During the Democratic presidential primary debate Tuesday night, former Vice President Joe Biden said he could not afford child care during his early Senate days while he living on a salary of $42,000 a year — a salary that in today's dollars equals over a quarter of a million.
"I was a single parent, too," Biden said after being asked about universal infant care. "When my wife and daughter were killed, my two boys I had to raise. I was a senator, a young senator, I just hadn't been sworn in yet. And I was making $42,000 a year."
"I commuted every single solitary day to Wilmington, Delaware, over 500 miles a day — excuse me, 250 miles a day, because I could not afford, but for my family, child care. It was beyond my reach to be able to do it," the Democratic front-runner continued.
Biden was sworn in as a freshman senator in 1973 and at that time the yearly pay for senators was, in fact, $42,500 a year — no doubt a salary that would squeeze most families in 2020. The problem is, when you plug Biden's salary into the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, it turns out he was raking in the equivalent of $256,370.77 a year.
It's difficult to believe that a salary north of a quarter million wouldn't afford halfway decent child care.
Although, with the new figure in mind, it easier to see how Biden could have feasibly afforded a 250-mile daily commute.
Joe Biden Talks About Child Care youtu.be
In their coverage of the news, the Washington Free Beacon noted that Biden had even argued in a 1981 op-ed for a local Delaware newspaper that families in his income bracket ought not to need federal government assistance for child care.
"What I do not accept as legitimate is a social policy that encourages a couple making $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 or more a year to evade full responsibility for their children by granting them a tax credit for day-care expenses," Biden wrote at the time.
(H/T: The Washington Free Beacon)