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Soon after Amazon (AMZN) chairman and founder Jeff Bezos returned to Earth from space on Tuesday, the billionaire received sharp criticism from progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) contrasting the low tax bills paid by him and Amazon with those borne by everyday Americans who "keep this country running."

The criticism came in response to remarks made by Bezos thanking Amazon customers and employees whose purchases and work "paid for" the space expedition, which was carried out by another Bezos-backed venture, Blue Origin.

In a tweet responding to the remarks, Warren said Bezos, "Forgot to thank all the hardworking Americans who actually paid taxes to keep this country running while he and Amazon paid nothing."

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also responded sharply to Bezos on Twitter.

Many of the nation's wealthiest executives, including Bezos, use legal tax-avoidance methods that allow them to pay low or no income taxes in some years, according to an investigation released by ProPublica last month.

The investigation calculated a "true tax rate" based on the amount in taxes paid by a billionaire and the amount his or her wealth grew over a given period. By that measure, from 2014 to 2018, Bezos paid a 0.98% tax rate, the investigation found.

By comparison, in recent years, the median American household brought in $70,000 per year and paid 14% in federal taxes, the report says.

Alongside the low taxes paid by Bezos, tech giant Amazon effectively paid no federal income taxes for 2017 and 2018, according to an analysis conducted by the left-leaning Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy in 2019.

The company saw an uptick in recent years, paying $162 million in taxes in 2019 and reporting in February a tax expense of $1.8 billion, an approximation of its 2020 tax bill, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The criticism from Warren comes as some Democrats in Washington D.C. seek to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.

President Joe Biden has called on corporate America to pay its "fair share," referring to his proposed tax hike that would raise the rate for corporations from 21% to 28%. Prior to a tax overhaul passed during the Trump administration, the corporate tax rate was 35%.

In addition, Biden has proposed tax hikes on the wealthy that would increase the top individual income tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, tax capital gains as normal income for households making more than $1 million, and close the carried interest loophole.

In March, Biden singled out Amazon as a corporation that should pay a higher tax bill. A month later, Bezos said he supports a higher tax rate for corporations in order to pay for Biden's infrastructure plan.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Warren's tweet.

In 2019, in response to criticism from then-presidential candidate Biden over its purported failure to pay taxes, Amazon tweeted, “We pay every penny we owe. Congress designed tax laws to encourage companies to reinvest in the American economy. We have. .$200B in investments since 2011 & 300K US jobs. Assume VP Biden’s complaint is w/ the tax code, not Amazon.”

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by Anonymousreply 15July 22, 2021 2:32 AM

They’re right we should just grab all of his money and help reduce our national debt. He has much too much money to play with. LMAO

by Anonymousreply 1July 21, 2021 12:19 AM

Why do Elizabeth Warren and AOC hate America so much?

by Anonymousreply 2July 21, 2021 12:32 AM

[quote]Many of the nation's wealthiest executives, including Bezos, use legal tax-avoidance methods that allow them to pay low or no income taxes in some years.

As pointed out, what Bezos does to avoid paying taxes is completely LEGAL. As LAWMAKERS, perhaps Warren and AOC should CHANGE THE LAWS instead of making stupid posts on Twitter.

by Anonymousreply 3July 21, 2021 12:36 AM

That's the point Stephanie Ruhle was trying to make on MSNBC this morning, R3.

She completely understood how people have major gripes with Bezos, how he spends his money, and all the tax breaks he gets.

HOWEVER, she emphasized the point that he's abiding by what the law allows.

And if you don't like how the system is set up, then don't complain to Bezos. Complain to your LAWMAKERS.

They are the only ones in this country who can change the system.

by Anonymousreply 4July 21, 2021 12:40 AM


Yeah, I'm sure that AOC and Warren never thought of that. /sarcasm

A lawmaker can't reform tax laws if a majority of their fellow lawmakers are OWNED by the wealthy through dark money 'donations' (aka bribes).

R4 "don't complain to Bezos. Complain to your LAWMAKERS. They are the only ones in this country who can change the system."

Baby boomers, as a generalized whole, have ensured that moderate and conservative legislators dominate american politics. Guess how interested moderates and conservatives are in listening to suggestions about tax accountability for the wealthy? Not very much! Guess whose money created and maintains their political power in the first place? Wealthy people's money!

I can vote, complain to lawmakers, *and* express contempt regarding our billionaire overlords at the same time. Multi-tasking is clutch.

by Anonymousreply 5July 21, 2021 10:11 AM

I despise Roseanne but she was right about this bitch.

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by Anonymousreply 6July 21, 2021 10:21 AM


Yes. You, a conservative, hate AOC, a progressive democrat.

In other news, water = wet.

by Anonymousreply 7July 21, 2021 10:39 AM

R7 Wrong. I’m a Democrat that hates socialists - like AOC.

by Anonymousreply 8July 21, 2021 10:41 AM

R8 "I'm a CONSERVATIVE Democrat that hates socialists - like AOC."

Fixed that for you.

by Anonymousreply 9July 21, 2021 10:44 AM

Bezos is an easy target, but he succeeded by playing by the rules. Even if you challenge his business practices, he is doing a lot to improve the works.

In contrast, Republicans have gutted IRS budgets to allow tax cheats to get away with it.

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by Anonymousreply 10July 21, 2021 10:50 AM

But the rest of us have to pay taxes.

by Anonymousreply 11July 21, 2021 12:48 PM

HE said it is a toll voice. He is such a prick.

by Anonymousreply 12July 21, 2021 1:01 PM

I believe that everyone should pay their fair share in taxes. However, I don't blame Jeff Bezos for not paying taxes, I blame the tax code. All to often in these situations, everbody gets caught up in the personality and not the process. If AOC wants to be an effective legislator, she should focus on fixing the system that allows Bezos to not pay taxes, instead of Jeff Bezos himself.

by Anonymousreply 13July 21, 2021 1:08 PM

AOC IS working on changing the tax code. One way to do that, one way to get any kind of code or legislation changed, is to note examples where the code or legislation has a ridiculous result. Pointing out that ultra rich amateur astronauts like Jeff Bezos pay a tiny fraction in taxes is a good way to point out that a tax code written of, by, and for the wealthy is not a great tax code.

She could just quietly meet with others members of Congress to discuss this, but we all know that would accomplish jack shit. Pretty much nobody in Congress is convinced by arguments. They are convinced by pressure of one kind or another. Especially when it comes to anything that affects the wealthy.

by Anonymousreply 14July 21, 2021 1:47 PM

we really need to change the tax code. Wealthy people are not paying taxes, and they should really be paying more. Democracy cannot survival billionaires pay off politician. They already own one party, Republican. We are already sliding out of a Democracy. Jack up their taxes already, then we need some hardcore improvements to Campaign Finance Reform and Voting Rights to protect Democracy.

by Anonymousreply 15July 22, 2021 2:32 AM
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