- Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, former second lady Jill Biden, reported earning over $16 million since leaving the White House, according to new 2019 tax returns released on Tuesday.
- The couple reported earning $11 million immediately after leaving the White House in 2017, $4.5 million in 2018, and over $944,000 in 2019.
- Their tax returns showed they paid over $5.5 million in federal taxes between those three years.
- Their main sources of income were from book deals they signed after leaving the White House and dozens of speaking engagements, with Joe Biden regularly charging six figures for a single speech.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, former second lady Jill Biden, reported earning over $16.5 million in total since leaving the White House, according to new 2019 tax returns filed on Tuesday.
Both the Bidens and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff released their 2019 tax returns ahead of the first presidential debate between Biden and President Donald Trump set to take place on Tuesday night in Ohio.
The Bidens reported earning over $944,000 in taxable income, paid a little over $346,000 in taxes, and received a refund of nearly $47,000 in 2019, their returns show.
The debate also comes after The New York Times published their first installments of reporting on Trump tax returns they obtained, highly sought-after documents that Trump has refused to voluntarily disclose. The Times revealed that Trump paid no income tax in ten of the fifteen years between 2000 and 2015, and paid just $750 in income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.
Harris and Emhoff, a prominent entertainment lawyer, jointly reported over $3 million in taxable income and paying $1.18 in taxes in 2019, including payments of $732,000 in taxes throughout the year, their returns show.
The new tax returns, combined with previously released tax returns and financial disclosures made public in 2019, show that since 2017, both Bidens signed lucrative book deals. Joe Biden earned anywhere from $8,000 to $90,000 for book-tour stops to promote his 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” and continued to earn royalties from his New York Times bestselling 2008 book, “Promises to Keep.”
The couple reported earning $11 million immediately after leaving the White House in 2017, $4.5 million in 2018, and over $944,000 in 2019, when Biden was running in the Democratic presidential primary for most of the year. Their tax returns showed they paid $5.5 million in federal taxes between those three years, NBC reported.
In addition to a position at the University of Pennsylvania that paid over $400,000 over the course of several years, Biden regularly brought in six figures from a single paid speech, earning between $66,000 and $182,679 per speech for 18 speeches he gave in 2017 and 2018.
According to an in-depth June 2019 report from The Washington Post, Biden’s contracts for speaking engagements often included allocations for travel to allow Biden to fly on a private plane and be driven by a private driver in a town car, and required his dressing rooms to be stocked with coffee, Coca-Cola, and a full-length mirror.
Jill Biden’s disclosures released in 2019 showed she earned $90,000 a year for her position teaching English at Northern Virginia Community College, in addition to royalties from her 2012 children’s book, “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” and an advance for her memoir, “Where the Light Enters,” which was released in May 2019.
Jill Biden also reported income from 17 speaking engagements in 2017 and 2018, earning between $25,000 and $46,000 per speech.
The Bidens’ 2019 financial forms said they hold assets between $2.2 and $8 million, a significant increase over the assets they reported before leaving the White House in 2017, which they listed as being worth $330,000 and $1 million.
For decades, Biden was nicknamed “Middle-Class Joe,” and he drew on his humble roots from growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a working-class city, to connect with blue-collar voters and form connections with organized labor in his home state of Delaware and nationwide.
“If I heard one more thing about the scrappy kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and carrying a lunch bucket — I never carried a lunch bucket, but I guess I’m the middle-class guy. By the way, I’m proud of that. I’m proud of that,” Biden said at a 2009 event, according to The Post.
But since leaving the White House, Biden has capitalized on his nearly 50 years in public life. According to The Post, they own two homes in Delaware, acquiring a beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, worth $2.7 million in 2017.
As of 2019, they also rented a sprawling 12,000-square-foot estate with a sauna, gym, and enough parking for 20 cars in McLean, Virginia, across the river from Washington, DC, with Zillow estimating the property’s monthly rent to be $20,000.
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