Bernie Sanders earned $205,000 in 2014

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Earlier today I noted that someone who earns $200,000 pays an average federal income tax rate of 15 percent. Well, it turns out that Bernie Sanders is really, really average. He released his 2014 tax return tonight, and it reports that he had an adjusted gross income of $205,617 and total taxes due of $27,653. That’s 13 percent of his income.

Oddly, his return shows total wages of $156,441, even though US senators earn a minimum of $174,000. I’m not sure what the explanation for this is. He also shows charitable contributions of $8,350, which is 4 percent of his income. He’ll get some flak for that, I suppose, but I find all the showiness of politicians about their charitable donations to be tiresome. Whatever it is, it’s fine.

I just want to know why his reported wages were less than his official salary. Does the Senate pay less if you collect Social Security benefits?

UPDATE: In comments, machev suggests that Bernie contributes $17,500 to the federal equivalent of a 401(k). So his reportable income is $174K – $17.5K = $156.5K

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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