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.