Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) renewed her call for a wealth tax on some of the richest people in the United States and singled out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for his relatively low salary.
Warren took to Twitter on Friday and pointed out that even though Bezos is worth tens of millions of dollars, he earns roughly the same salary as a teacher at a Massachusetts public school.
“Jeff Bezos is the second richest person in the world. His net worth is almost $ 195 billion. But his salary is about the same as that of an average Massachusetts public school teacher: 80 $ 000, “Warren wrote.
Income taxation alone will not make it pay its fair share. It’s time for a #WealthTax, ”the senator wrote.
Bezos, the founder of online retail giant Amazon and currently CEO, earned a base salary of $ 81,840 in 2019, according to a Market Watch report.
This is the same base salary Bezos was paid in 1998. This is roughly double the median income in the United States. Nonetheless, Bezos has a net worth of over $ 190 billion, mostly thanks to the shares he owns in the company. He is due to step down as CEO later this year.
According to The Seattle Times, Bezos retains a roughly 10% stake in Amazon as of May 11 of this year following its decision to sell $ 6.7 billion worth of shares.
Bezos ‘ex-wife MacKenzie Scott also got 25% of Bezos’ shares as part of their divorce settlement, representing 4% of the company’s shares, according to The Wall Street Journal
Warren’s comparison with a Massachusetts teacher also seems to hold up. An October 2018 MassLive report noted that the average salary for a teacher in the state was $ 79,000. The exact salary differed by school district, with the highest salary for a public school teacher being over $ 100,000 and the lowest below $ 50,000.
Warren has been pushing for a tax on the rich for some time. On June 14, she shared her plan on Twitter and clearly references Bezos as well as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among others.
“The rich and powerful have rigged the rules to make themselves richer and more powerful. This leads to the income gap. But income inequality does not take into account wealth inequality. It’s high time to adopt a #WealthTax in America, ”Warren tweeted.
On his website, Warren describes how Bezos’ wealth – as well as that of other billionaires – has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic using interactive graphics.
“Elizabeth’s ultra-millionaire tax is a tax of two cents on the dollar on people with net worth over $ 50 million – and a few cents more for billionaires,” the plan says.
“This means Jeff Bezos would pay $ 5.58 billion in wealth tax to Elizabeth.”
News week asked Senator Elizabeth Warren and Amazon for comment.