Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Landlord Biden

The Veep is charging Secret Service agents rent to protect him at his home in Delaware. Why? And why isn't there more news stories on this?

Landlord Biden

Maybe I'm a tad over-sensitive these days about how our government spends our money with 14.1 million people unemployed and with so many folks who still have jobs fearful of losing them even as they take pay and benefit cuts.

But news that Vice President Joe Biden charges rent for Secret Service agents assigned to protect him at his home in Delaware really gets me growling.

The Veep, whose annual pay is $230,700 and whose 2010 tax returns are reported to show overall income of nearly $380,000 for himself and his wife, Jill, is collecting rent of $2,200 a month so agents can stay in a cottage on his property.

Really? He needs the extra income? It isn't enough we pay who knows how much to protect, transport, feed and house him 24/7? He's second in command of the nation, and a landlord?

Ironically, he's also chairman of the administration's Middle Class Task Force, described as a "major White House initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle class families in America."

Maybe his task force will recommend that we all rent some part of any property we might own to federal employees. I'm betting lots of middle class families, hell, lots of Americans, could raise their living standards with an extra $2,200 a-month.

The other thing that galls me about this story is the lack of play it's getting. I haven't seen it anywhere except last night on Comedy Central TV's "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart (I actually thought it was a joke at first) and in a fine column in today's Delaware News Journal by Adam Taylor.

Can you imagine the play a story like this would get if it involved, say, Sarah Palin or John Boehner?

Wrong is wrong. I don't care what political party or political person it is. Biden should be grateful for the perks, pay and protection American taxpayers provide him -- not trying to cash in further by collecting rent from those employed to keep him safe.

Oh, and GRRRR!! 

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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