Saturday, September 13, 2008

Biden Releases Tax Records To Pressure Palin

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and his wife Jill laugh as they are introduced at the Pennsylvania delegation breakfast Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008 on the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Biden is the running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife on Friday released a decade of their personal financial records, showing a veteran U.S. senator who earned less than many of his congressional colleagues.

The Bidens' move is designed to pressure Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin to release her financial records. An aide to GOP presidential nominee John McCain said the campaign would release the documents but gave no indication when that would happen.

Joe and Jill Biden earned $319,853 in 2007. Joe Biden reported $161,708 in income from the U.S. Senate and another $71,000 in royalties for his book, "Promises to Keep."

Jill Biden earned $66,546 at her job at Delaware Technical and Community College, where she teaches English.

The couple paid $42,516 in federal taxes and another $10,912 in Delaware state taxes in 2007.

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The Bidens also paid household employee taxes of $772. A campaign spokesman said that was for a housekeeper who visits the family's Wilmington, Del., home and does not live there.

The tax return shows that the Bidens paid the alternative minimum tax that the senator has argued should be changed "so millions of middle-income Americans are not hurt by a tax intended to make sure the wealthiest pay their share." Biden and his wife claimed an income of $280,146 last year under that provision, and paid $66,273 in income taxes.

The alternative minimum tax was established in 1969 in essence to limit the deductions that the richest Americans could take, ensuring that they would pay at least some tax. But because it was never adjusted for inflation, more and more taxpayers are getting swept in.

In the 2006 tax year, a few taxpayers with incomes as low as $40,000 were affected by the alternative minimum tax, according to figures kept by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. About 10 percent in the $100,000 to $200,000 income bracket fell under it, and 74 percent in the $200,000 to $500,000 income range had to pay it that year.

Biden, who underwent brain surgery for a life-threatening aneurysm in 1988, has yet to release his medical records.

Biden already had released a summary of his personal finances per U.S. Senate rules. In June of this year, he reported assets between $59,000 and $366,000; Senate rules allow for broad reporting windows.

Unlike Republican John McCain, the Bidens file their taxes jointly. McCain's tax returns showed a total income of $405,409 in 2007.

According to her 2006 tax returns, Cindy McCain had a total income of $6 million. Her wealth is estimated by some at $100 million, based on her late father's Arizona beer distributorship. She has not released her 2007 returns, which she files separately from her husband.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported making $4.2 million in 2007 mostly due to recent book sales.
Associated Press Writer Sharon Theimer in Washington contributed to this report.

Source: Yahoo.Com

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