Financial Records Show Joe Biden Earned Over $15 Million Since Leaving Office In 2017
According to financial documents released by his campaign last week, former vice president Joe Biden earned over $15 million in the two years since he left office in 2017, making him the second-richest Democratic candidate in the packed primary field.
Biden reported a gross income of roughly $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million in 2018. It appears that Biden has cashed out on his celebrity since he served as vice president, as the majority of his new wealth has come from book deals and speaking engagements. The politician and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, signed a three-book deal with Flatiron Books in 2017 reportedly worth $8 million. The couple then promptly bought a six-bedroom vacation house in Delaware worth $2.7 million. The presidential candidate also made use of his stardom in various paid speaking engagements, receiving honoraries of hundreds of thousands of dollars for most events.
In 2016 Biden reported a gross income of $396,456, a combination of Biden’s government salary and pension as well as his wife’s income as a community college professor and social security benefits.
Biden’s new wealthy status may harm his presidential campaign as many Democrats are becoming averse to moneyed individuals who they see as “out of touch” with the average person. Especially in a political climate wracked by income inequality, being a rich, old, white man may not win Biden the support of many voters.
The former vice president continues to paint himself as “middle-class Joe,” despite his ascension into millionaire status. “Ordinary middle-class Americans built America,” Biden said during last month’s debate. “My dad used to have an expression — he said, ‘Joe, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck; it’s about your dignity, it’s about respect, it’s being able to look your kid in the eye and say everything’s going to be O.K.’”
New billionaire contender Tom Steyer aside, several other top Democratic candidates are also very wealthy. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), a proponent of anti-trust legislation and an opponent of income inequality, reported a net income between $4.9 million and $11 million; Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) is somewhere in the range of $1.9 to $6 million; and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), the self-labeled socialist, acknowledged in April that he was a millionaire.