Sen. Cory Booker Is Leading All Democratic Presidential Hopefuls in This Category, and It's a Good Look for Him

Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

The race to become the Democratic nominee could come down to which candidate is willing to use his or her influence to push Netflix prices back down to a reasonable amount so that Netflix and Chill doesn’t become “Netflix and can I get five bucks on this Netflix fee?”

The field is already packed and most, if not all of the candidates, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, bring something unique to the table. (I know people think I hate Sanders; I don’t but I’m going to be critical of all candidates who sit in front of a room full of black women and are ill prepared as if they’ve taken their vote as a gimme.)

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But there is one area where Sen. Cory Booker is already leading the pack, and not only is this a good look for him, he’s proving himself to be a candidate who walks it like he talks it.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey senator released 10 years of his tax returns. What it shows is that Booker made $152,639 (his U.S. Senate salary), paid $22,781 in federal taxes (a 19% tax rate), and donated a whopping $24,000 to charity, crushing all Democratic candidates in an area where compassion can be measured in money.

According to Insider, Booker’s “charitable-donation amount is a little more than 15% of his 2018 income, making him the Democratic candidate who gave the largest percentage of their salary to charity, out of those who have released tax returns.”

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Here’s how he stacks up with other Democrats vying for the White House, according to calculations from The Washington Post:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife gave 3.4% of their $566,000 income.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband gave about 1.4% of their $1.9 million income.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her husband gave 5.5% of their $906,000 income.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her husband gave less than 2% of their $338,500 income.
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and her husband also gave less than 2% of their $215,000 income.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state and his wife gave about 4% of their $203,000 income.
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and his wife gave 0.3% of their $370,412 income in 2017 (the most recent year released).
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We can safely assume that Booker’s percentage also beats president Trump’s charitable donations, unless you consider throwing the world’s deadliest helicopter mom Betsy DeVos the Secretary of Education job as charity. We’d know definitively if the president wasn’t pushing so hard to keep his tax returns from the public. CNN reports that Booker has given some $460,000 to charities over the past 10 years.

Don’t get it twisted. It’s not like Booker is struggling financially since the majority of his income doesn’t come from his senator salary. Booker stays booked and busy earning some “$2 million in public speaking fees from 2009 to 2014 and $987,077 in royalties from 2015 to 2017,” Politico reports.

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Now, if Booker can see about getting those Netflix fees down, he’ll be well on his way to securing the nomination.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.