Sen. Elizabeth Warren Tears Into Jeff Bezos Over Sending Himself to Space Through Tax Avoidance
Pitch in and pay your taxes, Bezos.
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.
The richest guy on Earth can launch himself into space while over half the country lives paycheck to paycheck, nearly 43 million are saddled with student debt, and child care costs force millions out of work. He can afford to pitch in so everyone else gets a chance.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 25, 2021
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.
Jeff Bezos really was like “your stolen wages made this possible!”
— Wagatwe Wanjuki 🇰🇪 🇧🇸 (@wagatwe) July 20, 2021
It’s beyond ridiculous when his employees are screaming out for unfair working conditions
— ClapBackKing2018 (@BackKing2018) July 25, 2021
He got rich from the underpaid sweat and labor of a lot of those people
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) July 25, 2021
Also if minimum wage were what it should be- over $20 an hour by now- Bezos would have to pay workers what they deserve and have a little less rocket fuel $$
— Tammy (@tammy1667) July 25, 2021
Introduce a 100% luxury tax. You can afford a $550 million yacht? On money created by the labour of others? (And it is *always* created by the labour of others.) Then you can afford, dollar for dollar, to give YOUR SHARE to those that gave you that insane luxury.
— Ian Park 🏳️🌈🇨🇦🇺🇳, Certified Pair-a-Docs (@dccarbene) July 25, 2021
— BidenHarris2022🇺🇸 (@BidHar2021) July 25, 2021
The waste of earths precious resources for private individuals to fly to space is disgraceful. If individuals have “outer space” as a vacation destination, they should be taxed more everywhere they do business. Health care, education, housing & food for all needs to come 1st.
— Janice Nicol (@JaniceNicol) July 26, 2021
That project he just finished could have paid for all of the teachers’ supply lists on Amazon. With a lot of room to spare.
Also, being a full-fledged corporation, he most likely used it as a tax break. (i.e. we taxpayers paid for it)
— The Full Nellie (@thefullnellie) July 25, 2021
(image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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