Former Vice President Joe Biden released his tax returns on Tuesday revealing a $15 million spike in income since leaving office in 2016, primarily thanks to book sales and speaking fees.
The Democratic frontrunner, who repeatedly refers to himself as "Middle Class Joe" and stresses his middle class origins, benefited from an extensive list of speaking events, many of which occurred during Biden's book tour for his 2017 memoir, "Promise Me, Dad."
Biden's income, along with his wife Jill's, totaled around $390,000 by the end of the Obama Administration. In the 2018 calendar year, his tax return reported an adjusted gross income of almost $4.6 million, a step down from 2017‘s $11 million.
Biden made two investments in second and third homes since leaving office, purchasing a $2.7 million vacation house on the coast of Delaware and renting a 12,000 square foot five bedroom, ten bathroom home in McLean, Virginia.
The three other leading Democratic 2020 candidates also boast impressive net wealth: Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) reported between $4.9 and $11 million, Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) reported between $1.9 and $6 million, and Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) recently admitted that he is a millionaire.
While Biden is not alone in his wealth, his enormous income from speaking fees since leaving office is noteworthy. He charged as much $234,000 for a VIP appearance during his book tour in 2017. By comparison, presidential candidate Cory Booker (D., N.J.) made $1.7 million over a five-year period in speaking fees.
During the 2016 election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton came under fire for her high speaking fees and numerous speeches given after leaving her post as secretary of state in the Obama administration.
In a statement accompanying the disclosure, the Biden campaign touted the fact that Biden "has now made public the last 21 years of tax returns — more than any other candidate currently running for president," according to the Los Angeles Times.