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Biden's Tax Returns Show Modest Wealth

(This post was written by CBS News' Ryan Corsaro and Brian Montopoli.)

The Obama campaign released 10 years of Sen. Joe Biden's tax returns today. You can see them here. As the returns show, Biden makes a relatively modest income compared to his Senate colleagues.

There are a few reasons for this: Neither Biden nor his wife, Jill, with whom he filed jointly, have enormous personal wealth. Jill is a teacher – not a high-paying job. And Biden has been in the Senate for almost his entire working career, unlike many of his colleagues who have worked in the private sector for a larger paycheck.

Joint income between Biden and his wife Jill rose from $215,000 to $249,000 between 1998 and 2006. These numbers reflect the total of Joe Biden's Senate salary, his Widener University School of Law teaching salary, and Jill Biden's teaching salary.

The Bidens give little to charity. 2007, in which they donated $995, was their most generous year, though in other years Biden donated honoraria from talk shows which were valued at higher amounts.

The Bidens make almost no money each year from dividends or interest. They deduct only state/local taxes, mortgage interest and what he donates to charity. 2003 was the last year they claimed a dependent child -- their daughter, Ashley.

Under the Obama tax plan, Biden's taxes would go up because of his tax bracket. To see how, check out the CBS Evening News video on how the Obama and McCain tax plans differ here.

As Politico notes, the release of Biden's tax returns is at least in part a move to pressure GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to do the same; Palin has faced some questions about her personal income after reports that she billed the state for nights she spent at home. Republicans, meanwhile, are agitating for Biden to release past earmark requests.

Here's a breakdown on the numbers from CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris:

1998
Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $215,432 ($136,700 - Joe Biden's Senate salary, $17,800 - Joe Biden's teaching job, according to previously released financial disclosure forms)
  • Alternative Minimum Tax: $0
  • Deductions: $20,195 in state/local/real estate taxes; $52,065 home mortgage interest from Sun National Bank, Wilmington, Del.; $195 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $4,604 from various sources, the two largest being the U.S. Treasury ($3,220) and the State of Delaware ($1,100)

    1999
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $210,797 ($49,769 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $136,700 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $0
  • Deductions: $14,764 in state/local/real estate taxes; $35,875 home mortgage interest; $120 "Gifts to Charity"
    (According to his financial disclosure form filed with the Senate, he also donated $2,000 in speaking honoraria to charity)

    2000
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $219,953 ($141,300 - Joe Biden's Senate salary, $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job, according to previously released financial disclosure forms)
  • AMT: $0
  • Deductions: $15,085 in state/local/real estate taxes; $38,123 home mortgage interest; $360 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Capital Gains: -$1 (sold 8 shares of Compaq for $214, cost basis of $215)
    (According to his financial disclosure form filed with the Senate, he also donated $2,000 in speaking honoraria to charity)

    2001
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $220,712 ($145,100 - Joe Biden's Senate salary, $19,133 - Joe Biden's teaching job, according to previously released financial disclosure forms)
  • AMT: $0
  • Deductions: $15,574 in state/local/real estate taxes; $38,753 home mortgage interest; $360 "Gifts to Charity"

    2002
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $227,811 ($58,124 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $21,867 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $147,534 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $0
  • Deductions: $16,044 in state/local/real estate taxes; $37,373 home mortgage interest; $260 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $30 from various sources

    2003
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $231,375 ($58,672 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $151,964 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $0
  • Deductions: $16,834 in state/local/real estate taxes; $39,790 home mortgage interest; $260 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $21 from various sources
    (According to his financial disclosure form filed with the Senate, he also donated $800 in honoraria from Bill Maher's show to charity)

    2004
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $234,271 ($58,078 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $155,165 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $0
  • Deductions: $17,333 in state/local/real estate taxes; $32,036 home mortgage interest; $380 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $129 from various sources
    (According to his financial disclosure form filed with the Senate, he also donated $1,000 in honoraria from Turner Classic Movies show to charity)

    2005
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $321,379 ($81,250 from "Sterling Lord Literistics"; $60,509 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $159,031 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $1,299
  • Deductions: $23,573 in state/local/real estate taxes; $35,629 home mortgage interest; $380 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $89 from various sources

    2006
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $248,459 ($66,204 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $161,675 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $1,158
  • Deductions: $21,790 in state/local/real estate taxes; $38,724 home mortgage interest; $380 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $80 from various sources
    (According to his financial disclosure form filed with the Senate, he also donated $800 in honoraria from Bill Maher's show to charity)

    2007
    Joseph R. and Jill T. Biden joint tax return

  • Total income: $319,853 ($71,000 income from royalties from his book; $66,546 - Jill Biden's teaching job; $20,500 - Joe Biden's teaching job; $161,708 - Joe Biden's Senate salary)
  • AMT: $2,721
  • Deductions: $26,516 in state/local/real estate taxes; $38,712 home mortgage interest; $995 "Gifts to Charity"
  • Interest: $99 from various sources
    (According to his financial disclosure form filed with the Senate, he also received a $112,500 book advance from Random House and he donated $1,025 in honoraria from TV personalities David Letterman and Bill Maher to charity)