The working families and middle class of this country should not have to subsidize the wealthiest people in the United States. That’s absurd. That’s what a rigged economy is all about.
'Year after year, decade after decade, Republicans in Washington have lectured the American people about the need for “welfare reform.” In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan railed against a fictitious “welfare queen” driving a Cadillac. Just a few years ago, Republicans turned their attention to a young surfer who used the food stamp program to purchase lobster. But if you listen closely, you will never hear much talk from our Republican colleagues about some of the biggest welfare recipients in America: The billionaire owners of some of the most profitable corporations in our country.
Here are just a few examples.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the wealthiest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is now worth $168 billion. In fact, since the beginning of this year, his wealth has increased by about $277 million — every single day.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bezos continues to pay many thousands of his Amazon employees wages that are so low that they must rely on food stamps, Medicaid or public housing in order to survive. In effect, the middle-class taxpayers of this country are subsidizing the low wages paid by the richest person on Earth. That’s nuts.
But Jeff Bezos and Amazon are not alone.
The Walton family of Walmart and many other billionaire-owned large and profitable corporations also get richer because of taxpayer support for their low-paid employees. The Walton family of Walmart is the wealthiest family in the country with a net worth of over $160 billion. This one family has owned more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans. Meanwhile, just like Amazon, Walmart pays its workers wages that are so inadequate that many of them are forced to depend upon public-assistance programs, at a cost of some $6.2 billion a yearto taxpayersin order to survive.'
Read more: It’s Time to Get Billionaires Off of Welfare