Whether it be for his controversies or recently announced 2020 presidential bid, Joe Biden has certainly been the center of news attention recently.
The former vice president just announced he is seeking the 2020 presidential nomination, but his moniker of “Middle Class Joe” may not be exactly apt. In fact, the 76-year-old politician and lawyer has multi-million dollar properties and charges ample fees for speaking engagements and the like.
Still, his total net worth trails that of other politicians in the spotlight.
So, what is Joe Biden’s net worth?
Joe Biden’s Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Joe Biden’s net worth is $1.5 million. His salary as vice president was $230,000, and some reports suggest his pension is worth $248,000 per year. In addition, Biden is reported to make an estimated $100,000 per speaking engagement.
In addition to his pensions and former salaries, Biden reportedly signed a book deal with Flatiron Books to the tune of $8 million.
And while Biden’s net worth may not compare to the likes of the president or even fellow politician Bernie Sanders, it doesn’t necessarily validate him for his self-proclaimed title as “the poorest man in Congress.”
Biden has even talked humbly about his earnings in the past.
“I don’t own a single stock or bond. … I have no savings accounts, but I got a great pension and I got a good salary. I’ve been really, really fortunate,” Biden reportedly told the White House’s Working Summit on Working Families, according to a 2014 Washington Post report.
However, even some on Biden’s party lines have criticized the politician’s earnings from various engagements. And they’ve certainly been vocal about it.
“Joe Biden is the opposite of an outsider and the opposite of someone who will challenge big corporate and moneyed elites on many, many fronts,” Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told Politico.
Still, while Biden’s net worth might be smaller than others on Capitol Hill, how did he rise to prominence? And how has he made his money?
Joe Biden’s Career
Biden hails from Scranton, Penn., where he grew up, in addition to New Castle County, Delaware. The former vice president attended the University of Delaware in 1965 for his undergraduate degree and received a law degree from Syracuse University in New York in 1968. Biden married Neilia Hunter in 1966 and the pair had three children.
Biden was elected to the Senate from the state of Delaware in 1972 when he was only 29 years old – making him the fifth-youngest senator in history. While in the Senate, Biden served on several boards including as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, merely a month into his term, Biden’s wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. Despite the tragedy, Biden went on to serve six terms – the longest of any Delaware senator.
The former vice president’s policies largely focused on drug policy, foreign affairs and criminal justice – as well as violence against women. In 1990, Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the Senate. Biden has been vocal about his support of tax reform to help middle class Americans, as well as his help in passing the Affordable Care Act.
Biden started a bid for the presidency in 1988, but pulled out of the running when parts of his campaign speech were discovered to have been plagiarized from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.
Biden’s second attempt at the Oval Office was slightly more successful when he joined Barack Obama on the 2008 Democratic ticket as Obama’s running mate. After Biden resigned from his position in the Senate, the pair went on to serve as president and vice president for eight years.
During his time as vice president, Biden aided Obama in many critical policy decisions, including helping shape U.S.-Iraq policy and, notably, helping pass the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Obama and Biden developed a very public friendship, culminating in Obama giving Biden a rare Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017 before the pair left office.
But despite his status, the former vice president and senator seem to have gained somewhat of an “average Joe” reputation on Capitol Hill.
Biden has appeared to embrace his unofficial title of “Middle-Class Joe.”
“I know I’m called Middle-Class Joe. It’s not meant to be a compliment. It means I’m not sophisticated. But I know what made this country what it is: ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” Biden said in Kentucky last year.
But, how does Biden spend his money?
How Does Joe Biden Spend His Money?
Well, certainly not on his campaigns.
Biden is reportedly not spending any of his own money on his campaign. However, according to recent reports, the 2020 presidential candidate is set to receive donations from a network of donors, including those connected with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Still, Biden does reportedly spend some cash on real estate – he reportedly owns a $2.7 million vacation home on the Delaware seashore.
Joe Biden’s Taxes
The former vice president has been very vocal about tax policy, most notably President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Biden claimed the act “…favors – overwhelmingly favors – investors over workers,” Biden said. “It’s riddled with unproductive expenditures.”
But, apart from his stance on taxes, what are Biden’s personal taxes like?
According to his most recent public tax return in 2015, Biden filed a joint tax return with his second wife Jill Biden, reporting a total adjusted gross income of $392,233 under a 23.3% tax rate, totaling some $91,546 in total federal tax.
Biden has yet to release recent tax returns, unlike many of his fellow presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and other candidates, who all have released 2018 tax returns.
Joe Biden Controversy
Although the former vice president has been involved in a controversy or two, Biden is currently facing backlash over allegations that he inappropriately touched a number of women.
According to the most recent reports in the New York Times, Biden allegedly inappropriately touched Caitlyn Caruso and D.J. Hill, making both women uncomfortable.
But although the controversy certainly got the public’s attention, recent polls in New Hampshire and Iowa indicate that Biden’s popularity is due in large part to women in those areas, according to USA Today. Additionally, female voters seem relatively unfazed by the scandal, according to a Quinnipiac poll surveying voters in California, which found that “67% of women voters said the issue of Biden’s inappropriate touching is “not serious” to them and still believe he is the best chance to beat Donald Trump,” reports USA Today.
Still, fellow democratic candidate Kristen Gillibrand expressed her concerns over the incident in regard to Biden’s then-prospective (now confirmed) run for president.
In addition to recent allegations, Biden has faced other controversies further back in his past.
In 1988 during a bid for the Democratic nomination for president, Biden dropped out due to a plagiarism scandal over his campaign speech. The former vice president chalked it up as “Stupid. My mistake. Born out of ignorance, thinking I didn’t have to prepare,” he said in an interview with ABC News.
Biden is also facing new backlash over previous comments that many suggest were racist. According to Business Insider, Biden’s new 2020 presidential bid is bringing up his past questionable conduct, including a stance he voiced in the 1970s against busing – or, the practice of integrating black and white students in the same schools.
“Biden’s opposition to busing was largely a response to the sentiments of his white constituents. You can certainly say that he capitulated to his anti-busing constituents,” Jason Sokol, an expert on the topic and associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, told INSIDER in February. “But it’s up to you whether you want to characterize those as ‘racist sentiments.'”
Still, the biggest news on Biden is his 2020 presidential announcement.
2020 Presidential Run
Biden announced his official campaign for the 2020 presidential nomination on Thursday, according to The New York Times.
The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy…everything that has made America — America –is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020 https://t.co/jzaQbyTEz3
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2019
In his announcement, Biden admonishes the American people to vote for the “core values” of America.
“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time,” Biden says. “But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Still, not one to turn down the opportunity to tweet, President Trump responded with a snarky new nickname for the newly-announced presidential candidate.
Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty – you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2019
Biden reportedly announced his campaign with $0 so far, evidently planning to raise the funds for his campaign through outside donors. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, allies to Biden can donate up to $2,800 per election for the primary.
Additionally, the former vice president to Obama has strong ties to the Obama fundraising base, some of whom are reportedly hosting a May 8 fundraiser in Los Angeles.
Biden also held a conference call with donors and supporters on Wednesday, prefacing his official announcement on Thursday.
“The money’s important. We’re going to be judged by what we can do in the first 24 hours, the first week,” Biden told the group on the conference call, according to Politico.