'Nothing Says Tax the Rich Like a Recreational Billionaire Space Race': Critics Denounce Bezos Flight"If there was any economic justice in the world," said one critic, the U.S. would have imposed "a $100 billion re-entry tax on Jeff Bezos upon his return from outer space."
July 20, 2021Economic justice advocates recoiled
on Tuesday at the sight of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest person, launching himself into space—momentarily leaving behind a planetary emergency; a global pandemic that's disproportionately affecting poor countries without access to vaccines; and rampant wealth inequality in the U.S. and around the world—all of which could be eradicated or mitigated with a wealth tax imposed on Bezos and other billionaires.
The New Shepard launch came days after business magnate Richard Branson launched his own spacecraft, beginning what the news media has called a "billionaire space race."
Both flights made the latest powerful argument for a wealth tax, said critics like Public Citizen, which tweeted Tuesday: "Nothing says tax the rich like a recreational billionaire space race."
Warren Gunnels, policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), tweeted that "if there was any economic justice in the world, we would impose a $100 billion re-entry tax on Jeff Bezos upon his return from outer space."
With a net worth of more than $200 billion, Bezos has for years reported to the IRS a salary of just $80,000 per year, allowing him to pay a "true tax rate" of less than 1%, according to a recent analysis by ProPublica.
Bezos "has enough disposable income to finance a multi billion dollar vacation to space but still won't pay his taxes," said Nina Turner, former co-chair of Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign now running in the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in Ohio's 11th District.
As progressive lawmakers including Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have argued, a wealth tax on Bezos's assets from Amazon stocks and capital gains would force the billionaire to pay more than $5 billion per year, with the tax on the country's richest households generating nearly three-quarters of the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden's pandemic relief package passed earlier this year.
"If Jeff Bezos can afford to go to space, he can afford to pay more in taxes."
—Stephen Prince, Patriotic Billionaires
Over two years, Bezos's payment alone under the wealth tax would fund the Civilian Climate Corps, which would employ 1.5 million people to complete federally funded projects to help communities fight the climate emergency.
As cable news hosts lauded Bezos for his 11-minute expedition on Tuesday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) noted that "on a related note, a wealth tax would generate at least $3 TRILLION for our communities."
Stephen Prince, vice chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, pointed out that when the first American went to space five decades ago, the top income tax rate was 91%—making Bezos's space launch "a sad reminder of just how far our country has fallen."
"If we ever want to return to an era where we accomplish incredible things together as a society, we need to start taxing the rich again," said Prince. "If Jeff Bezos can afford to go to space, he can afford to pay more in taxes."
The Working Families Party said that in Van Horn, the West Texas town of 2,000 people where Bezos launched the New Shepard, nearly 30% of the population lives below the poverty line.
"Tomorrow in Van Horn, many families will struggle to put food on the table," tweeted the party. "Tax the rich."
Bezos's space flight came days after the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) released a report detailing how the astronomical wealth of the richest people in the U.S. could fund "the entire $1.8 trillion ten-year cost of Biden’s American Families Plan, which would make critical investments in education, childcare, healthcare, nutrition, and more for tens of millions of Americans."
Earlier this year, Oxfam released an analysis showing that the planet's 10 richest men could pay for vaccines for the entire world with the wealth they accumulated during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, as their total assets reached nearly $12 trillion in December 2020.
After returning to Earth on Tuesday, Bezos thanked "every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all of this"—a statement supported by reports that warehouse workers at his ecommerce company are only permitted strictly timed bathroom breaks and are discouraged from interacting with one another during their 10-to-12 hour shifts, while delivery drivers have been known to urinate in plastic bottles instead of finding public bathrooms, in order to keep up with demand.
In the 11 minutes Bezos spent launching into space Tuesday, said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, his wealth grew by $1.7 million.
Meanwhile, she added, thousands of Amazon workers completed "10 hour 'megacycle' shifts. In one shift, they will earn 0.0001 of what Jeff Bezos made in 10 minutes."
"Tax the rich," Shuler said.
MORE HERE: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/07/20/nothing-says-tax-rich-recreational-billionaire-space-race-critics-denounce-bezos?utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email
Thanks to: https://www.commondreams.org
Yesterday at 9:51 am by PurpleSkyz
» ‘Murder Inc.’, The Lord Of Chaos
Yesterday at 9:42 am by PurpleSkyz
» Why There is No Such Thing as “Safe” Tap Water
Yesterday at 9:38 am by PurpleSkyz
» NYPD Mobilizes 700 Riot Cops, Puts Up Steel Barricades Ahead of Potential Trump Arrest
Yesterday at 9:34 am by PurpleSkyz
» 186 More Banks “Are At Risk Of Failure”, And That Could Push Us Into The Next Great Depression
Yesterday at 9:20 am by PurpleSkyz
» WTF?? ‘Smart’ Masks for Cows? Gates Invests $4.7 Million in Data-Collecting Faceware for Livestock
Yesterday at 9:08 am by PurpleSkyz
» UCSF orders their doctors to ignore COVID vaccine injuries
Yesterday at 9:03 am by PurpleSkyz
» Brought to you by Pfizer
Yesterday at 8:58 am by PurpleSkyz
» ChatGPT creator warns of AI dangers
Yesterday at 12:06 am by PurpleSkyz
» Clif High - It’s full on KAREN!
Mon Mar 20, 2023 11:58 pm by PurpleSkyz
» ‘The Great Covid-19 Lie Machine’: Stanford University Project Colluded With Feds, Social Media to Censor ‘Misinformation’
Mon Mar 20, 2023 11:54 pm by PurpleSkyz
» Ewok Actor "Dies Suddenly"
Mon Mar 20, 2023 11:17 pm by PurpleSkyz
» Snordster - Timeless
Mon Mar 20, 2023 6:41 pm by PurpleSkyz
» Notre Dame's Fire Reveals a Major Surprise Hidden in Its Architecture
Mon Mar 20, 2023 6:29 pm by PurpleSkyz
» Freeze Drying
Mon Mar 20, 2023 9:10 am by PurpleSkyz
» Mysterious streaks of light seen in the sky over California
Mon Mar 20, 2023 9:07 am by PurpleSkyz
» Psychotronic and Electromagnetic Weapons: Remote Control of the Human Nervous System
Mon Mar 20, 2023 9:00 am by PurpleSkyz
» Unvaccinated Blood Unrecognizable After Application of Low Level Electrical Current and Structures Rapidly Grow
Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:56 am by PurpleSkyz
» ‘A Mile-High House Of Cards’, Three Ways To Protect Yourself Before Your Bank Collapses
Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:49 am by PurpleSkyz
» U.S. Doctors Admit Tens of Thousands Killed During The “Pandemic” By Putting Them On Ventilators
Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:43 am by PurpleSkyz
» Ithaka: A Fight To Free Julian Assange
Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:34 am by PurpleSkyz
» Why aren't any colleges showing us their research that justifies the mandates?
Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:31 am by PurpleSkyz