Bernie's a millionaire now. It doesn't matter

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"Maya MacGuineas, the president of independent and bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, warned on "Fox and Friends" Tuesday morning that Bernie Sanders' proposed policies could cost $20,000 per taxpayer", reports Fox News.

Pressed by anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum as to why he was holding onto his wealth rather than refusing deductions or writing a check to the Treasury Department, Sanders began laughing dismissively and, in an apparent non sequitur, asked why MacCallum didn't donate her salary.

Sanders clocked almost 2.6 million viewers from 6:30-7:30 PM Monday; that includes 489,000 in the 25-54 news demographic.

"I think there was some interpretation left to 'soon, ' which I, in retrospect, would've loved to have alleviated by being a little bit more clear about when it was coming", Shakir said.

His millionaire status, paired with decades of avid criticism of the millionaire and billionaire class, sets him up for scrutiny in a crowded field of Democrats running for the 2020 nomination. "Bernie Sanders for two hours - Wow!" "I will continue to fight to make our tax system more progressive so that our country has the resources to guarantee the American Dream to all people", Sanders added. "You make more money than I do", he said.

Sanders, a US senator who routinely rails against the "millionaires and billionaires" he says have rigged the system to protect their wealth and power, had an adjusted gross income of $561,293 in 2018, $1,131,925 in 2017 and $1,062,626 in 2016, the returns showed.

Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, have reported more than $2.7 million in income since 2016, most of which was earned from the senator's bestselling book "Our Revolution". "It was a bestseller, sold all over the world, and we made money".

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"Bernie Sanders has been filing detailed financial disclosures for nearly 30 years, and he is proud to voluntarily make these tax returns available many months before the election, " said campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

Sanders released a portion of his 2014 tax returns last presidential election cycle, followed by his full 2014 tax returns in the face of pressure. At the time Jane Sanders said they used profits from the sale of her share of a family property in ME to purchase the summer home.

Taxes paid: $697,611, or 37%.

Sanders and his wife disclosed $36,300 in charitable contributions in 2017, but their return does not detail each individual contribution.

"Democratic socialism to me is creating a government and an economy and a society that works for all rather than the top 1 percent", he said. "If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too".

Sanders' earlier tax returns, dating back to 2009, show much smaller earnings. Clinton, by contrast, released 8 years worth of complete returns. "We wanted to do 10 years and so we had (an internal) conversation saying, 'let's just do it all at once so we have the most recent one'".