John Nichols: I do not care what Jeff Bezos does in area so long as he pays his taxes right here on earth John Nichols

But Bezos wasn’t just lucky in 2007.

“In 2011, a year when his wealth remained roughly constant at $ 18 billion, Bezos filed a tax return reporting that he had lost money – his income that year was more than offset by investment losses. Also, because he earned so little under the tax law that he even claimed and received a tax credit of $ 4,000 for his children, “reports ProPublica, adding:” His tax avoidance is even more noticeable when you look at the years 2006 to 2018, a period for which ProPublica has complete data. Bezos’ net worth rose $ 127 billion, according to Forbes, but he reported a total income of $ 6.5 billion. The $ 1.4 billion he paid in personal federal taxes is an enormous number – but it equates to a true 1.1 percent tax rate on the increase in his wealth. “

US MP Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, checked the Bezos numbers along with those of other billionaires like Elon Musk and Warren Buffett and calculated that the time had come to “tax the rich”.

That is the answer to whether this country can afford to pay for the modest welfare improvements outlined in the $ 3.5 trillion budget proposal President Biden and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee , Bernie Sanders, submitted last week.

Of course, there is enough money to expand Medicare to include vision, dental, and hearing care, guarantee family and sick leave, expand home care and community services for the elderly and people with disabilities, and reduce prescription drug costs. The same applies to proposals to expand the child tax deduction and to provide universal Pre-K programs for 3- and 4-year-old children. And to make higher education either free or more affordable for millions of students. And to increase food aid and funding for affordable housing. And to achieve the climate goals of 80% clean electricity and 50% overall economic CO2 emissions by 2030.