A group of millionaires took to the streets on Monday to protest outside homes in New York and Washington owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world.
The protest organized by Patriotic Millionaires, a coalition of wealthy individuals pushing for progressive political change, was organized to mark Tax Day, during which Americans file their tax returns with the federal government.
The group also sought to highlight Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes for businesses and Americans who earn more than $ 400,000 a year. The tax hikes are supposed to pay off the president’s $ 2 billion infrastructure proposal and the $ 1.8 billion U.S. plan for families.
Patriotic Millionaires, whose members earn over $ 1 million or have assets worth over $ 5 million, campaigned outside Bezos homes with billboards that read “Cut the bullshit.” Tax the rich. “
“We end up with a few rich and a lot of poor and that doesn’t work,” Morris Pearl, chairman of the Millionaire Patriots board and former BlackRock executive, told The Guardian.
“This is no way to run a sustainable society.”
Bezos has said he supports increasing the corporate tax rate. But Amazon has long been the subject of tax evasion protests.
According to calculations by the Progressive Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy in February, in 2020 Amazon only paid a federal tax rate of 9.4%, which is less than half of the legal 21%. .
The Biden administration is proposing to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, partially reversing the cuts imposed by Donald Trump. Until Trump and Republicans in Congress passed tax cuts in 2017, the top U.S. corporate tax rate was 35%.
In the UK, the current corporate tax rate is 19%. In Ireland it is 12.5%, one of the lowest among EU countries, leading many companies to move their activities abroad.
Biden’s infrastructure plan would fund free universal child care and preschool education, as well as programs to rebuild collapsing public sector housing and transportation systems.
“It makes a lot more sense to require people who have clearly benefited the most from our system to reinvest a huge percentage of their excess wealth into this system,” Erica Payne, president of Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement.
Protests were also scheduled to take place outside the Washington home of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the New York office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and others.