There was a time, prior to 2008, when having rental properties was one of the best investments a person could have in their portfolio. It was a fairly safe way to exercise our capitalistic beliefs and feel like we were moguls, even if we weren’t. Owning a rental was something almost anyone could do with very little effort and usually a sufficient return on your investment. Capitalism at its finest!
It has been recently reported that after Mr. Biden’s mother passed away in 2010, he asked the Secret Service if they would like to rent the cottage adjacent to his private waterfront residence in the Wilmington, Delaware area. At that time the Secret Service declined and the Biden’s found another. However when those renters moved out nearly a year later, the Secret Service moved in.
So why is everyone all up in arms about this? Why should any of us begrudge an individual for having an additional source of income, even if they are the Vice-President of the United States of America?
The difference is that the recent renters of Biden’s property were paying with our taxpayer money.
The Biden’s charged the Secret Service $2,200 a month for rent—bypassing any other potential bidders in the area who may have wanted the contract for themselves. In the past year the Biden’s earned $26,400 from their real estate agreement, with a net income of $17,944.
In “normal” contractual negotiations, bids are announced for a service to be provided. However in this instance, Mr. Biden was the initiator and appears to have bypassed the contractual bid process.
Ironically, in the beginning of the Obama administration, both Obama and Biden publicly vowed to put an end to no-bid contracting. When Obama became President-Elect, he placed on his transition team website that he and Biden would end the abuse of no-bid contracts by requiring that “nearly (emphasis added) all contract orders over $25,000 be competitively awarded”.
The WH spin machine is claiming Mr. Biden’s real estate venture with the Secret Service falls in their nearly category, redirecting the public’s attention to the net income of $17,944 (instead of the gross of $26,400). This allows Biden’s agreement to conveniently fall into the “safe zone” of no-bid contracts.
I was curious about what other rentals along the Delaware Bay were going for. I discovered that prices range from $900 to $3,700 per month. In full disclosure, there was only one each of the low range price and high end price in the market, with most homes falling in the $1,100 – $1,800 range with only one offered at $2,100 a month.
Considering the Biden’s cottage was rented to the Secret Service for $2,200 per month, perhaps the “open bid” process should have been used to save taxpayers a few extra dollars. But hey, maybe the Biden’s needed the extra cash…
No one begrudges protection of our Executive Branch and it does seem safer if bodyguards are able to live on the actual property where the family is staying. What is being called into question is how the rental contract was established with the Secret Service, especially since taxpayers are basically paying the rent for both the Vice-President and his Secret Service agents.
In an administration that continuously touts “transparency” and “level playing fields”, Landlord Biden apparently shut out the competition and pocketed the money himself—but hey, maybe he really needed that extra cash…