Bezos’ Remark on Amazon Prompts Backlash Over His Vast Wealth

From groceries and streaming subscriptions to net servers and Alexa, Amazon has develop into some of the highly effective financial forces on the planet. And after Jeff Bezos returned from his temporary flight to house on Tuesday in a rocket constructed by his non-public house firm, Blue Origin, he made remarks that drew consideration to the huge wealth the corporate had created for him.

“I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this,” Mr. Bezos mentioned throughout a information convention after his spaceflight.

Mr. Bezos’ remark prompted swift essential reactions, together with from a member of the House of Representatives who serves on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

“Space travel isn’t a tax-free holiday for the wealthy,” mentioned Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon. “We pay taxes on plane tickets. Billionaires flying into space — producing no scientific value — should do the same, and then some!”

Mr. Blumenauer expressed issues concerning the environmental results of such house vacationer flights. He mentioned he had launched laws he known as the Securing Protections Against Carbon Emissions (SPACE) Tax Act, aiming to make passengers on such flights pay a tax to offset their air pollution influence.

He wasn’t alone in connecting Mr. Bezos’ spaceflight with issues about how Amazon’s enterprise practices have affected his firm’s staff in addition to small companies.

“While Jeff Bezos is all over the news for paying to go to space, let’s not forget the reality he has created here on Earth,” Representative Nydia Velazquez, Democrat of New York, mentioned on Twitter. She added the hashtag #WealthTaxNow on Tuesday morning and included a hyperlink to an article about how a lot Amazon’s staff had been paid.

While these congressional Democrats supplied criticism, the message from the White House was extra welcoming.

“This is a moment of American exceptionalism,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, mentioned when requested concerning the flight throughout a Tuesday information convention.