid an effective tax rate of 13.5%, which is staggeringly lower than those millionaires he so vehemently criticizes along the campaign trail. On average, America’s wealthiest pay at a rate of 27%. Hillary paid an enormous percentage at 35.7% on the Clinton’s combined $27 million adjusted gross income. Even Ted Cruz and his wife, who brought in a comparatively modest $1.2 million, paid 36.7% of their adjusted income to Uncle Sam.

Clearly, there’s no debating the fact that Sanders makes far less than these practiced politicians, but isn’t there a hint of irony here? Bernie himself is boasting a very progressive tax reform. If he were to become president, many of the pricey deductions he took in 2014 would be deemed more than morally questionable–they’d be illegal! Now, Sanders did what every other smart American does when it comes to tax season. But as a respected pillar of leftist ideology, shouldn’t he be held to a slightly different standard?

Shouldn’t he practice what he preaches?

Perhaps his base smells the hypocrisy. Following a poor performance in the New York primary, Sanders took some time off for his campaign to regroup. His prospects aren’t totally blown, but the numbers are bending in favor of Hillary. Meanwhile, both left and right wing media are having a field day with the recently released tax stats.

For instance, in one particularly shocking figure, the Vermont native reduced his AGI by $23,000 in claimed paid mortgage interest, while his real estate taxes further sliced the number by $15,000. Put into perspective, the average American takes about $7,000 deductions in TOTAL, paying a tax rate of 14.7%. The numbers don’t lie. Bernie Sanders pays a far lower tax rate than the typical billionaire, but worse, the progressive imposter even shells out a lower percentage than the average American he so staunchly champions.

Few conservatives seem surprised by the news, although they may gain a small sense of poetic justice. As unreasonable leftist voters “feeling the Bern” realize they’ve been supporting a fraud, perhaps they’ll think wiser about their vote come general election time.