To recap: Our tax dollars not only pay for the vice president's protection, they are also feathering his pocket with a steady rent check. Yes, it's legal. We leave it to the public to decide whether it's right for the vice president to have snagged this tenant in Greenville, Del., where the rental vacancy rate for 2010 was a whooping 33.6 percent, according to Melissa Kresin, a survey spokesperson at the U.S. Census Bureau. The national vacancy rate is 9.2 percent.
According to a Washington Times story, Biden (shown in the background of the above photo, as a Secret Service agent watches over him) has collected more than $13,000 from the agency charged with protecting him in his waterfront home in a Wilmington suburb. The arrangement came about after a previous tenant moved out. The agency is paying the same rent as the last tenant.
Under federal purchasing documents that the newspaper ferreted out, Biden -- listed as a "vendor" -- stands to gain up to $66,000 by the time the government contract expires in the fall of 2013.
Taxpayer watchdog groups and others are already jumping on the "what was he thinking?" bandwagon.
Said Leslie Paige, spokeswoman for the Citizens Against Government Waste, "He should be afforded every single protection available to him and his family, as should every vice president and president. But ... 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."
Biden's mother lived in the space until her death in January 2010. It was then rented to a private tenant. When that tenant left, the Secret Service took it over after having leased other space in the Wilmington area. The Secret Service is required by law to ensure the safety of current and former national leaders and their families.
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