On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated that taking more than half of someone’s income through taxes is “absolutely” fair for some earners.
Host Bill Maher asked, “I hear you all the time say, the rich don’t pay their fair share. Now, maybe that’s true of those three guys you mentioned [Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos], they are pretty rich. But, I guess I’m not very rich, but I pay more than half. California is 13.3% and the federal is 37% for people who make over 250k…and then there [are] the state and local and property taxes. So, I don’t remember the last year I paid less than…and again, I’m philosophically kind of with you. I’ve always said wealth is a fluke. So, I don’t ever go like, oh, I deserve all this. I did work hard, but it is kind of a fluke what we reward to make someone — so, philosophically, I get it. I’m okay with giving back. But the government is taking more than half and you want more?”
Sanders responded, “Well, it depends on your income level. Yeah, if you are Bezos –.”
Maher then cut in to ask, “More than half?”
Sanders answered, “Yeah, absolutely more than — look, the rich are getting richer. What’s happening to the working class in this country? What’s going on right now — and this is quite incredible in the richest country in the history of the world — over 60% of our people today are living paycheck-to-paycheck. We’ve got a healthcare system which everybody knows is broken, only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people, 85 million people uninsured or underinsured. You’ve got a childcare system which is an absolute disgrace. You’ve got 45 million people having student debt. You have 30,000 people in this city alone, Los Angeles, sleeping out on the streets.”
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