While the topic of Joe Biden's financial assets is hardly as controversial as that of Donald Trump, on Tuesday it was revealed that the Democratic presidential front-runner and his wife Jill earned more than $15 million during the past two years - when they left the White House, - with the bulk of their income coming from payments for the memoirs they’ve each written since the former vice president left office in January 2017. The couple’s total income in 2017 was $11 million and nearly $4.6 million in 2018, according to filed tax returns.
Biden's campaign said that the vast majority of that income ($10,048,739 in 2017 and $3,236,764 in 2018) was derived from payments for the writing of two books: Joe's “Promise Me, Dad” and Jill's “Where the Light Enters,” as well as paid speaking engagements. Biden’s first book, an account of his son Beau’s death from cancer, topped bestseller lists in 2017.
Additionally, Joe Biden’s income in both years included about $400,000 from the University of Pennsylvania for his role as Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor, while Jill Biden took in a far lower $90,000 each year for her professorship at Northern Virginia Community College.
Biden’s financial disclosure also lists 47 speaking appearances; 30 were for his 2017 book “Promise Me, Dad.“
The couple's earnings from the books and speaking engagements were paid through so-called S-Corporations, which the campaign described as “a common method for taxpayers who have outside sources of income to consolidate their earnings and expenses.” The campaign also said Joe and Jill Biden employed staff and engaged contractors to support their work through their S-Corporations, known as “CelticCapri” and “Giacoppa”, according to Fox News.
Biden, who was never one of the wealthier members of Congress during his decades as a senator, has seen his fortunes turn considerably since the end of Obama administration. During a four-decade political career, Biden brought home little more than his government salary.
Yet despite the turn in his fortune and his generous income in the past two years, the couple's assets are materially smaller, and excluding retirement plans, the Bidens hold between $500,000 and $1.2 million in cash and have S-corpoprations with between $1 million and $5 million, and $500,000 and $1 million.
The leading Democrat in the 2020 presidential race, who has now made public the last 21 years of tax returns, has moved into a $5 million mansion outside Washington since he left the White House.
“Middle-Class Joe” more recently has resided in a 12,000-square-foot home in McLean, Va., that came complete with “five bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, marble fireplaces, a gym and a sauna,” The Washington Post reported last month. The home was rented from multi-millionaire Mark Ein.