Joe Biden Charges Rent To Secret Service Bodyguards

Robert Jonathan

Vice President Joe Biden has another job on the side: Landlord.

You might even say it's a "cottage industry."

Joe Biden makes his taxpayer-funded Secret Service protection detail pay him $26,400 a year so the agents can live in the cottage next to his home in Delaware. Second in line to the presidency, Biden by law receives around-the-clock protection from the agency.

This rental arrangement with the Secret Service came to light in Biden's newly released 2012 tax return. "So the agents could be close at hand for his own safety's sake, Biden generously offered to charge his bodyguards only $2,200 a month. He said that's the same rent as the previous tenant." Biden became the Secret Service landlord through what apparently amounts to a no-bid contract, making him technically a federal contractor/vendor.

Citizens Against Government Waste spokeswoman Leslie Paige had this to say about the Biden-Secret Service rental contract: "But this arrangement seems bizarre to me. You'd think the vice president, who shepherded the deficit committee, would think twice about charging the Secret Service rent. Why would he need the money? I don't get it."

The Secret Service did not comment on whether this arrangement is unusual. A Secret Service official merely said that "It's a rental property so we pay rent there." The same official added that "Having our command post in close proximity to the vice president's residence affords us a level of security that we wouldn't have otherwise."

Biden's tax return also revealed that he and his wife gave a mere 1.87 percent of their $385,000 income (or about seven grand) to charity, which included donated property. In the run-up to the 2008 presidential campaign, tax disclosure forms indicated that Biden made charitable contributions of less than $400 a year in the previous decade.

Do you think VP Joe Biden should charge his bodyguards (i.e., the US taxpayer) rent?