Bezos Has $150 Billion, Saves Hundreds of Millions in Washington Income Tax

Comments

1

If you talk to Amazon employees, as I have, they think they ARE paying income tax. When informed that they are paying no Washington taxes except sales tax on MJ, they give a blank stare, and then say, ‘well, thats fucked up.’

2

On one hand I think he deserves every penny for being a pseudo genius in leveraging the power of the Internet for commerce. On the other hand, screw that guy

3

Before any of the trolls comes in to level the same tiresome straw men about the evils of communism or what ever: It's great that he makes that money. He deserves to make that money as much as anyone. The problem is the system allows that money to just sit behind a dam and not flow back into productive use.

4

The wealthy are never satisfied with their wealth. They always want more.

They don't just want to be the richest person, they want everything they have AND everything you have too. And they want your future earnings as well. When I say they want it all, I mean ALL. Everything in existence and everything that will exist in the future too.

Everyone is selfish, but the selfishness and greed of the wealthy is astonishing.

5

Uh if you don't like that there is no state income talk to your local representative.

P.S. You'll push people out as well as businesses by having a state income tax. Move to Oregon and you have no sales tax (win!) with income tax.

There's pros and cons in the tax system of every state if you review them you can win too

6

Gates saved millions as well, so why is this story about Bezos?

7

“...recently held the city of Seattle ransom...”

As hostage-takings go, that effort failed rather miserably: our City Council voted 9-0 to defy Amazon’s “ransom” demands.

8

@6

Good question! Why DO so many people want to talk so much about recently reported facts and figures, and not so much about facts and figures reported many years ago?

Let's get some scientists working on that, I say.

9

So... rich guys who legally take advantage of the tax code (while helping create thousands of income tax-paying jobs) are the villains because their shares are worth more than they used to be. Got it. How about some ire for our elected representatives who could (but don’t) target the regressive tax structures at the heart of your argument? But tilting at windmills is easier. Every example of economic inequality should land on the heads of state officials who oversee this shiny turd - the most regressive tax system in the country. They are the disgrace here. They’re paid to represent... and they fail.

11

Let us not perturb the anointed, glorious genius that is Mr. Bezos with such talk.

Clearly the source of our economic ills are homeless people and illegal immigrants.

13

Jeff Bezos, Welfare Queen.
I like the sound of that.

14

I don't like Amazon or Bezos, but you can stick a state income tax right up your ass.

15

@14 ideally it would then roll back our insanely regressive taxes like property and bizarre sales taxes. And most people and businesses would come out ahead. Ideally. The trick is codifying and enforcing those roll-backs.

Most states have income taxes. So it’s not some crazy left wing plot to steal your money. It’s not perfect but it works better than what we have now. That is if you want schools, roads, clean water, police, fire protection, parks and useless liberal shit like that.

16

So taxing the “rich” property owners is regressive due to trickle down, eh.

What then, are taxes that are not passed down to the poor, college-educated members of “my struggle”?

The good ol death tax?

You don’t need to tell us how hard it is to get by with your multiple properties and six-figure income again, for what that’s worth.

17

Some local writers complain how how unfair they get
Paid so little for their work. Then I read one of ten weekly writings about how rich Jeff Bezoz is and heavy handed Amazon. You get paid crap when you publish it. Don't be lazy, put in the effort and write something relevant.

18

Having an income tax would definitely make Washington's taxation system far less regressive. That's great. But what makes anybody think that the public's attitude on this issue has shifted from when this exact issue got crushed at the ballot box in 2010?

http://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20101102/Initiative-Measure-1098-Concerning-establishing-a-state-income-tax-and-reducing-other-taxes_ByCounty.html

It lost 55-45 in King County! Does anybody really think the legislature is going to vote for something so utterly lacking in public support?

19

yikes. hoarders are such freaks.

20

The 2010 initiative was doomed to fail. Pass an income tax, and get a tax break on business (most voters don't have a business) and a tax break on property (most voters don't own property).

Replacing the sales tax entirely with an income tax might be about the only thing that could possibly pass, but both the wealthy and state and local govts would fight like hell to prevent it's passage.

21

@20 are you talking about voters or people who actually vote? Cause I'm going to bet that if you look at people who actually vote on levies and mid-term elections very likely do own property and not a small number of businesses. Apathy is the dear friend of the status quo.

22

@3 his money isn't sitting behind a dam. Neither is yours.

If you have a bank account, your money is invested. The bank's investing it. They're moving the money around. They get to keep whatever profits they make off your money, and they're responsible for any debts you incur. For the pleasure, they pay you the lowest interest rate you'll accept.

Even when you invest your money in physical assets, like art, or a home - your cash has gone into someone else's bank account, in someone else's bank, where it's being invested in the economy.

So unless he's got a scrooge mcduck money vault somewhere (to be honest, if I had billions, I might want to physically secure $100m in hard cash or something 'just in case'. Tech Mattresses).

@9 cosign

An income tax is the right answer. We need a gasoline sales tax rather than a per-gallon tax. We need a tax on stock transactions - read up on the computer bots that buy and sell millions worth of stock every day, grinding out $0.01 increases in stock prices and squeezing all the excess out of the system.

23

The problem isn't tax revenue, it's at record amounts on all levels, it's spending.
The Seattle City Income tax, sold to us as relief for regressive taxes, was split 6 ways from Sunday between programs like green jobs with tax relief number six. Cut .01% off the sales tax anyone? Ending taxes is not in the politicians vocabulary. Think Kingdome roof sales tax, they couldn't even let that sunset. It's just a new tax and if you think there will be any tax relief from regressive taxes then you just fell off the turnip wagon.

24

Oh. My look at all the unappreciated economic expertise in here! All the momentarily embarrassed billionaires! I'm left to wonder why, oh why, so many of you are trapped is such shitty day jobs. Must be because they afford you'll this free time to post your insights 24/7.

Anyhoo. Yes. Yes there IS a dam. As anybody who actually has invested any sizable chunk of money would know.

The "dam" is a very narrow bandwidth of less socially productive investment the majority of which stays at the top sixth of the economic ladder. Because rich people like Bezos are allowed to own the overwhelming majority of all the equity in the total economy. THAT's the "dam."

Read more by Laurent Bach, Laurent Calvet and Paolo Sodini:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2706207

And here is how this consolidated during the so-called great recession (by Edward N. Wolff):
http://www.nber.org/papers/w20733.pdf

It's one big reason why more enlightened rich people have to create foundations to figure out how to disperse money to lower tranches.

Government is god awful at generating wealth but it's much better than our oligarchs at distributing it. Which is why it would be great if Bezos maybe got taxed at a higher rate with fewer escape hatches.

However inefficient, or however much you despise the fact you have to pay for your own governance, that governance is actually fairly good at seeding the money from the top to the bottom tier over the long term.

I mean some of you got part of it right with idea of taxing trades. Also. Taxing pure stock investment of a certain threshold might help.

More importantly let's return to that stagnant American communist hey-day of the (personal and corporate) tax rates of the Socialist heaven of the 1950's.

25

Bezos has stock, not cash. Why not go after the ones who have the cash to buy the stock?

26

"More importantly let's return to that stagnant American communist hey-day of the (personal and corporate) tax rates of the Socialist heaven of the 1950's."

And the tax codes books would pile up over your head. Elvis lived like a King. And he paid his taxes.

27

"We need a tax on stock transactions - read up on the computer bots that buy and sell millions worth of stock every day, grinding out $0.01 increases in stock prices and squeezing all the excess out of the system." --Sporty, above

YES, we have a BINGO.

And that Transaction Tax could easily fund early childhood learning AND college / trade schools for everyone. And Billionaires would STILL be Billionaires, and multi-multi Millionaires would still be ... the same. And those without means would be Empowered.

And anathema to those who seek Kontrol, either through faith or ignorance, the ability to think critically is Key to a great society. Unlock them doors, Citizens. They ain't gonna unlock themselves.