Back in July, Vice President and possible future presidential candidate Joe Biden joked about being the "poorest man in Congress" during a White House summit on working families. And although Biden isn't exactly hurting for spare change, his claim isn't inaccurate. So, just what is Joe Biden's net worth? It definitely falls on the lower end of the scale when compared to other members of the government.
Many speculated that Biden may have joked about his net worth in July to start drawing a sharp contrast between him and Hillary Clinton, whose net worth is estimated to be in the range of $15 million or more, according to The Washington Post. Biden makes $230,700 as the vice president, and his estimated net worth is between $39,000 to $800,000, according to ABC News. The median net worth for a member of Congress was $442,000 in 2012.
Despite what may seem like meager earnings for Biden — at least in comparison to the Clintons — The Washington Post notes that he isn't just scraping by. The Post showed that most of the Bidens' debt is in real estate, but Biden's salary helps put a considerable dent in that amount. On their 2014 income tax forms, the Bidens reported $407,009 in taxable income for the year. The two paid $96,378 in taxes — 23.7 percent of their joint income and 41.8 percent of Biden's $230,700 salary, according to the Post.
Biden was humble when talking about his earnings at the summit on working families. He said, when looking at him from a third-person perspective, someone might see that he has a "mildly expensive suit on," and that he must make a good amount of money as vice president, which is true, according to ABC News:
I don't own a single stock or bond. ... I have no savings accounts, but I got a great pension and I got a good salary. I've been really, really fortunate.
Biden hasn't specifically discussed any potential solutions he has for helping working families, but he has encouraged employers to phase in more paid leave programs and longer paid leave, according to The Washington Times:
It's about creating policies that allow your worker to balance family and work. If you give it a shot, I think you'll find the return is overwhelming.
A Biden presidential bid could be difficult at this point in the race. MSNBC notes that Biden would have to be able to gather together a coalition big enough and strong enough to take on Clinton's campaign. Polls show that Clinton has a loyal following and that she's still leading across the Democratic ideologue spectrum, according to MSNBC. But, given Biden's recent comments about his wealth, a smaller campaign could be used as yet another defining line between him and Clinton.