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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A basic rule of politics is that when you have a problem, get it all out and put it behind you. The worst response is to dither and then shoot yourself in the foot.

With the Bernie Sanders campaign, we are seeing the candidate repeatedly shoot himself in the foot over what would be a non-issue, if only he had forthrightly answered a question that has dogged him since last summer.

Where are your tax returns?

It’s a question that goes not just to Sanders but also to all the other politicians who want us to trust them in the most powerful office in the world but want to hide their finances and tax strategies. That includes Donald Trump, whose tax returns I will be shocked if we ever see; and Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who like Sanders have only released the summary form 1040 and not their complete returns, as I recently noted here.

Last summer, NPR and the Washington Post asked Sanders for his tax returns, a question the senator had to know would be raised because releasing them has been standard practice for presidential aspirants since Watergate, when America had an unindicted tax criminal in the Oval Office and a confessed tax felon a heartbeat from the presidency.

Sanders had made available only his and wife Jane’s 2014 Form 1040, a summary lacking crucial details about their sources of income, deductions, and tax strategy.

In late March I asked for Sanders’ complete tax returns back to 2007, when he became senator. What I got back was a dissembling statement from his campaign spokesman, followed by silence when I sent follow-up questions via email.

Now this story has taken a very troubling turn, one that raises serious questions about the Senator’s judgment and his wife’s veracity.

On Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect last Mondayhost Mark Halperin asked Jane Sanders when she would disclose the couple’s tax returns. In her reply, she claimed “every election we released them.”

My diligent reporting has failed to turn up any indication that her statement is true.

I made extensive telephone calls, interviewed a former Sanders election opponent, thoroughly searched Google, the Internet archive known as the “Wayback Machine,” the Nexis database, Newspapers.com, and files of Vermont’s largest newspaper, the Burlington Free Press. I called veteran Vermont political reporters and operatives.

Except for one reporter who said he had a vague recollection that perhaps, some years ago, he may have seen a partial Sanders tax return, nothing I learned lends any credence to what Jane Sanders claimed.

Halperin asked a series of questions trying to pin down Ms. Sanders, who said she prepares the couple’s tax returns using the TurboTax computer program. She indicated a vague awareness that their taxes had been sought during the prior two weeks by, she suggested, the Hillary Clinton campaign.

But I was the one doing the requesting. I clearly identified myself as a journalist. I have no connection to the Clinton campaign and, for the record, am registered to vote in Republican primaries. (I have also written favorably about Sanders’ economic proposals and appeared as a guest on his radio show.)

While Halperin pressed Ms. Sanders repeatedly, she pleaded for time to find and release their pre-2014 tax returns. She promised without reservation that the returns would be released, adding, “Well, sure, I will have to go back and find them — we haven’t been home for a month.”

Halperin asked if she would release full returns, not just Form 1040.

“Sure, no problem,” she replied.

When?

“I would say well, when they are due I would expect them to come out,” she said.

Halperin asked how many years of returns would be released, noting Hillary Clinton has released eight years. (Actually all of the returns filed by her and her husband dating back to 1992 are available at taxhistory.org).

That was when Jane Sanders said: “Every election we have released them…we did when he ran for election, yeah. I’ll release this year’s as soon as they’re due… and can I have time to go home to retrieve the older ones?

Just how Mrs. Sanders would prepare the 2015 tax return by the April 18 deadline, but not have access to a prior year return, is an interesting question that Halperin did not ask.

Had those returns been released in 2012, 2006, and in Sanders’ earlier races, it would be reasonable to expect that there would be at least passing mention of them in Vermont news reports.

Furthermore, the candidate would be able to point me or anyone else inquiring to a staffer, a political operative, a friend, or someone who had kept a copy of his returns or even just remembers seeing a copy.

Richard Tarrant, a successful medical software entrepreneur who ran against Sanders in 2006, told me that had he ever seen either the form 1040 or the complete tax return of Bernie and Jane Sanders, he would have reviewed the document carefully to learn all he could about their finances — and whether the tax return showed any political vulnerabilities in that race. Tarrant, who had a big interest in seeking the Sanders’ returns, said he never saw one.

Michael Briggs, chief press spokesperson for the Sanders campaign, did not respond to questions I submitted in writing.

The silence from Briggs is itself troubling, since his employer is campaigning as Mr. Transparency.

Now there may well be nothing of consequence in the Sanders tax returns. But that is not the issue. Sanders is giving aid to those politicians who want to end the practice of disclosing tax returns, while marketing himself as a politician untainted by big donations and lobbyists.

He needs to walk his talk.

And meanwhile if anyone out there has an old Sanders tax return, please send it to me: davidcay@me.com

 

Photo: Flickr user Timothy Krause

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132 responses to “Tax Transparency: Jane Sanders Claims Returns Released In ‘Every Election’”

  1. Michael Gordon says:

    Hillary should release her Goldman speech transcripts when Bernie releases his tax returns. Hillary has released hers and Clinton Foundation donor lists, so Bernie it’s your turn.

    • BostonHoundDog says:

      We know about the income form the speeches BECAUSE she released detailed tax returns. Bernie should release his and then they can both decide what they want to know more about from their opponent based upon tax returns

    • dpaano says:

      You’re talking apples and oranges…..Bernie’s tax returns are NOT the same as Hillary’s speeches. Tax returns are a required item when running for an important office…..transcripts of speeches are not!

      • Michael Gordon says:

        I’m just saying he’s hammering her on transparency while failing to do the minimum we expect from all candidates.

        • dpaano says:

          I agree, partly, but income tax statements are a definite for candidates……transcripts of speeches generally are not. But, you are correct….there are transparency questions on both sides of the coin.

          • Barbara Delaney says:

            Aren’t the content of her speeches her intellectual property? Why should she be forced to give up what she wrote, developed, and delivered?

            How many men have been asked to yield their valuable intellectual property?

          • The lucky one says:

            C’mon Barbara, gender has nothing AT ALL to do with this.

        • Independent1 says:

          Name us a previous presidential candidate who has ever released the transcripts of speeches they’ve given.

        • hatch99 says:

          Talk to use about her lack of transparency then.

      • The lucky one says:

        Apparently they’re NOT required since some do not provide them but you’re right anyone who has followed HRC already knows what was in her speeches, the gist of it anyway.

      • hatch99 says:

        They are not required to run for office.

    • Steve Batchelor says:

      Whether or not Hillary releases transcripts from her speeches is irrelevant to what the article is about…Hillary claims transparency with her released tax returns while Bernie does not. How hard is that to understand?

      How about this….When Bernie releases transcripts to all the speeches he’s ever given anywhere Hillary might comply and release hers.

    • Svarun says:

      Again, Berners sound ever more like Birthers – demanding the extraordinary from their opponent (long form birth certificate, college transcripts, etc.) while ignoring that their candidate doesn’t meet norms (release of tax returns).

  2. Leftout says:

    IRS returns are filled with obfuscations and are personal and should not be released . Conflict of interests should be realeased that may affect the judgement of congress or any politcal figure. We would need to know if officials are working for us or working for the interests of the
    ” PACS ”

    • davidcayjohnston says:

      I take it you’re not alive during Watergate… And inaware that tax returns used to be public record ..,

      • Leftout says:

        I am very aware of Waterfate, public records ???, I say that it is meaningless and private ,and should not be public records and shows very little of hidden conflicts of interests….PACS, speaking fees and foundations hiding activities. .,., the Clintons are a good example.and most of congress and tax attorneys /accountants

        • Independent1 says:

          Has it occurred to you that few people posting here care what you think or say???

          • Leftout says:

            Never occurred to me , even you are reading it. What is your argument ? I was away for awhile and gave you a rest.

      • The lucky one says:

        Not to be picky and of course it doesn’t reflect on whatever merits your article may have, but the word is “unaware”.

  3. Senator Sanders is a socialist. Socialist don’t believe they should pay taxes, Socialist believes that the other guy should pay the tax for government services they all enjoy such as free education and healthcare.

    • Danattaylor4 says:

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    • davidcayjohnston says:

      Columnist here…

      A democratic socialist favors market economics with protections against predators and insulators from economic shocks beyond individual control — jobless benefits, etc.

      The issues are transparency, judgment and walking one’s talk.

      • A_Real_Einstein says:

        You again?
        What are you going to do for a living when you grow up?
        You obviously not a journalist. Why not just let Jane get back to VT and she will provide anything you want. I am confident there is nothing in their attached schedules that are irregular. We know the amount of income , the the amount of deductions, taxable income, the amount of taxes and their effective tax rate. They don’t return your calls because you are nobody. Other than you nobody really cares about Bernie’s schedule C.

        • Ray Jones says:

          You keep saying that not an issue yet clearly Jane and the campaign is not being honest. In other words even her words are not truthful…don’t keep saying we have released out taxes in the past when she knows it’s not true. Jane has a PHD for god sake…

        • Independent1 says:

          You’re clearly on the total opposite end of the IQ scale from a true Einstein. Nice way to fake things. You virtually know nothing about what you post!!!

        • davidcayjohnston says:

          A_Real_Einstein you might want to do a little research before you post.

          • A_Real_Einstein says:

            Good

            You must be happy to see those returns later today. When we will see your piece regarding Hillary’s refusal to release her speech transcripts. You are all about transperency, correct?

    • patrick g van meter says:

      A little confused about what a socialist is. Try to understand the other guy is all of us. Do you enjoy the system we have now with all the loop holes and so complicated you have to pay someone to figure out how much you owe and then still pay for healthcare and education because the Gov’t spends all your tax dollars on wars the taxpayer doesn’t want. I guess you enjoy war more than school or healthcare.

    • The lucky one says:

      Utter nonsense

  4. FT66 says:

    The only person who prepared herself, did her homework, produced what is required like (Tax Returns), is HILLARY. The rest of contenders Dem and GOP combined are just there to pass time and are not ready for the job.

    • tbs says:

      FT66 But she had not done them correctly and was called on the carpet for it. She had to do them over again as she HAD NOT reported everything! Let us not forget that!

      • FT66 says:

        tbs, was it before I was born? Am not aware of what you are writing about. Sorry!

      • Ray Jones says:

        That’s not true. HC has no personal income tax issues…you can see 23 years of their taxes right now. The Clinton Foundation accountants made some mistakes went back an made correction two different things. It still doe s change Bernie’s situation…stop hiding from the truth by tossing incorrect rocks.

        • lyndagrand says:

          If Hillary releases transcripts of her speeches to the lying, cheating, one percenters – then Bernie will release his taxes.

          • Steve Batchelor says:

            Look…You need to get it thru your backward thinking brain…

            Hillary has tax returns released for ALL to see…Bernie doesn’t.

            Whatever Hillary said or didn’t say in any of her speeches has nothing to do with it.

            Not hard to understand but you keep harping about it…Like I said above to another idiot…You are either one of three things….

            1. A Hillary hater
            2. A Bernie shill
            3. A Republican

            Which is it?

          • The lucky one says:

            “Whatever Hillary said or didn’t say in any of her speeches has nothing to do with it.”
            “it” being Sanders’ tax returns. Yes and no, Hilary’s sycophantic speeches have nothing to do with the tax returns but everything to do with transparency.

            So which are you?

            1. A Bernie hater

            2. A Hilary shill

            3. An establishment Democrat

          • Svarun says:

            FFS, Berners sound ever more like Birthers – demanding the extraordinary from their opponent (long from birth certificate, college transcripts, etc.) while ignoring that their candidate doesn’t meet norms (release of tax returns).

          • dpaano says:

            And you’re sure of this? Do you have a personal pipeline to Bernie?

      • Independent1 says:

        Pure hogwash!! As is virtually everything you Bernie nuts post!!

      • davidcayjohnston says:

        Columnist here…

        tbs, I closely follow the tax returns of politicians and what you wrote is not true. No Clinton return has been amended.

        • Steve Batchelor says:

          David…You now how it goes…Hillary can do no right and all the others can do no wrong.

          • davidcayjohnston says:

            I do marvel this election season at the responses of many readers to my pieces here and elsewhere. The lack of sophistication by many posters is not so surprising, though troubling for the republic. But the lack of understanding of good governance principles, which my Twitter notifications show is widespread, are very concerning.

            Most troubling is the failure by many people to recognize that NO politician should get a pass on their conduct. They should all be scrutinized and that doing so is exactly what so many people complain they do not see enough of — until its their favorite candidate who gets the spotlight and then it must be that the journalist is corrupt, an idiot or…

            I do chuckle at the posts here by someone whose nom d’Internet is intended to suggest smarts, but who evidently thinks I am a kid with no experience or reputation .

          • The lucky one says:

            “NO politician should get a pass on their conduct. — until its their favorite candidate who gets the spotlight and then it must be that the journalist is corrupt, an idiot or…”

            Sad but true. it’s also true that many “journalists” are writing opinion pieces posed as news articles. Joe Conason is a good example and there are many more.

          • davidcayjohnston says:

            Columnist here…

            This is not a News website. I write clearly labeled opinion columns, which are based on facts I have reported, fir a number of outlets.

          • The lucky one says:

            Agreed, it should be obvious to anyone who has read a few articles here that National Memo is an establishment Democrat promotion site, featuring no real news, just opinions with most slanted toward the party line. However in the byline with the date it does include the tags National News & Top News. I’m glad you recognize that is false and this is merely an op-ed site and we need to go elsewhere for objective news reporting.

          • davidcayjohnston says:

            Well that is not what I wrote. My columns are based on rigorous reporting — in this case I detailed it. I’m not a Democrat, but a registered Republican.

            And since I don’t own the website, let my correct my post above. What I write here are what are known in the trade as “reported columns,” meaning I apply the same rigorous reporting standards I would to a news story and provide my opinion on those facts. Joe, who owns this website, should speak for the rest of it, but as the owner he gets to run it any way he wants.

            In addition to writing press criticism for more than four decades, I have volunteered hundreds of days to teaching other journalists from China east to Norway and south to Rio investigative reporting techniques including interviewing, document analysis, cross-checking, how to use numbers, historical context, especially with regards to accounting, budgets, corruption, finance, regulation and tax.

          • Peggy D. says:

            The person who’s referenced in your last paragraph is at it again! FYI: MS.”nome de internet/plume”, I am a 68 yr. old retired widow who edits my words carefully, unlike yourself. I hope your publishers read your public posts, perhaps they will advise you to cease & desist!

          • davidcayjohnston says:

            Nope. Not you. Your nom d’Internet carries no suggestion of big brains. And I rendered it correctly, at least as judged by the excellent editors of the Columbia Journalism Review in my first use of the term eight years ago:

            “Reader comments posted on digital news sites are often heavy on invective, hurled from noms d’Internet that allow people to disregard traditional norms of civil discourse. For many of these anonymous snipers, the reported facts are not facts at all, but the unreliable product of paid liars, incompetents, toadies, and haters who dare to call themselves journalists.

            How did we get to this pass?….”

            http://www.cjr.org/review/my_facts_your_facts.php

          • dtgraham says:

            So, I see that Bernie just released his full 2014 tax return, revealing that his total income was $205,000.00.

            A little less than the $28 Million that the Clintons reported that year huh. Shillary made $11 Million from speeches to big money interests alone in 2014.

            The Sanders 2015 return is coming David. You know, the deadline wasn’t until April 15th 2016. You’re aware of that aren’t you? In your case, I’m not sure because you’ve already been trying to turn the non-release (so far) into a scandal.

            Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton earned more than $25 million, delivering 104 speeches since the beginning of 2014, according to a mandatory financial disclosure filed last year. Something to report on David, insofar as to who they may have pledged their financial allegiances to? No? Thought not.

            My problem with you isn’t just your amazing bias here, and the fact that you thought you could roll us with some simple Sanders tax return “scandal.” It’s the total lack of depth and sophistication you displayed in regards to the financial crisis of 2008-09. Also, your extreme lack of competence in reading News Corp financial statements from 2007 through 2010. You just don’t give us any confidence.

            Especially when you haven’t passed your final exams in university and don’t have a degree in anything. That just doesn’t inspire confidence David.

          • The lucky one says:

            “Most troubling is the failure by many people to recognize that NO politician should get a pass on their conduct.” I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately such a scrutiny would reveal that we have no candidates among those with any chance of election that inspire any confidence. Personally I believe that what is revealed by the release of tax returns to be among the least important of the things i need to know about a candidate. There may be some things there that are embarrassing to the candidate but they’re not likely to provide any startling revelations.

          • The lucky one says:

            Spoken like a true fan. We can forget the speeches and the tax returns for HRC. There is plenty in her verifiable history to reject her candidacy. Iraq, Libya, TPP, etc.

        • dtgraham says:

          Just the Clinton Foundation tax returns were amended when the Clintons lied to Obama and the IRS about foreign government donations, during the time that she was SoS. Not their actual personal returns though. You made sure that you’re technically correct, you Clinton propagandist.

  5. ronj1955 says:

    The problem with articles like this is that they are red herrings. Why doesn’t this writer spend as much time focusing on Trump and Cruz’s returns–where the amount if money involved provides much more opportunity for cheating. Better yet, why doesn’t he investigate and publish an article regarding the Clinton’s incredible wealth–asking questions that pretend to be of substance but are in reality nothing but speculation similar to a FOXNews program…….And, most importantly, why do articles like this shill for Hillary never write about the issues–which is what I vote on.

    • Elliot J. Stamler says:

      It is not illegal or immoral to have great wealth. When you smear Sec. Clinton, I put this to you: do you have any evidence (evidence, Sanders shill) that she has done anything illegal or immoral to gain that wealth? Well..DO YOU?? Her tax records are there for all to see…how much income she got and whom she got it from.! Period.

      • The lucky one says:

        Well given that by her own admission she was broke when Bill left office, has no apparent skills outside of politics and is now a multi-millionaire should certainly raise some suspicions.

        Sanders should take a page from Hilary’s playbook and agree to release his tax returns when she releases her transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs.

        • lyndagrand says:

          Yes! I like that Idea!! If Hillary releases transcripts of her speeches then Bernie will release his tax info. Simple.

          • Steve Batchelor says:

            Big BS to you…One has nothing to do with the other.

            Hillary has transparency by her released tax returns.Bernie has none by not releasing his tax returns. Simple.

          • The lucky one says:

            True, we don’t need HRC’s speech transcripts to know the gist of the content. She said nothing that would offend her bankster supporters.

          • dpaano says:

            Again, HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS?

          • The lucky one says:

            I don’t KNOW, that’s the point. Everything in her history however makes it highly likely, nothing she has ever done has demonstrated any intention to hold them accountable or prevent future pillaging. Also I strongly doubt Goldman would have paid her $600,000 per to be lectured to about the errors of their ways. She could easily prove me wrong except that she can’t.

          • Jacqui Christian says:

            The lucky one appears to have a totally closed mind where Hillary Clinton is concerned.

          • The lucky one says:

            No I don’t. I do have a strong opinion about her based on her history (no I don’t mean any of the pseudo-scandals manufactured by the GOP) but that is open to change with new information. A release of her speeches showing that my hunch is incorrect would go a long ways toward moving to Hilary’s side at least in the general election. As it stands now if Bernie doesn’t make it I will likely vote for Jill Stein.

        • Jacqui Christian says:

          The content of her speeches has no relevance here.

          • The lucky one says:

            Just as much as Sanders tax returns. Although in a way you’re right, maybe. I’m not sure what it is you expect to find in his tax returns so I can’t speak to that but we already know what we would find in Hilary’s speeches. We know we would not see her calling the banksters to account for crashing the economy or laying out for them how she will end their predatory behavior. More likely she would be lauding them as being “creators” and apologizing to them for the low opinion 99% of Americans hold of those slimeballs.

          • Jacqui Christian says:

            I have no specific expectations re: his tax returns, but let’s be fair. Hillary released her tax returns, so he should release his. Apples to apples. By the same token, you seem to have already decided what is in her speeches.
            ” we already know what we would find in Hilary’s speeches. We know we would not see her calling the banksters to account for crashing the economy or laying out for them how she will end their predatory behavior. More likely she would be lauding them as being “creators” and apologizing to them for the low opinion 99% of Americans hold of those slimeballs.”
            I don’t pretend to be clairvoyant, so when and if the speeches are released I will comment on them. You will note that I have made no comments as to what might or might not be in Sanders tax returns.

          • The lucky one says:

            You’re right I’ve decided what is very likely in her speeches or more accurately what is not there. Of course I could be mistaken but my expectations are entirely in line with her public behavior. She could very easily prove me and the millions who are suspicious of her wrong by releasing the transcripts. If she does so and i am wrong it would move me closer to voting for her as the lesser of two evils even though I have issues with her militarism among other things. I won’t hold my breath.

          • Jacqui Christian says:

            I won’t belabor the point. But I will reserve my opinions and comments for if and when the Sanders tax returns are disclosed. As well as for the speeches.

          • The lucky one says:

            I’d be willing to bet a large sum that we will never learn what was in the speeches unless a whistleblower provides them.
            cheers

          • dpaano says:

            Do we? How can you say this when NONE of us know what was in her speeches. You’re just purely guessing what you THINK might be in her speeches, and you may be wrong!!! We DON’T know that she isn’t calling the so-called “banksters” to account….I don’t even think her speeches had anything to do with anything along those lines. Until you KNOW for sure what was said….why are you trying to pass off YOUR views as being the views of ALL of us? WE know NOTHING of the sort when it comes to her speeches!

          • The lucky one says:

            Perhaps I worded that poorly. I have reasons to believe what I said. If I thought everybody believed it there would be no reason for me to say it. What has she ever done that indicates she is willing to challenge the banksters for their role in destroying the economy? Please enlighten me.

          • hatch99 says:

            I would love so much to have some way to get a Romney moment on Clinton — I’m certain she said this equally was offensive as his 47%er comments.

            She uses white noise machines when having her $35K/plate fundraisers but people are speaking out about what she said in those one hour $200K talks and it’s not pretty.

          • The lucky one says:

            She may not have said anything derogatory about the peasants being too busy showering fawning adoration on her benefactors. After all the scrutiny she has had she is probably too wary to let something as foolish as Romney’s statement slip.

      • BostonHoundDog says:

        Exactly. And it is precisely because she has release all of her tax returns that everyone knows the sources of her income including speeches

      • lyndagrand says:

        Elliiot J. Stamler – Sorry, but I have to correct your bad grammar. It’s NOT
        “how much income she got and whom she got it from.!”

        You should have typed “how much income she received and from whom she received it.”

    • davidcayjohnston says:

      Columnist here..,

      Please read my dozen or so Trump pieces and my examinations of his conduct over the last 28 years.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Trump will be gone by August.. unlike liar Girl Janie…he “can’t” show his tax returns because right now the IRS and Justice Dept. are already going over them with a fine tooth comb. Any day now the Art of the Deal is going to be the Artless Deal. Same with Cruz. He’ll be gone by Sept. and replaced by Beg Me Boy Paul Ryan.

      • davidcayjohnston says:

        Columnist here…

        Actually, there is exactly NO reason for Trump to hold back his returns because of an audit, Releasing them would have no effect. A former IRS commissioner, Mark Everson, and I were on Lawrence O’Donnell where we made that very point. Also Trump has no reason to withhold returns for those years with closed audits.

        Having put Trump’s tax return information in my 1991 book Temples of Chance I know why e doesn’t want them out there. He doesn’t pay income taxes and makes no charitable gifts. See my USA Today column on how the income tax system makes Trump rich:

    • Steve Batchelor says:

      So you’re saying if a candidate was a policy wonk and sounded like gold with everything he said…BUT…had 10 off shore accounts and didn’t or wouldn’t release his tax returns you’d be OK with that?

      Sounds like you’re on of 3 things
      1.A Bernie shill
      2.A Hillary hater
      3.A Republican

      Which one are you?

  6. yabbed says:

    Well, we know Mrs Sanders has a recorded history of not telling the truth. She was fired from the job her husband appointed her to at a Vermont college for filing false financial reports (which is a felony not applied to the Senator’s wife, of course).

    Bernie Sanders needs to release the last 8 years of his IRS returns just as Hillary Clinton has done. Bernie throughout his life has thought that rules that apply to other people do not apply to him. It is clear that the Sanders have something to hide and that is why they do not want people to see their tax returns. Mrs Sanders excuses and rambling lies are very telling.

  7. Elliot J. Stamler says:

    There is only one reason that any political candidate is unwilling to release their complete tax returns: BECAUSE THE RETURNS SHOW THINGS THE CANDIDATE DOES NOT WANT THE VOTERS TO KNOW. Period. That is why Sanders is stalling; it is why Trump is stalling and will never give up his full returns; it is why Romney refused to give up his for more than a 2 year period …in the latter case as David Cay Johnston exposed at the time, probably because he had hidden foreign bank accounts and took advantage of the IRS moratorium on prosecution when he finally obeyed the tax law and reported them.
    Understand clearly: If I were a candidate and my returns were demanded, I could just take them out of my tax file and make copies and release them. So can Trump and Sanders, etc. This pure crap about they are so complicated, voluminous, “I’m being audited” is just baloney…wholly irrelevant to one’s ability to release copies of the filed returns.
    If you think it is an unwarranted and offensive invasion of your privacy-fine–DON’T RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.

    • hatch99 says:

      That’a why Clinton won’t tell the voters what she told the Goldman Sachs and other wealthy supporters about how she really will vote (white noise machine anyone? trying not to pull a Romney with his crack about the 47%!).

      How about until she provides that information she DOESN’T RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. No?

  8. Joe Rossman says:

    I suspect, like Joe Biden, the Sanders are very cheap when it comes to charity. That’s why they hem and haw.

    • Barbara Delaney says:

      Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, reported an adjusted gross income of $407,009 in 2013, from which they contributed 5% to charity, or a total of $20,523, according to their 2013 income tax return.

      I don’t think it’s too far fetched to believe that Bernie and Jane gave far less to charity than the Bidens.

    • Theodora30 says:

      They are also probably worth more than they want to admit. Also Jane’s $200,000 severance packag after her disastrous leadership at Burlington College looks really bad – very similar to all those guys who screwed up the economy but got bonuses anyway.

  9. Peggy Deeslie says:

    Dear Prof. Johnston (Republican),
    Since you’re such an expert on taxes, an award winning “journalist” & a Republican to boot, why don’t you just hire a millennial to HACK into Bernie’s TurboTax account and get this information for you? Isn’t that the way of “DIRTY POLITICS” and journalism today? Perhaps, you even teach ETHICS IN JOURNALISM at Syracuse University as well. Do you seriously think if Bernie was trying to hide money, he wouldn’t hire a Jewish CPA or lawyer to do his taxes instead of burdening his wife with that job? Consider yourself busted and get off Jane’s back; hopefully, next year she’ll hire a CPA to do them for her unless you’re volunteering!

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      No Tootsie…Consider YOURSELF busted…Jane Sanders is a liar. And, no matter how much you Sugar Daddy Sanders suck ups try to state otherwise, Sanders cannot be president unless he does what every frontrunner has had to do…Show their damn tax records of their income. What in the hell is wrong with people like you?

      You are making rules so Sanders doesn’t have to obey what every other president has had to before he could swear an oath of his office?

      Next year isn’t good enough. The next president swears their oath of office on the third Monday in January and SHE will not have a problem with her tax records…Your kind have been on her back for the past 4 decades and know every detail..Time for the Chosen One to show his.

      • Peggy Deeslie says:

        I hesitate to reply to such an eloquent response, however…I will. It’s no wonder men react so negatively to Hillary when women, like yourself, are so militant and NASTY about it! I actually contributed to her campaign in 2008, however, from her position as SoS on, I have put her in the “war-monger” category and refuse to support another person such as this. I’m neither your “Tootsie” or any other name you choose to use. Frankly, you sound more like a Trump supporter & I’m truly surprised you can even read articles like this. [Notice I didn’t call you the “B word”]. I will not respond any further to you.

        • John Smith says:

          How exactly should a woman act when she insist that a double standard not apply.

          • Peggy Deeslie says:

            Hillary has been a public figure all her life, especially since Bill started campaigning for POTUS. The FBI is currently scrutinizing her, so don’t you think transparency in her case is mandatory for her own credibility (ie; CYA tactics)? I trust the information from Sen. Sanders will be totally revealed at the proper time & any “smear campaign” will be a dead issue. BOTH PARTIES need to address the issues, instead of spouses. Perhaps then, the mud-slinging will cease & common ground can be reached. We can only hope that this will be a wake-up call to the “New Revolution” in politics today.

          • Theodora30 says:

            The proper time for releasing tax records is when you ask voters to support you, not after many have already voted.

          • hatch99 says:

            Yet the voters have supported him for EIGHT WINS IN A ROW.

            I care far more about what Clinton told Goldman Sachs than what I’m certain are boring tax returns.

          • John Smith says:

            No double standard. He should be just as transparent.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Women like Peggy has NO existence without double standards they have accustomed themselves to. Most of the Sanders woman are like Jane Sanders…the women who whisper in their man’s ear and plant ideas. After all, by Sanders OWN statement, “Jane helped me write 55 pieces of legislation.”

            She sure did…and all she had to do was crook her pinky finger and he came a’runnin’.

        • Ray Jones says:

          What about the truth? You can’t stand on being the only honest presidential candidate in the race yet, appear to not be honest. There is something wrong with the Sanders actions.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          I hesitate to note you are probably not yet of an age where for 5 decades you paid your dues in the MAN’S world. I am nasty to anyone, man or woman, who expect another 8 more years of men squaring off in government with the sole purpose of taking more of MY tax dollars in their little boy fights.

          You fool no one Tootsie. Women like you love to sidle up to men in the hope they’ll let you get anywhere near that glass ceiling.

          Frankly, I’m a Hillary Supporter. I don’t need a Sugar Daddy like Sanders promising me the world. That’s the difference between Permenopausals between the ages of 50 to 60 who hang onto men for dear life because you are so MAN dependent. Some of us since the 1960s are the reason you have ANY rights. Get over it. You and Sanders’ superiority act is BS. Only a naive woman like you would actually think Sanders will see a single one of his policies come to fruition.

          • The lucky one says:

            So I see you have expanded your vitriolic bias to include women who don’t agree with you. You have become an equal opportunity hater. In all seriousness, please seek help.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Wrong…I deal fairly with anyone who thinks they are such geniuses and are anything but?

            Not a single one of any of your voluminous posts are facts you can prove in a court of law. So, basically, you expect to NEVER be disagreed with ..right little man? Very little man?

            And to what elevated level of royalty have you been granted with that particular BS honor? Get a life troll boy.

          • The lucky one says:

            Oh we going to court now EW to find out the “truth”? But aren’t you afraid we’d get a male judge and then you’d be screwed right from the start because men always take the man’s side right? Little man? Hahahaha You’ve never known a man. Your bigoted attitude towards men makes that impossible.

            BTW If it wasn’t for a man named Bill no one outside of Arkansas would have ever heard of Hilary.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            No moron. It means jerks like you have NO proof and if it came before the SC of the US, your lies and false accusations would be beyond doubt what they are BS.

            Why don’t you admit why you drink the Haterade over The Clintons? Did you wife get fed up with your womanizing and unlike Hillary dumped your ass? So now, you hate Bill Clinton because asshats like you men think she should have dumped him like you got dumped?

            Men like you hate hate hate hate when any of your gender gets away with what YOU YOU YOU were caught doing and didn’t get off scott free.

            But Let’s ask you oh Grand Pubbah of Upper Butt Crack..Are you more like that former Republican Speaker Hastert who hid for years his pedophilia? Or are you a Gingrichian who womanized your way through three or four marriages ..Maybe you are like that Republican Sen. who played with the Congressional pages like sex toys? Try again jerkbird…You are zero for zero.

            You right winger beak noses are sex addicts who can’t keep it in your pants. The Republican list of sex predators continues to grow.

          • The lucky one says:

            Well Ellie you’re the one that one brought sex into it and then couldn’t stop ranting about it. Get yourself a dildo and maybe you can lighten up a bit. You’re probably right about the Repubs. I don’t hate the Clintons and prefer them to Bush, Trump, Cruz or any of the repub elite. We know why Hilary stayed with Bill. He’s her ticket to the WH, maybe, as I said without Bill we would have never heard of Hilary.

            It’s laughable but also sad the way you accuse others of hating when the hate that streams form your keyboard would even embarrass Trump. OK maybe not. He seems immune to embarrassment.

            BTW, not that it’s any of your business but I’ve been married with no transgressions in 32 years. My wife is anything but the submissive kind that you assume women who stay with their man always are. I truly hope you can get a life before Hilary disappoints you. Of course that’s assuming you will admit it, that’s doubtful.

        • The lucky one says:

          If you bother to peruse EW’s other comments you’ll likely conclude as I have, that is mentally ill. If you were a man the insults would have been much worse.

    • davidcayjohnston says:

      Peggy D. I have never suggested Bernie us a tax cheat. See my April 1 column. The issues are about good governance, transparency, veracity Abd walking your talk.

      Abd do read my NY Daily News piece hat was favorable to Bernie on his economic policies.

      Journalists are supposed to hold public officials accountable as I have done fur nearly 50 years.

      • Peggy D. says:

        Prof. Johnston. I have just read the article you wrote as suggested above. I do apologize for any “cheap shots” taken re: your integrity as a journalist & scholar. I am currently watching the democratic debate & as I predicted, Bernie has promised “full disclosure” ASAP. I will continue to follow your writings and others who contribute to this news blog. Please continue to hold public officials accountable…it is essential in a world where secrecy, corruption & FEAR dominate.

  10. Barbara Delaney says:

    Jane Sanders also claimed that she never heard Paul Y. Song use the words “corporate whore” when introducing her husband. Jane Sanders claimed to have more money from donors at Burlington College than she actually had in order to secure a very large loan to purchase land. Ultimately her dishonesty was discovered. She was forced to resign but faced no legal consequences despite the seriousness of what she had done and the fact that the college nearly went under due to Jane’s malfeasance.

    She has a proven track record of financial dishonesty. And she prepared the couple’s taxes. Jane will not release the taxes and hope that after Bernie is defeated it will become a moot point.

    • Theodora30 says:

      And she as given a $200,000 severance package for helping bring that college to the edge of bankruptcy.
      The mainstream media is ignoring this issue. Apparently it doesn’t fit their storyline of Bernie as a straight shooter. Hillary is hounded about releasing the transcripts of her speeches, something that has never been done, but Benie gets a pass for not releasing his tax returns, something that is routinely done by candidates.

      • hatch99 says:

        Yeah she should have given a talk to Goldman Sachs for an hour for that $200K, that’s much better?

        Bernie is the one running for President and he has a consistent track record of not voting for the disastrous war in Iraq, for supporting LGBT rights and for advocating for fair taxes on the wealthy.

        I’m not gonna go on about what Clinton (the other one) did with interns, because it isn’t relevant. See what I did there?

        • bbbooey1 says:

          Hillary is former Secretary of State, US Senator, and First Lady. $200K+ is what you pay to have someone with those qualifications speak to your group. Sanders can’t hold a candle to Hillary, and he knows it.

        • Tony says:

          Hillary and her Husband created ‘family medical leave’ benefits for workers. That’s something that has helped me when I needed emergency surgeries like my appendix removal. I didn’t lose my income at work or get fired.
          ThIngs like that has helped poor and middle class families, especially single parents.
          Hillary was there for the sept 11th responders with healthcare issues.

          The Clinton Welfare programs has helped the poor tremendously (even tho lazy people took advantage of it)

          Hillary and her team jumped into action in Flint, MI and was praised by the mayor over the water crisis.

          The Clinton’s stepped in and helped the Hatians during the Earthquake.

          I know there is some rumors circulated about the handling of the foundation, but you know what…? They still helped those people down there!

          I honestly believe Bernie Sanders is on a suicide mission.

          It seems like he has a mega vendetta against rich people. I’m assuming resentment from years when he was a bum and living on the streets.
          The only reason he became a senator is because the NRA backed him in retaliation to rid the sitting senator in VT when that senator went against the NRA.

          I think Bernie wants to be Santa clause and give the poor everything and punish people that have money. I honestly think it’s personal. He wants the rich people to suffer like he did. It makes perfect sense.
          He wants to raise min wage from $7 to $15/hr??!
          A huge jump like That alone would probably have a negative impact on the job market that no analyst have yet to realize. Some already have mixed opinions. He’s gonna end up hurting the very same people he’s trying to help.

          Correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t that force employers to then target people with much more experience and education for positions making that kinda money vs someone who had less. After all, some of those experienced people were already making, lets say… $15/hr. So those people wouldn’t even see a pay hike up front…
          So you would then have the middle class competing with the poor and of course the middle class would win by style, education, demeanor, looks…

          Or, the middle class would start applying for the poor people’s jobs, like being a server or small office data entry job, and then what??? Wouldn’t the poor still lose out???

          I think Bernie is doing the ‘increasing min wage, free tuition, big savings in healthcare’ proposals are a combination of a bribery gimmick to get votes and to Punish wallstreet.

          I feel like he wants to create all of this chaos and then quietly pass away and leave us dealing with the war between the Rich and the Poor.

          His main campaign strategy is to attack Clinton on how much money she makes??!!!!

          Is he jealous???

          He should be talking what his strategy is on Syria and Afghanistan. Has anyone even heard him mention the word: Afghanistan? He’s going over seas to see the Pope, but he won’t visit the troops???? He Won’t even utter the word ‘troops’!

          Hillary’s Transcripts is the drive behind his campaign lately???
          Something’s wrong with this picture here! Im sorry but bashing and punishing Hillary by not voting for her because she makes too much money for speeches isn’t a reason to screw this country up years and decades to come! Yes, of course she’s kinda shady and greedy… But she has done good things for the middle class and the poor… She has truly foight and accomplished certain things for us…. That shouldn’t be ignored just because the woman gets $200k a speech. Per History, Hillary gets things DONE a lot more and Better compared to Bernie has. Bernie is good and analyzing and criticizing but he’s not good at immediate reactions and footwork in crisis. This world isn’t gonna sit still while Bernie maps out how he wants things to go and for him not to have back up plans to deal with when one sneeze blows his entire house of planned out cards down! Dreaming BIG is good, but dreaming and doing are two different things.

          Bernie makes reckless decisions even on common sense things such as:

          Opposing the auto bailout and putting hundred of thousands of workers at risk

          Opposing the 5 day waiting period in the gun laws originally

          Implying that he will cut of financial support for NATO if they contribute more money

          We need ideas that are good and sound, not just ‘sound good’.

    • CSG says:

      The author does state he has doubts about her veracity.

  11. Robert Atallo says:

    I also have been doing my taxes on TurboTax since 2007. They archive your returns automatically. I can retrieve any of my past tax returns since 2007 with a few keystrokes. There is nothing to “find.” So there’s obviously something going on here.

  12. Sherry says:

    Jane and Bernie are definitely hiding money and don’t want people to find out. After all his accusations of HRC taking money from Wall Street he’d look like the liar and fool that he is. I did see a donation list from donors and there weren’t millions of sm donations in fact less than 100 and a lot more than $27. One supporter tweeted that she has given him several donations one being $2500. Said she gave him part of her tutiton money.

    • davidcayjohnston says:

      Columnist here….
      Nothing in my two columns nor the record supports what Sherry wrote above. This is about judgment, veracity, lending (unintended) aid to those politicians who want to keep their tax returns secret and walking your talk., NOT hidden wealth.

    • anon1775 says:

      Are you trying to say that Sanders has less than 100 small-dollar donors?

  13. Vaughn A. Carney, J.D., 1971 says:

    It’s this kind of controversy that will be grist for the GOP smear machine. I’m not attacking Bernie at all; I’m a Vermonter who has voted for him in every election since 1994, and who helped raise major money for his first Senate run. I continue to ask how he and his supporters intend to deal with the borderline-defamatory Swiftboat lynch mob. I’m not hearing anything in the way of strategy. Look at what they did to John Kerry, a decorated veteran of Vietnam, in the names of two cowardly draft dodgers who ran and hid. His campaign was essentially destroyed within a month. Now what would they do with a candidate who filed for CO status during Vietnam as a pacifist, yet now wants to be Commander-in-Chief? It would be red meat for the the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathers who follow Trump and Cruz., and that’s BEFORE the commie-pinko-sociialist meme. If anyone has thoughts of the most effective way to deflect this horse-shit, I’m all ears.

  14. XanderDeWijs says:

    the most fucked up thing about this is that NO-ONE will hold Trump to the same standards, because we are used to him and Cruz being sneaky about this!!!!. We go: “Oh well, then” and we move on.

    That’s just sick and that is why we perhaps DESERVE A PRESIDENT TRUMP ….

    if only not perhap 100s of thousands would die, or if not millions would get hurt under him.

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