President vs. Vice-President: Who Makes More?

The President of the United States is the highest paid position of any elected official in America. Despite the standardized annual salary, Presidents throughout history have reported a wide range of net worths. The highest net worth for any President was also the most recent. Donald Trump has a reported net worth of over $2.5 billion, making him the richest President in history. On the other side of the spectrum, Harry Truman is thought to be the poorest President in history, with a net worth well below 1 million, with some even estimating closer to $100,000. While some presidents have chosen to keep their tax returns private, both President Biden and Vice President Harris released their 2020 tax forms this year. When tallying up their annual incomes, Kamala made an adjusted gross income of $1,695,225 with her husband. Joe Biden reportedly made $607,336. This is one of the first instances where the Vice President reported an income greater than that of the president.

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While 2020 may have been an exceptional year for the Harris family, another measurable statistic to gauge the wealth of both political figures is their overall net worth. Fortune reported that Kamala Harris retains a net worth of over $6.8 million. Joe Biden has an estimated net worth of $9 million. In annual salary, Harris earned more than President Biden. But when it comes to overall net worth, the President still remains on top.

Annual Salaries of President and Vice President

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The title of President of the United States is one of the most prestigious proper nouns in American History. And while it becomes the duty of the individual to serve the people, defend the country, and control the largest and most powerful military the world has ever scene, it is still a job. Like most jobs, it comes with a salary. The annual salary for being President of the United States is $400,000. And while there are other benefits related to security and travel, the modest payment is on occasion declined by the individual taking the job. Donald Trump was the first president to decline an annual income in nearly half a century. He isn’t the only President to make the decision though. John F. Kennedy gave his salary to charity while serving, Herbert Hoover also split the salary between several charities.

Joe Biden has agreed to accept the $400,000 salary as President. The annual income also includes $50,000 in expenses related to the “discharge of his official duties”. For Biden, this income is significant. He was often referred to prior to his presidency as the “poorest man in congress”. His previous net worth in 2006 was only $12,492.

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President Biden was elected as one of the youngest senators in history, earning the position at just 29 years old. When he first started the position, his annual income was reported at just $42,500. He remained in the senate until 2009, which by then, he had increased his yearly income to $169,300.

During his time as Vice President under Barack Obama, Biden made an annual salary of $225,000 a year. Harris will be making a slightly higher version of the annual salary while holding the same position. She is expected to receive the same salary as her predecessor Mike Pence at $235,100.

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After Biden left his first stint at the White House, he took a job at the University of Pennsylvania where he taught as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor where he made an estimated $900,000. Since his role as Vice President, both he and his wife Jill Biden have diversified their investments in property, book deals, and financial accounts that have accumulated in over $15 million.

Tax Returns

Contrary to several previous presidents, Joe Biden has been open and public with his tax returns, releasing statements over the course of the past 22 years. Kamala Harris has followed his lead and released 15 years of her tax returns to the public. Both disclose a variety of information about each politician and allows for curious critics to examine their investments to better gauge their interests.

Joe Biden’s Tax Returns

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Joe Biden’s tax returns reveal a variety of information about the President. During 2020, he reported an annual income of $607,336, a drop in income from his 2019 report. It also showed that Biden paid approximately 25% in federal income tax, resulting in $157,414.

Biden also donated an estimated $30,704 to ten different charities. The largest gift was a $10,000 donation to the Beau Biden Foundation, a non profit named in memoriam of the President’s late son. In a separate document related to the President’s financial holdings, his estimated assets included somewhere between $1.2 million and $2.88 million.

Kamala Harris’ Tax Returns

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At a sum much higher than that of the President, Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff reported an annual income of $1,695,225, over double of what the Biden’s made in 2020. A majority of the annual income reported was from her husband Doug Emhoff’s salary as a lawyer. He served as a partner at DLA Piper but announced he would be taking time off from the firm after his wife’s election. They paid an estimated 36.7% in income tax, resulting in $621,893. The Harris family paid more in taxes than the reported cumulative annual income of the Biden family.

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The Harris family also donated $27,000 to charity in 2020. She was also paid a sizeable sum for her book and accompanying children’s book which was released in January of 2019. She reported over $400,000 in expenses for the project which earned an estimated $730,000. When regarding assets, the Harris family announced they had somewhere between $2.2 million and $5.4 million split across several bank accounts, mutual funds, retirement plans, and her husbands stake in the Venable company.

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Sources: TheHill, UPI, BusinessInsider, Bloomberg, YahooNews, MSN, IBTimes, LATimes, CNBC, MarieClaire, Heavy, Politifact, TheBalance, ThoughtCo, FoxNews, NetWorthPost, PoliticED, ABCNews, Fortune, BallotPedia, StyleCaster, Inquirer, HuffPost

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