jeff bezos

In this Wednesday, June 18, 2014, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrates the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle.

As more and more Democratic candidates announce their plans to crack down on Wall Street and increase taxes on the rich, there are still numerous businesses and corporations who do not pay their fair share of taxes.

Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts recently clashed with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates over her proposed plan to tax people whose net worth is larger than $1 billion to 6 percent annually and increase taxes on the top 1 percent of households.

I would argue for most billionaires an increase in taxes would not be the worst idea. However, Gates is one of the most generous billionaires to date and has donated over $45 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation since 1994.

That being said, there is still a website where you can view how many things you can buy with Gates’ money. For example, you could buy : 2500 Big Macs, 23 pairs of Air Jordans, 2 food trucks, 5 Ferraris, 12 Lamborghinis, 69 F16 jets, the Mona Lisa, 1 NBA Team, 2 MLB Teams and 3 NFL Teams and you would still have $76,981,490,400 left.

Now, there are several extremely affluent people and corporations who simply do not pay the adequate amount. A prime example of this phenomenon is Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Though Bezos has recently donated over $100 million to combat homelessness, his company Amazon is not so generous.

In 2018 the Seattle based company paid nothing in taxes for the second straight year according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. That is flat out absurd. Amazon raked in over $11.2 billion in profits in 2018 and did not pay a single dime in taxes. The $100 million donated by Bezos is practically negated by the lack of taxes paid by his company as a whole.

I am not a fan of an increase of taxes — I am actually a fan of tax cuts. But to have a multibillion quasi-monopoly company pay nothing in taxes is a crime. Amazon and other large corporations have used loopholes to avoid paying taxes for years, and they need to be held accountable.

Google is notorious for using a tax avoidance scheme called the “Double Irish and a Dutch Sandwich.” Essentially, companies can move revenue from an Irish subsidiary to a Dutch company that has no employees and then moved to a Bermuda mailbox owned by (you guessed it) another Irish company.

How on earth is this legal? If an average citizen doesn’t pay their taxes the IRS would come after those people and if they didn’t pay then, they would find themselves in jail (see Wesley Snipes or Henry David Thoreau).

It is unethical and immoral when huge companies avoid paying taxes. Though most taxes are unnecessary, they are nonetheless important for society. It is simply unfair when large companies do not pay enough taxes.

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