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CAMPAIGN '08: RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

Bidens release financial records

They seek to pressure Sarah Palin to do the same; she plans to, but she has set no date.

September 13, 2008|From the Associated Press

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife released a decade of their personal financial records Friday, showing that the longtime senator 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 Senate income and $71,000 in royalties for his book, "Promises to Keep."

Jill Biden earned $66,546 from teaching English at Delaware Technical and Community College.

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

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

The tax return shows that the Bidens paid the alternative minimum tax, which 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."

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% in the $100,000-to-$200,000 income bracket fell under it, as did 74% in the $200,000-to-$500,000 income range that year.

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

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