Fact Check: Joe Biden Falsely Claims He's Never Made More than $400,000 a Year
CLAIM: Joe Biden — who fancies himself as “Middle Class Joe” and “Lunch Bucket Joe” — has never made more than $400,000 a year.
VERDICT: FALSE. Previous establishment media reporting debunks Biden’s claim before a group of steelworkers in Detroit.
Sitting with four steelworkers in the Motor City on Wednesday, Joe Biden touted his tax plan, saying, “Every single thing I talk about, I pay for, by making sure, for the first time, the wealthy begin to pay what they should be paying. We’re not going to punish anybody. No one making under $400,000, which is more money than I’ve ever made, is going to have to pay more taxes.” (emphasis added)
But numerous reports over the last several years indicate he’s made significantly more than $400,000 per year.
In 2019, the Wall Street Journalreported the Bidens made a stunning $15.6 million in the first two years after leaving the White House in a book deal, speaking fees and other income.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden earned $15.6 million in the two years after he left the Obama administration, according to newly released financial documents. The former vice president, who has built his nearly five-decade political career as an advocate for middle-class families, made millions of dollars through paid speaking engagements, sales of his 2017 book and his role as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Biden’s book deal was worth $8 million, and a company owned by the Bidens took in a total of $12.2 million over the two years, Forbes.
While Biden was vice president, he and Second Lady Jill made $3.1 million during their eight years in office, or an average of $387,500 per year.
Joe Biden made $1.8 million off speaking engagements related to the book, another Forbes report said.
The Washington Post noted Biden pocketed $3.1 million in speaking fees.
The Post found at least 65 instances in which Biden gave a speech or appeared at a book event; in at least 10 instances he did not take a fee, although in some of those cases he was reimbursed for travel expenses. Biden’s campaign said he has given less than 50 paid speeches, but it declined to be more specific about how many he delivered or how much he earned in total.
Biden raked in $200,000 per speech in some instances — half of what he claimed he’s never made.
The University of Pennsylvania paid Biden a whopping $775,000 “to lead the Penn Biden Center For Diplomacy And Global Engagement as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Professor Of Practice,” Forbesreported.
About a year ago, the magazine estimated the Bidens are worth $9 million.
Biden’s claim is false and appears to be made to identify with the steelworkers.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.