Bernie Sanders paid 13.4% federal income tax on over $200k income last year

As you file your taxes today, ponder how Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane want income taxes to go up on higher-income folks but managed to pay only a 13.4% effective rate on over two hundred grand of income, according to the 2014 tax returns he released Friday.

You can inspect the first pages of the return here.  Here is the income portion:

Notice that he and his wife pulled in a cool $46,213 in Social Security payments.  And only $39,281 of it was taxable.  All perfectly legal, but how does Sanders square earning six figures and not really needing Social Security with his political principles?

What really bumps the taxable income downward are the itemized deductions of $56,377, including $9,666 in state income taxes and $14,843 in real estate taxes.  Housing them in style also resulted in $22,946 in mortgage interest deductions – something unavailable to renters.

The most curious deduction: $8,946 in unreimbursed employee meals and entertainment expenses.

Note also that there was outrage over Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate of 14-15%, but Bernie is paying even less.