Taking aim at Walmart, McDonald’s, Amazon, and other ultra-profitable corporations that pay workers so little that they’re forced to rely on food stamps and other federal programs to survive, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would impose a 100 percent “corporate welfare tax” on large companies equal to the amount of public assistance their employees receive.
“We do not believe that taxpayers should have to expend huge sums of money subsidizing profitable corporations owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country. That’s what a rigged economy is about.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders”Let us be very clear: We believe that the government has a moral responsibility to provide for the vulnerable—the children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled,” Sanders said in a statement. “But we do not believe that taxpayers should have to expend huge sums of money subsidizing profitable corporations owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country. That’s what a rigged economy is about.”
Officially titled The Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act—an explicit dig at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world—the goal of Sanders and Khanna’s bill is to draw attention to the fact that taxpayers are effectively subsidizing corporations’ starvation wages and pressure these companies to pay a living wage.
“If employers in this country simply paid workers a living wage, taxpayers would save about $150 billion a year on federal assistance programs, and millions of workers would live in dignity and security,” Sanders explained at a press conference unveiling the Stop Bezos Act on Wednesday.
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