Joe Biden releases his tax return, American tradition broken by Trump

Sylvie Claire / April 17, 2024

US President Joe Biden released his tax return on Monday, an American tradition of transparency at the top of government that had been temporarily interrupted under his predecessor in the White House, billionaire tycoon Donald Trump.
  
An annual custom, this non-mandatory practice is intended to maintain citizens' confidence in their political leaders. Other political figures also engage in this practice, as do candidates in local and national elections.
   
According to their statement, the Biden couple earned $619,976 in 2023, most of which came from the president's $400,000 salary and his wife Jill Biden's $85,985 compensation for her teaching job in Virginia, near the capital Washington.
 
These revenues are up on previous years: almost $580,000 in 2022 and around $610,000 in 2021.
 
"President Biden believes that all tenants of the Oval Office must be open and honest with the American people," the White House said in a statement. "The long tradition of releasing presidential tax returns annually must continue uninterrupted," it added, a thinly veiled reference to the Trump era.
  
Because this year, the release of the Biden couple's statement comes just a few months before the November presidential election pitting the current Democratic president against Republican Donald Trump.
  
A famous businessman and media mogul before becoming the idol of the American right, Donald Trump chose not to follow the tradition of transparency maintained by other presidents, Democrats and Republicans alike.
 
Several of his statements were finally released after a battle led by the Democrats in Congress. And it emerged that, for several years, Donald Trump had paid virtually no income tax, due to his business losses.
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