Monday, July 22, 2024

TLAIB: ‘I Know Exactly Where We Can Get the Money to Pay for’ COVID Relief

'I know exactly where we can get the money to pay for it. And I believe Jeff Bezos knows exactly where as well...'

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said the federal government could afford to send Americans another round of $1,200 checks if Congress repeals Trump’s tax cuts and forces billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to pay up, Yahoo! Finance reported.

“I’m hearing as we try to debate this COVID relief package that we now can’t afford to give people another $1,200 stimulus check,” Tlaib said. “Well, guess what, I know exactly where we can get the money to pay for it. And I believe Jeff Bezos knows exactly where as well.”

Even if Congress could shake down Amazon and Bezos for 100% of their yearly income, the revenue would not cover the cost of more direct payments.

Middle-class Americans, however, would suffer greatly from the repeal of President Donald Trump‘s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Amazon’s total revenue for 2019 came in at $280.5 billion, but the company reported an income of less than $11.6 billion in 2019.

The net worth of Bezos is about $185 billion.

Another round of $1,200 checks for each individual or $2,400 checks for each couple plus $500 checks for each dependent child would cost federal taxpayers $413 billion, Forbes reported.

Amazon paid $162 million dollars in federal income taxes on $13.3 billion of income in 2019. The company was able to pay an effective tax rate of 1.2% due to deductions, tax credits, and other mechanisms often described as “loopholes.”

Amazon also pays property taxes and payroll taxes, which cannot be avoided as easily.

Trump’s tax cuts reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

If Amazon paid a 35% tax rate on its 2019 income, then that would generate about $4.7 billion in tax revenue.

Tlaib said Michigan’s small businesses have to pay their “fair share.”

“They’re paying more than Jeff Bezos is,” she said. “My small bakeries. My small restaurants are paying more than the richest man in the world. And they know that’s unfair.”

She said Congress has been more worried about the cost of sending direct payments to Americans than the cost of lowering the corporate tax rate.

“I hear them always saying that when it comes to my residents, and asking for stimulus payment, but they never question what are the billionaires doing with that tax break? What are they spending money on?” she said.

Tlaib said the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act harmed average Americans and cut funding for education.

“That tax program was very egregious and so unfair to the American people,” she said.

“And we are seeing the devastation of it,” she continued. “I mean, our school system needs close to $300 billion to make up for the tax loss that many of us are going to see in the coming year.”

But repealing Trump’s tax cuts would raise taxes on the average American family of four by $2,000 a year on a continual basis, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

The repeal would also subject Americans to Obamacare’s individual mandate, a cost of up to $2,085 for a family of four.

“This is not the time when they tell me wait,” she said, referencing Democrat Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “There’s a sense of urgency that I think the American people are demanding of us.

“And in that regard, I think, well intended or not, telling us to wait until we find the money when we’re telling you exactly where to find the money and exactly how to pay for it,” she said. “And I think you’ll see a majority of bipartisan folks outside of Congress supporting us in taxing those that haven’t paid their fair share.”

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