Joe Biden’s father might be disappointed in his son’s budget

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
Font Size:

If Joe Biden’s late father took a look at his son’s personal budget, he would probably be disappointed.

In North Carolina Monday, Biden invoked the wisdom his father imparted to him to knock Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s budget plan.

“My dad used to have another saying, for real,” Biden said.

“And, by the way, I’ve been saying this for 30 years. And I’m glad to see that Congressman Ryan likes his dad, too, and quotes his dad. I mean that sincerely. But my dad [had] a lot of wisdom. Every time someone tells you, say, ‘Look, let me tell you what’s important to me, what I value.’ My dad would go, ‘No, no. Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value.'”

Biden was suggesting that Paul Ryan’s House budget plan demonstrated that the Republican ticket didn’t have wholesome values. But Biden the elder was likely referring to people’s individual budgets — not a national budget plan. And Papa Biden’s test would demonstrate that his son’s values don’t include much compassion for the most needy Americans.

According to the vice president’s 2011 personal tax returns, Joe Biden and his wife Jill earned $379,035. Of that hefty sum, the two contributed a paltry $5,540 to charity, or less than 2 percent of their income.

By comparison, Mitt Romney and his wife Ann donated $7 million to charity, or roughly 16.4% of their income, over a two year period, according to their 2010 tax returns and the estimate for their 2011 taxes. President Obama and first lady Michelle donated $172,130 to charity, or 22% of their adjusted gross income, according to their 2011 tax returns.

Ryan, who was only added to the GOP ticket Saturday, has yet to release any of his tax returns.

Follow Jamie on Twitter