Biden Reports Sharply Reduced Income Since Running for President


(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden’s income dropped at least 80% since he began his presidential run.

The former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, disclosed earnings of no more than $924,000 over the last 17 months, according to a personal financial disclosure filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.

The couple reported earning $4.6 million to the Internal Revenue Service in 2018.

Biden, whose modest wealth while he served in the Senate and as Barack Obama’s vice president earned him the nickname “Middle Class Joe,” had two lucrative years in 2017 and 2018 in between leaving the White House and running for president. Yet his biggest asset before announcing his candidacy, a company that booked his speaking and writing engagements, dropped in value from a low of $1 million in July of last year to no more than $500,000 this year.

Candidates report the amount of their assets and income in broad ranges.

Presidential candidates have to provide detailed disclosures of their holdings, their sources of income and business arrangements that they, their spouses and their dependent children have on May 15, the same date disclosures are due for members of Congress and executive branch officials.

The White House Counsel’s office granted President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence 45-day extensions to file their forms. Their disclosures are due on June 29, and will be made public by the Office of Government Ethics.

Biden’s income included $451,223 in speaking fees he received before entering the 2020 race, including events at Brown University and the Theatre at Grand Prairie in Dallas. He was also paid $135,116 by the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a professor on the presidency until taking unpaid leave shortly before he began his campaign in 2019.

The couple’s income in the years before he became a candidate was bolstered by payments for memoirs each wrote as well as speaking engagements. They earned $11.6 million in 2017, his first year out of office, according to tax returns his campaign released.

In their latest disclosure, the Bidens reported assets ranging between $1.5 million and $3.2 million, with the biggest portion of that in cash, split between six different institutions. They also had modest holdings in mutual funds worth between $26,000 and $215,000.

Federal law doesn’t require candidates to disclose all assets. For example, residential real estate does not have to be listed. But property held solely for investment or that earns income, including rental properties, does have to be listed.

Biden accumulated most of his assets after his term as vice president ended in January 2017. He disclosed holdings between $303,000 and $1 million at the end of 2016, with liabilities between $560,000 and $1.2 million.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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