The President of the United States officially earns an annual salary of $400,000, and that amount has remained intact since 2001. Relatively speaking, that’s a lot for a US civil servant who, on average, makes less than $100,000 a year.
But considering that the President is generally regarded as the most important civil servant in the country, as made evident by the security he is afforded, then it’s understandable why he would make more than average.
In fact, there are a handful of federal employees, most of whom you probably never heard of, that actually get paid more than Joe Biden.
President Biden – coupled with his wife, First Lady Jill Biden – reported a gross income of $580,000 (rounded to the nearest thousand) in 2022. In the grand scheme of things, i.e. within the context of other celebrities and the type of lifestyles that most national presidents enjoy, that really doesn’t sound like a lot of money.
Indeed, based on the President’s salary, one may conclude that, from an income standpoint, you’d be better as the CEO of a corporation rather than President of the United States.
But Biden’s income doesn’t tell the full story. For instance, most US presidents are already rich and/or successful businessmen before taking office. Barack Obama, a career politician, is generally recognized as being one of the poorest US presidents, upon taking office, in recent history. But at that time, his net worth was still $1.3 million, which is what most people, including the majority of Americans, would consider as being rich.
Like Obama, Biden has also made a career out of politics and in fact had been in the game a lot longer than Barack before reaching presidential status. As such, he had a humble net worth of less than $30,000 – as Vice President being “the least wealthy” of those in the Obama administration – in 2009.
Obama used his political recognition to make additional millions in books, speaking engagements and things of the such, i.e. through his celebrity. Biden has used his standing as a powerful politician likewise but also, according to many reports, to generate income from business (side) deals.
It is that selfsame inclination that has had him in the hot seat throughout his presidency and more specifically when it comes to the related actions of his son, Hunter Biden, who’s seen as the ultimate bungling political nepo baby.
That said, there are other reports which argue that rather Biden’s newfound wealth is not a result of his celebrity or shrewd business transactions but rather real estate. In any event, it’s safe to say that being President of the United States is a title which by default affords one access to increased wealth.
It may be through book deals or business schemes or in some cases, even war. But presidents, regardless of what country you’re talking about, tend to come out of office richer than they went in, to the point that their finances often remain under scrutiny throughout their lives.
Also, as one site puts it, “being president of the United States comes with numerous perks, and the fringe benefits continue decades after”. That is to say that the President’s enviable, secure, well-traveled lifestyle is financed by taxpayers.
And after leaving office, Biden will still have access to many of those benefits, such as staffing allowances, healthcare, secret service protection, travel expenses, etc. besides an annual pension of approximately $220,000.
The President of the United States must personally pay for many of his own sundry expenses. But generally speaking, he’s one of the most catered to men on Earth. And logic would dictate that someone like Biden doesn’t really have to pay for anything if he doesn’t want to, since besides his lifestyle being funded by taxpayers, there’s always wealthy individuals and businesses trying to secure his favor.
So don’t let the $400,000 annual salary fool you. Joe Biden’s net worth, being roughly $30,000 when he became Vice President in 2009, now, after eight years as VP and almost four as President, stands at about $10 million.
So obviously, the reason he only reported about $600,000 in 2023 would be because his assets and wealth are structured in such a way that they cannot be taxed – another benefit of being President or at least someone who knows how to work the system.
So yes, there’s a part of me that’s thinking, ‘wow, $400k is a pretty low salary for the President of the United States’. But I know that Biden has and will continue to benefit from achieving that lofty standing.
Indeed, if he does proceed to once again run for President, as is appearing increasingly likely, undoubtedly one of the opposition talking points will be the ways Biden has controversially used his time in the White House to generate wealth for himself and his family.