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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Tears Into Jeff Bezos Over Sending Himself to Space Through Tax Avoidance

Pitch in and pay your taxes, Bezos.

Elizabeth Warren smiles from the stage at a campaign event.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren went after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Why? Because his trip to “space” felt like he was letting struggling Americans to pick up the tab when it comes to funding his projects, according to HuffPost. She pointed out that the richest guy on Earth launched himself into space while nearly 43 million are struggling under the weight of student debt, child care costs, and the fact that many are out of jobs due to the pandemic that feels like it will never stop.

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It’s made even worse by the fact that Bezos reported that Blue Origin, his space company, has sold nearly $100 million worth of tickets, according to CNBC. He was quoted saying that, “The demand is very, very high,” and he has chosen not to disclose how these seats to space are priced, but they have to be in the millions, each and every ticket. Blue Origin is set to fly human missions twice more in 2021, with no confirmed number of flights in 2022.

Oh, but there’s more when it comes to Bezos and why Senators like Elizabeth Warren are calling him out right now in particular. According to HuffPost and ProPublica, Bezos didn’t pay even a single penny in taxes in 2007 and 2011. Paying no taxes in 2007 is of special interest because Amazon’s stock more than doubled that year, and he offset “every penny he earned with losses from side investments and various deductions, like interest expenses on debts and the vague catchall category of ‘other expenses.'”

It’s men like him that prove that wealth inequality is “one of the defining issues of our age.” It’s also men like him, Tesla owner Elon Musk, and billionaire Richard Branson who need to be hit with higher taxes than your average American. Because it’s absolutely untenable that I, when I was a poorly paid library assistant, paid more taxes that Bezos. Bezos should be paying more than me, and should then take it a step further by using his wealth to help those that work for him and are living paycheck to paycheck.

And until these filthy rich individuals actually put their money where their mouths are and help the people of the world, it’s going to look like a bunch of rich people fighting to one-up each other and make it off this planet for something more. How about we fix what we have going on here on Earth before we make plans to send unnamed billionaires and millionaires into space? How about we support employees, their ability to pay their bills with fare wages, have the childcare needed, and form unions if they so choose?

Until then, it’s just going to be a widening gap between the wealthy and the average or poor while people like Senator Elizabeth Warren fights for equality for those without the power of billions to back them.

(image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.

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