‘Working Class’ Joe Biden is Really a Multi-Millionaire – And It’s Because of Capitalism: Many liberals will be quick to point out how socialism exists in our society – suggesting that everything from social security to unemployment insurance is rooted in socialism. There are posts on social media that further use a 1952 quote from President Harry Truman that socialism is rooted in public utilities, bank deposit insurance, and that it is “almost anything that helps all the people.”
This is far from accurate, of course.
As Investopedia noted, “A Social Security check is not completely a socialist program. If it were a pure socialist program, the amount that every individual contributed to it would be the same and the amount of the benefits received (paid out) by each individual would be the same. This is not the case.”
It is also important to note that the capitalist system has certainly benefited many who have “served” in public office – and that certainly includes “man of the people,” Joe Biden. After half a century in public office, President Joe Biden is worth an estimated $9 million according to Forbes. Much of his fortune was made after he served as vice president – earning the bulk of his net worth in the four years he spent out of office (2017-2021).
Poorest Member of Congress?
In fact, while a U.S. Senator, Joe Biden often referred to himself as “one of the poorest members” of Congress – but in the decade before he was vice president, he still earned around $155,000 a year as a U.S. senator, and had a side teaching job at Widener University that paid around $20,000 annually.
Dr. Jill Biden earned another $60,000 a year as an English professor at Delaware Technical Community College. As a married couple, the Biden’s made around $235,000.
That’s not millionaire-level money by any means, but it certainly put “Working Class Joe” in the top one percent of U.S. earners.
And let’s not forget the 2005 book deal that paid another $81,250 – while in 2007, the Bidens declared $71,000 in royalties, followed by nearly $10,000 a year later for the audiobook rights.
As vice president, Joe Biden was paid $225,000 a year – and for eight years, also had a taxpayer-funded house to live in. During that time, Jill Biden saw a pay increase when she taught at Northern Virginia Community College, which paid her an average $83,000 a year.
But let’s back up.
Even one of the poorest members of congress was still paid $42,500 back in 1973 according to the U.S. Senate’s historical records. As Joe Biden would say, “let me repeat that,” back in 1973, Biden took in $42,500 annually. According to the most recent estimates of the Bureau of the Census, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Social and Economics Statistics Administration, the median income of all families in the United States that year was $12,050 in 1973.
In other words, even as one of the poorest members of congress, Biden was making more than three times the median income of all U.S. households.
Joe Biden Wasn’t That Wealthy
There have been reports that Biden’s net worth as recently as November 2009 was less than $30,000. It is hard to reconcile those numbers, but maybe Joe Biden splurged for the good ice cream.
Yet, it is important to note that just a decade later, the Bidens were worth far more – earning more than $15 million in 2017 and 2018. The bulk of the money came from book deals, while the Bidens earned sizeable income from speaking engagements. Biden addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and Harvard University in 2017 and was the featured speaker at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in 2018. All those gigs paid upwards of $100,000.
That’s the capitalist system at work. Joe Biden was in demand, people wanted to hear him speak (without buying an Amtrak ticket, apparently), and they wanted to read what the then-former vice president had to say.
This is true of many politicians.
Book deals have long been a golden ticket to the big leagues, so kudos to Joe and Jill Biden for being able to reap the rewards of the capitalist system.
But it wasn’t just the books. As The New York Post reported, “In 2017, Biden was paid $540,484 for his role at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement — the D.C.-based think tank where classified documents were found in November — and as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.”
It remains unclear exactly what Joe Biden did at the think tank. Clearly, it’s good work if you can get it.
Once again, kudos to Millionaire Joe, but it’s time to drop the working-class act.
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.