In the interview with “This Week,” Ocasio-Cortez said she doesn’t care if Bezos is a billionaire if Amazon pays workers a “living wage,” along with benefits like guaranteed health care.
“If that’s the case and Jeff Bezos is still a billionaire, that’s one thing,” she said. But if Bezos’ billionaire status is “predicated on paying people starvation wages and stripping them of the ability to access health care,” she said that’s a problem.
ABC News anchor Jonathan Karl pressed Ocasio-Cortez about whether she does think the wages are why Bezos is a billionaire. She “certainly thinks it’s part of the equation,” she said, adding that she thinks Bezos should pay more in taxes and increase Amazon’s benefits, including free college tuition and health care.
“These allegations are absurd,” Amazon said in a statement. “Amazon associates receive industry-leading pay starting at $15 an hour. …Amazon pre-pays 95% of continuing education tuition costs through its Career Choice program for associates who want to pursue in-demand careers.”
“I have nothing against Amazon, but no company pulling in billions of dollars of profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers. We need to reward work, not just wealth,” the former Vice President tweeted, linking to a New York Times story about how Amazon got a rebate on its corporate taxes in 2018.
“We’ve paid $2.6B in corporate taxes since 2016. We pay every penny we owe. Congress designed tax laws to encourage companies to reinvest in the American economy. We have. $200B in investments since 2011 & 300K US jobs. Assume VP Biden’s complaint is w/ the tax code, not Amazon.”
–CNN Business’ Lydia DePillis contributed to this report.