Biden and wife made more than US$15m after leaving office |
WASHINGTON, July 10 — Former US Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, earned more than US$15 million (RM62 million) in the two years after Biden left government in early 2017, according to tax records released by his campaign yesterday.
The majority of their income came from speaking engagements and payments for two books written by Biden, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The former US senator from Delaware served as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years, leaving office in January 2017 after the election of Republican President Donald Trump.
According to federal and state tax returns, the Bidens earned about US$11 million in 2017 and US$4.58 million in 2018. About US$13.2 million of that was attributable to book payments.
Biden earned more than US$775,000 in salary as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 and 2018.
The Biden campaign released a financial disclosure form mandated for presidential candidates, which provided details of his speaking engagements and book events from January 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019.
The form shows that Biden, who likes to refer to himself as “Middle-Class Joe” on the campaign trail, was regularly paid a six-figure fee for speaking events, many at private universities such as Drew University, where he was paid US$190,000, and Vanderbilt University, where he received US$180,000.
Last October, Biden received US$182,679 for speaking to the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan. In that speech, Biden drew flak from some Democrats for praising Republican US Representative Fred Upton shortly before the 2018 congressional elections.
Most of Biden’s book events and speaking events took place at theaters and auditoriums, but two events were handled through Creative Artists Agency’s Premium Experience — which specialises in “corporate hospitality” events. For a CAA book tour event in 2017, Biden was paid US$234,000.
The campaign did not provide any detailed information about Biden’s speaking engagements in 2017.
According to the couple’s tax returns, they paid US$3.7 million in federal taxes in 2017 and donated about US$1 million to charity. In 2018, they paid US$1.5 million in federal taxes and donated about US$275,000 to charity. — Reuters