Jeff Bezos paid zero taxes in two years; space trip prompts calls for wealth tax on ultra-rich  |  Photo Credit: Twitter
Billionaire Jeff Bezos is in the crosshairs of activists and politicians alike after he thanked Amazon employees for bankrolling his space adventure. They accused the billionaire of financing his outwardly sojourn at the expense of hardworking American citizens.
“I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this,” said Bezos during the news conference after his space flight on Tuesday. “So seriously, for every Amazon customer out there, and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart, very much. It’s very appreciated.”
US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, took a jab at the world’s richest man reminding him that normal Americans paid their fair share of taxes but not Amazon or its founder Bezos.
“Jeff Bezos forgot to thank all the hardworking Americans who actually paid taxes to keep this country running while he and Amazon paid nothing,” Senator Warren tweeted after the billionaire returned to Earth after his 11-minute journey to the edge of space on Tuesday.
A ProPublica report in June highlighted how Bezos and many other American billionaires get pay nil to very little tax on their earnings. It said the founder of Amazon, Blue Origin and many other companies did not pay any tax in the year 2011 and even received a tax refund of $4,000 which is meant for families earning under $100,000 per annum.
Another 2019 news report highlighted how Amazon paid no tax in 2017 and 2018. American billionaires use a loophole in the tax system to avoid paying taxes and therefore its not illegal for them to do so. However, politicians, especially Democrats have repeatedly called for a review of the system.
“I’m pushing for three changes to our tax laws—a #WealthTax, a Real Corporate Profits Tax, and long-term funding for the IRS to go after wealthy tax cheats—to make billionaires & mega-corporations start paying their fair share,” Warren further tweeted on Tuesday.
Senator Warren is a long-time advocate of taxing the ultra-rich. She earlier proposed the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act which sought to tax American families with an annual income of over $50 million.