Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Joe Biden = horrible at money management?

EDIT I forgot to note a few points

1 Biden as an American Baby Boomer ("40s baby" in rap slang terms)

has had an AWESOME stock market & real estate market return from the 1970s to 2000s. Most generations in Americans history have never had this type of return. All younger people alive today from the "1960s to the 2000s babies" will probably never see this return in their lifetime either.

This just makes Biden's inability to stack 150K on a great salary, look even poorer.

2 Biden's implication that "he's only been a senator" as if this is a crap thankless job, is extremely Out of Touch (c) Hall & Oates, with the American public. Almost all "real American people" I know, myself included, would love to have $165K jobs, with 6-yr at a time job security. It is true that many, perhaps most US Senators, cash-in after they leave the Senate to become lobbyists or C-level execs somewhere, & probably make way more $165K. It's honorable that Biden has declined his probable chances to do this. But OTOH to imply that a $165K job is a crap non-elite job is way out of touch with REALITY.

I watched the Jul-23 Youtube Democratic Pres debate.

There was a question of "would you be willing to work as the President (or Senator/Governor/etc) for the minimum wage (just raised to $5.85/hr).

Sen Joe Biden said he didn't have money, in fact a net worth of 70-150K. He said since he's been in public service his whole life, being a US Senator since age 30, he hasn't had a chance to make much money.

I found out that a US Senator makes $165K/yr. That doesn't include additional sources of income such as speaking fees, writing books. Also, the knowledge & exposure to ideas & people, & networking via being a US Senator, would seem to increase one's investment ability. I say this even if one is totally ethical. For instance, one learns about a new trend or industry, & make an investment per this general knowledge. Also the best financial advisers might even offer to be your advisor for cheap, for the prestige factor of being able to claim a US Senator as a client.

But forget about these secondary sources. The salary alone $165K, is way more than most 30-yr olds make. I would guess in 2007 that far less than 1% of 30 yr olds are making $165K.

Biden is 64. What if back when he started at age 30, the inflation-adjusted pay was not equivalent to $165K. Well I would say that even 1 Senate term of 6 years of making $165K in the 2000s should be enough to have a net worth of over 150K.

Wiki says Biden won all his Senate reelection campaigns easily, so I don't see an "excuse" of Biden using his own money for his campaign. The only politicians I know of that fund their own campaign are billionaires anyways.

The only "excuse" I can think of, is that if there was a family emergency situation that nearly bankrupted him. For instance, a life-or-death health crisis that insurance didn't cover ala the movie Sicko. Other examples could be paying the bail for a family member to get out of jail, or being the victim of a fraud.

I doubt Biden has such an "excuse". If he doesn't, I'd hesitate to ever approve of Biden as a candidate. If you are a Senator for 34 years & can't stack more than 150K, you are poor at money management. If you can't adequately manage money at a family level (eg 5 people), I strongly doubt you can do it at a National level (eg 300 M people).


I Fux said...

Real Talk this dude sounds like a mothafucking idiot. I know all these dudes are slime balls taking money from whomever to help said company's best interest and bottom line. I would say if he had 4 wives and 10 kids and all kinds of divorces maybe but even then he should have had a better sense to stack his chips and how to flip his money for him. I think once you hit the 150k a year level income some of that money has go to go to investments or side hustles all legal of course.

Anonymous said...

Senator Biden lost his wife and daughter in a horrible automobile crash caused by a drunk driver. His two toddler sons (age 4 and 2) were seriously injured and spent a considerable amount of time in traction in the hospital and needed extensive rehabilitaion. Biden was sworn in as a U.S. Senator in his son's hospitial room. Tell me that wouldn't cost a bundle.

From the first day serving in the Senate he has commuted home to Delaware 2 hours each way by public train to be there for his family. His house almost burned to the ground, he suffered two nearly fatal aneurisms and spent 8 months in the hospital. Also, he helped all three of his children pay for college. His wife is a community college teacher.

These are fine, fine people who have sacricied their lives in public service. I find the fact that I am worth more than Joe humbling.

It appears you have just read about real life experiences and tragedy, otherwise you wouldn't be waxing, not so eloquently, about something you obviously know nothing about.

As hard as it is to believe, and you're not alone, there are still good people out there. Joe's not a politician or rockstar, he's a statesman. Think about the differnce.

If you're interested in learning more: go to

elgringocolombiano said...

@Anonymous, I will forgive your ad-hominem attacks about my life experiences or writing skills. Also, as a hobby blogger who quickly writes posts as when I have time to do so, I do not necessarily try to write at a world-class journalist level.

If you comprehended/read my blog post, I specifically said that a valid "excuse" might be a medical emergency.

Perhaps you could include the link to an news article specifying how medical or fire emergencies nearly bankrupted him. Also, as a US Senator, didn't Biden have insurance to protect against these catastrophes?

Again, Biden's family finances, which would otherwise be none of my business, are the Amercian public business. I think it's a fair statement that if someone MIGHT BE INCOMPETENT at family money mgt, they might also be poor at National money management.

Again, if my conclusion is wrong, pls explain it with REASON/LOGIC/EVIDENCE, not ad hominem attacks. I have no claim that my conclusions are always correct. If I am wrong, & you explain why, I will congratulate you.

elgringocolombiano said...

Fux, to be clear, I am not making any opinion on Biden's ethics. Biden might be very ethical. I don't know, because I don't follow politics at that detailed level. A guru like Truth Hunter @
follows US politics much closer than me, & for a much longer time.

My point is that it seems that barring uninsurable catastrophes, Biden only having a net worth of 70-150K after 34 years of a job that's prolly in the top 1% of American jobs in pay, is a sign of bad family money mgt. And that if one can't financially manage a family competently, how could they do so for a huge Nation.

Truth Hunter said...

elgringocolombiano....Let me say up front, that I think Joe Biden is a sterling fellow even though his bank account may not be.... I'll try to give you my reasons for this opinion.

On a recent trip to Des Moines he admitted he had not thought as much about how (money) to secure the presidency as what he wanted to accomplish as president. Refreshing. He vows to fix that.

Insofar as salaries are concerned, there are several reasons why he hasn’t amassed the usual fortune in his 35 years in the Senate.

First of all, salaries haven't always been $165,200. When he joined the Senate in 1972, the salary for a Senator was $42,500 and remained so until 1975 when it went up to $57,500. Although it increased over the years, it didn’t reach the $100,000 mark until 1991 and then increased gradually to the current $165,200.

In addition to his salary, he teaches constitutional law at Widener University School of Law as an adjunct professor, probably not much money to be made there. His wife is a teacher.

What you may not know about him, because he doesn’t use it like the Edwards and Gore, for example, is his personal history.

Right after he was elected in 1972, his family was in a car accident, his wife and infant daughter were killed, and his two young sons very seriously injured. In fact, he was sworn into office at their bedside. He wanted to resign but was implored not to, so he commuted the nearly two hours daily between D.C. and Wilmington to be with his sons.

An experience like that is life-changing, a getting-priorities-in order experience. I think if it ever did, making money no longer motivated him.

He also had a brush with death, two brain aneurysms that hospitalized him for over half a year. This was right after he dropped out of his last bid for president.

He has been in the forefront, the champion actually, of legislation for battered women, and more than once has chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and served on the Judiciary Committee.

I truly do think he is one of the best, and for the best of reasons. If he isn't a good money manager, I would trust him to find the very best person for that job.

Although I don't agree with his take on everything, I do think he is exceptionally qualified to be president, and especially to unravel the mess that Bush has made of Iraq and many other things.

I hope you give Biden another look. I could be wrong, but I think he's heads and shoulders above the pack.

I would be interested to hear your further thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

RE: Medical bills. Don't senators receive Federal Employee Health Benefits?

Anonymous said...

Liberals respect Biden for working even though his wife and daughter were killed and his two sons were hurt so bad Biden had to be sworn into the Senate from his son's hospital beds.

Yet, those same liberals smear Palin for accepting the VP bid and choosing to work because she has a special needs child.

If Biden has had two brain aneurysms that hospitalized him for over half a year - any attack on McCain's health or age issues should be off the table. Perhaps it puts Obama's judgment back in question - why would Obama pick a health-risk Biden over a healthy working-machine like HRC?