Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who recently released his tax returns revealing that he is a millionaire, is still receiving a pension from his time serving as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Sanders served as the city’s mayor for eight years.
According to his tax return, in 2018 Sanders received $5,241 from his Burlington gig.
Sanders receives a salary of $174,000 a year as a Senator.
Public disclosure records show that Sanders, who began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991 and in the Senate in 2007, has received nearly $62,000 in Burlington pension payouts since 2005. One of the co-chairs of the Sanders campaign, Rep. Ro Khanna of California, once blasted then-incumbent Rep. Mike Honda for receiving multiple government pensions while serving in Congress.
Khanna used his opposition in a bid to unseat Honda, also a California Democrat, in 2014, which failed. But Khanna did win the 2016 election, the same year he endorsed Sanders for president, CNBC reported.
The public records show that since 2005, Sanders has received almost $62,000 from his mayoral pension, CNBC reported.
CNBC reported that “double-dipping” is not illegal and that, “a National Journal study in 2013 found that nearly 20 percent of members have drawn government pensions while serving in the Senate or the House, for a total haul of more than $3.6 million in such pensions in the prior year.”
“David Sirota, a senior aide to Sanders, told CNBC when asked for comment, ‘Like other past Burlington mayors, Senator Sanders receives a municipal pension for his service as mayor of Burlington.’”
CNBC also reached out to Steve Ellis, executive vice president of the non-profit federal budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
“The optics of it aren’t very good,” Ellis said. “Just from a political standpoint. Why take the heat over five grand?”
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