This post has been updated.
Not having money seems to be the thing to talk about lately if you're a politician.
A few weeks after Hillary Rodham Clinton said she and Bill Clinton were "dead broke" after leaving the White House (an argument that, as our colleague Philip Rucker explains, is now undercut by Clinton's current wealth), Vice President Biden jumped into the fray.
Biden told the White House's Working Summit on Working Families that he was the "poorest man in Congress," and that while he makes "a lot of money" as vice president, he doesn't have the trappings of wealth — or the savings safety net — of others who are well-off.
"Don't hold against me that I don't own — that I don't own a single stock or bond. Don't hold it — I have no savings accounts. But I got a great pension, and I got a good salary," Biden said.
Biden said he wore a "mildly expensive suit" Monday morning and that he is extremely fortunate compared to others he grew up with in Scranton, Pa. "Sometimes we talk about this stuff, about struggle. My struggle, my God, compared to where I grew up and the way people are trying to go through things now — but here's the point I want to make," Biden said. "I've been really, really fortunate."
According to his 2013 tax returns, Biden and his wife, Jill, a community college professor, reported an adjusted gross income of $407,099. And a closer look at his financial disclosure forms show that he does, in fact, have some money stocked away in savings and investments —but all the accounts are reported to have less than $15,000 in them.
Biden had joked about his financial status during the 2008 election, when a report showed him to be the second-poorest member of Congress. While in Congress, he commuted by Amtrak to Washington from his home in Delaware each day.
"I make a good salary, although I am listed as the second-poorest man in this Congress," Biden said in September 2008. "I’m not proud of it. I’m not proud of it. But that’s what happens when you get elected when you're 29 years old."