Millionaires Mark Tax Day With Protest at Bezos' Door

Group wants corporations, wealthy individuals to pay more
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2021 4:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – A group of rich people laid their case on tax policy at the front door of the world's richest man on Monday. Patriotic Millionaires organized the Tax Day demonstration outside Bezos' homes in New York and Washington, DC, the Guardian reports. The group favors more progressive tax policies; its message to the Amazon chief executive was "Tax the rich." To belong, members have to make at least $1 million a year or have more than $5 million in assets. "We're ending up with a few rich people and a lot of poor people, and that doesn't work," said Morris Pearl, a former BlackRock executive who's the group's board chairman. "That's not a way you can run a sustainable society." Protests also were planned at the homes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, per CNBC.

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President Biden has proposed raising corporate taxes to fund his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Patriotic Millionaires supports Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan for a 2% annual tax on wealth topping $50 million and 3% after $1 billion. Bezos' situation reflects "the total idiocy of the country's tax code," said Erica Payne, the group's president. Anyone spending a half-billion on a yacht probably should be paying more in taxes, she said. Forbes puts Bezos' wealth at more than $185 billion. He has said he favors higher taxes on the wealthy, but an Amazon spokesman did not comment on the demonstrations. An analysis last year found Amazon had paid an income tax rate of 9.4%, as opposed to the mandated 21%, per the Guardian. (Read more Jeff Bezos stories.)

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