A group of millionaires took to the streets this Monday to protest in front of properties owned by the richest man in the world, billionaire Jeff Bezos, in New York and Washington.
The protest itself was organized by a group known as Patriotic Millionaires, which describe themselves as a “coalition of wealthy individuals who push for progressive policy changes.” The group planned to perform the protest on Tax Day (which was extended this year to land on May 17th) as a symbolic gesture, standing in solidarity with all the lower income Americans who filed and likely paid much more in taxes this year than Bezos and billionaires alike.
The group also emphasized their support of Joe Biden’s tax plan which would raise taxes for Americans making more than $400,000 a year. The tax hike would help pay for the president’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal and $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
Patriotic Millionaires, whose members earn incomes of more than $1 million or have assets worth more than $5 million, protested in front of Bezos’s homes with billboards reading “Cut the bullshit. Tax the rich.”
“We’re ending up with a few rich people and a lot of poor people and that doesn’t work. That’s not a way you can run a sustainable society.”
Morris Pearl is the chairman of the Patriotic Millionaires board, who explained how while Besox himself said he supported raising corporate tax rates, Amazon has had a long history of avoiding taxes. In fact, according to calculations by the progressive Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “in 2020 Amazon only paid a 9.4% federal income tax rate, less than half the statutory 21%.
The Biden administration currently is proposing to increase corporate tax rates from 21% to 28%, which would also partially reverse cuts pushed by former president Donald Trump. Until Trump and Republicans in Congress passed tax cuts in 2017, the top US corporate tax rate was 35%.
Biden’s infrastructure plan would aim to fund childcare and free universal pre-school education, as well as programs to help rebuild, and construct new, transport systems and public-sector housing.
“It makes much more sense to require the people who have clearly benefited the most from our system to reinvest a huge percentage of their excess wealth back into that system,” Erica Payne, president of Patriotic Millionaires, said in a statement.
Protests were also scheduled to take place in front of the Washington home of the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, the New York office of the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, and others.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.