Bernie Sanders' Net Worth as He Takes on Elon Musk Again

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Nov. 15 2021, Published 8:02 a.m. ET

Bernie Sanders is targeting billionaires like Elon Musk again. This isn't the first time that he has targeted Musk or for that matter billionaires. Sanders has been running his campaign around the glaring wealth inequality in the U.S. What’s his net worth as he takes on billionaires?

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Bernie Sanders

U.S. Senator

Net worth: $3 million (estimated)

Bernie Sanders is among the most well-known socialist voices in U.S. politics. He has long been campaigning against the wealth disparity in the U.S. He has a strong following in the U.S. However, Wall Street is wary of Sanders' policies. Sanders' net worth is estimated to be around $3 million, which he has amassed through his salary and advances and royalties on his books.

Sanders has been a career politician. Currently, he's serving a third term in the Senate. Before winning re-election in 2018 with a 67 percent vote, he spent 16 years in the House, which made him the longest-serving independent member of Congress.

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Bernie Sanders' family

Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago. After graduating in 1964, Sanders moved to Vermont. Initially, he worked as a carpenter and documentary filmmaker before he was elected as the mayor of Burlington in 1981. Sanders is married to Jane O’Meara Sanders and has four children and seven grandchildren. Currently, he lives in Burlington.

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Bernie Sanders' net worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bernie Sanders has a net worth of $3 million. Sanders has made his money from his salary and the advances and royalties on the different books that he has written.

Sanders and his wife reported an income of above $1 million in 2016 and 2017. The income was boosted by the proceeds from his books. However, in 2018, the couple reported an income of $561,293.

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Does Bernie Sanders pay taxes?

The Sanders also donate to charity and in 2018, they donated 3.4 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity. His tax rate was 35 percent in 2016, 30 percent in 2017, and 26 percent in 2018. Sanders has been vocal about the wealth disparity in the U.S. and he wants the super-rich to pay their fair share of taxes.

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While Sanders is among the top 1 percent, against whom he has based his campaign around, he has been transparent with his returns.

Elon Musk and Bernie Sanders

Sanders has lashed out at billionaires again and has said that they need to pay their fair share of taxes. Earlier in 2021, he specifically targeted Jeff Bezos, then the world’s richest person, and Elon Musk, who was then the second-richest person.

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Since then, Musk has added several billions of dollars to his net worth due to the spike in Tesla stock. Meanwhile, Musk has been selling Tesla shares after he held a Twitter poll where the majority was in favor of him selling shares.

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You have to be naïve to think that Musk is selling billions of dollars worth of Tesla shares due to a Twitter poll. There could be multiple reasons why Musk is selling shares. The first is of course the steep rise in the stock. Secondly, he might be selling the shares now to escape the expected increase in capital gains tax.

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Finally, Musk selling shares around the Rivian IPO isn't a mere coincidence. There was a broad-based sell-off in EV stocks after Musk’s announcement. However, Rivian’s IPO not only sailed through but has continued to rise.

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Should billionaires pay a higher tax?

Unless you are a billionaire, you would agree that the ultra-rich aren't paying their fair share of taxes. However, raising the rates to abnormally high levels also wouldn't be the solution and might do more harm than good.

To pay for the current fiscal extravaganza, where the Biden administration has bumped up the spending to support the U.S. economy’s long-term competitiveness, increasing the taxes on the ultra-rich is a fair idea.


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