The Supreme Court delivered a split verdict Thursday on subpoenas for President Trump‘s tax returns that could allow the financial records to remain shielded from the public until after the November election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, was quick to reignite his criticism of Trump for fighting to keep his tax returns, banking and other financial documents private.
“You want to talk about corruption? I’ve released 21 years of my tax returns — I entered as one of the poorest men in Congress, left one of the poorest men in government in Congress and as vice president,” Biden said in a video from October that he tweeted out again on Thursday.
Last July, in the midst of the Democratic primary, Biden’s campaign released three years of income tax returns starting with 2016, his last year in office, and running through 2018. He had previously released his returns from earlier years.
The documents show that Biden, who frequently used to refer to himself as “Middle-Class Joe,” enjoyed a stream of wealth once leaving office, making millions of dollars mainly from lucrative book deals.
Here are three main takeaways from Biden’s tax returns.
- He made the bulk of his money after he left the White House: Biden’s federal tax return for 2016 shows his adjusted gross income was close to $400,000 in his last year in office. His 2017 tax return shows his income soared to more than $11 million; in 2018, he earned about $4.6 million.
- The spike in wealth was largely attributed to sales of his 2017 book: “Promise Me, Dad,” a best-selling book about the final year of his son Beau’s life, came out in November 2017, almost two years after Beau died. Biden also made 47 paid speaking engagements from January 2017 through the end of May 2019, a majority of which were for the book tour. In total, he received about $4.29 million in fees from those speeches.
- As Biden earned more money, he paid a higher effective tax rate: Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, had effective tax rates of 23.5 percent, 33.9 percent and 33.4 percent for 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. They donated to charity 1.5 percent of their adjusted gross income in 2016, 9.2 percent in 2017 and 6 percent in 2018.