Bernie Sanders often brags about being a working class socialist. However he owns some pretty nice property for a guy who has criticized millionaires and billionaires his entire career. Sanders use to bash millionaire but now that he is one he chooses to bash billionaires.
‘You missed that I work in Washington, house one,’ responded Sanders. ‘I live in Burlington, house two. And like thousands of other Vermonters, I do have a summer camp. Forgive me for that. Where is your home, which tax haven do you live in?’
Sanders, who has taken the lead in the recent national polls in the race, has had to defend his health, his ability to beat President Trump in November and now his estimated net worth of $2.5 million.
Although Sanders wants to put hefty taxes on the wealthy, his homes, which combined are worth close to $2 million according to Zillow, are far more than the working people he champions could ever afford.
He owns a main residence in Burlington, Vermont, a one bedroom pied-à-terre in Washington, D.C. that’s just a half-mile walk from the Capitol Building and he most recently plopped down $575,000 in cash for a lakefront cabin complete with a guest cottage in North Hero Island, Vermont in the summer of 2016.
Purchased in 2009 for $405,000, Sanders’ main home in Vermont has four bedrooms and is now worth around $464,000 – which is 50 percent higher than the median listing price of other homes in the area.
Sanders’ one-bedroom apartment in the capital is his most expensive residence and is estimated to be worth around $700,000.
But it is Sanders’ summer retreat that is threatening to become an issue that could haunt him in his second bid to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency.
Although the 99-year-old wooden camp house on an island in the middle of Lake Champlain is nondescript compared to many of its neighbors, it’s the way Sanders and his second wife Jane bought the home that has ignited controversy.
They scooped up the property soon after Burlington College — where Jane was a former president — was forced to close due to debts. Students were so upset they held a mock funeral, carrying a coffin through the streets of Vermont’s largest town where Bernie first made a name for himself as a four-term mayor in the 1980s.
The alternative college’s money problems had begun when Jane was the driving force behind a deal to pay $10 million for a stretch of prime real estate in Burlington to give the college its first campus.
Just a year after that 2010 deal, she was axed by the college and received a $200,000 ‘golden parachute,’ according to The New York Times,which revived the controversy over the college in a front page story.
‘There is little question that the college’s 2016 demise can be traced to Ms. Sanders’s decision to champion an aggressive — critics say reckless — plan to buy the land,’ the Times reported.
Federal officials investigated the college’s finances, but no charges were ever filed.
Bernie and Jane bought the lake house in cash two months after the college closed its doors for good, records show. It is listed in town records as being owned by ‘Islands Trust,’ with an address at the couple’s home in Burlington.
The couple say they paid for the four-bedroom home with the proceeds from the sale of her late parents’ Long Lake home in Bridgton, Maine.
But records discovered by VTDigger showed she had to split the money with two brothers and received only $150,000 for that house.
‘My family had a lake home in Maine since 1900, but we hadn’t had the time to go there in recent years — especially since my parents passed away,’ Jane told the Vermont website, Seven Days.
‘We finally let go of it and that enabled us to buy a place in the islands — something I’ve always hoped for,’ she said.
Sanders has built his political reputation attacking ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ but has made a small fortune from his successful 2016 book Our Revolution.
His Congressional financial disclosure released in May showed he was firmly in the nation’s 1 percent, earning nearly $1.06 million in 2017 — the second year in a row he had topped the million mark. More than 80 percent of his earnings came from his book.
To join the top 1 percent, a person has to earn around $390,000.
When questioned about his seven-figure earnings during a CNN town hall in April he was unapologetic, saying: ‘I plead guilty to have written a book which was an international best-seller, OK?
‘When you write a book that makes it to the top of the New York Times best-seller list, you make money. And I made money.
I suspect that in a couple of years my salary will go back to $173,000, which is what a member of Congress gets,’ he added, eliciting laughter as he seemed to be admitting he wasn’t going to win the presidency which pays $400,000 a year.