Joe Biden made $15.6 million in the two years after he left office, largely through speaking fees and book profits, tax returns the former vice president’s campaign released Tuesday show.
Biden’s campaign released his 2016, 2017 and 2018 federal and state tax returns, showing he and his wife Jill made $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million in 2018. He also filed a financial disclosure that details individual payments for speeches the two gave.
The documents released Tuesday offered a comprehensive view of Biden’s finances since he left office in January 2017. He has now released more than two decades of tax returns – including 10 years’ worth as a candidate in 2008 and those from his time as vice president.
The Bidens paid 33.9% of their adjusted gross income in federal income taxes, for a total of $3.7 million, in 2017, and 33.4%, or $1.5 million, in 2018. They gave $1 million to charity in 2017 – 9% of their income that year – and $276,000, or 6% of their income, in 2018.
Biden spent 44 years – starting at age 30 – in the federal government, first as a six-term senator and then as former President Barack Obama’s vice president. During his time in office, financial disclosures often showed that Biden was among the Senate’s least wealthy members. On the campaign trail, he has described himself as “Middle Class Joe.”
But that middle-class reality quickly changed for Biden once he and his wife signed a deal for Joe Biden’s book “Promise Me, Dad” and Jill Biden’s “Where the Light Enters.” Joe Biden is also expected to write another book under the three-book deal with Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers.
Those books, and paid speeches connected to them, made up $13.3 million of the couple’s income in 2017 and 2018.
After leaving office, Biden gave 49 paid speeches – 30 of which were part of the book tour for “Promise Me, Dad.”
Those 30 paid speeches as part of the book tour paid Biden a total of $1.8 million. They typically ranged from $40,000 to $65,000. The lowest was for $8,040, at the Miami Book Fair in November 2017. The highest was a 2017 “VIP Experience” for $234,820.
Biden’s 19 other speaking engagements, many at universities, ranged between $66,000 and $190,000 each, and totaled $2.4 million between 2017 and January 2019.
About $500,000 per year combined came through their teaching positions: Jill Biden as a professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and Joe Biden at the University of Pennsylvania.