Tell Congress: Money for Buses, not Bezos

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world and CEO of Amazon, who’s wealth has soared past $99 billion, paid $973 million in taxes resulting in a 0.98% “true tax rate” according to explosive reporting by ProPublica.[1]

Bezos is not alone. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, paid a “true tax rate” of 3.27% on $1.52 billion in income during the same period analyzed in the report.[2] Warren Buffet? A “true tax rate” of 0.10%. You read that right; not 1% -- Buffet paid a 10th of 1% of his wealth in taxes.[3]

Meanwhile, Republicans Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey, and others opposed to increased Public Transit funding including corporate Senate Democrats, worked with the White House to negotiate a bipartisan compromise that is wholly insufficient. The current bill being debated breaks the previously low standard set 40 years ago by President Ronald Reagan and falls far short of what is needed to deliver safe and reliable public transit that is just, equitable, and environmentally sustainable nationwide. Their argument is America can’t afford to invest in Public Transit.

This. Is. False.

America can’t afford not to take on climate change and, with transportation contributing more than 28% of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide[4] -- the largest single source in America -- investments in public transit have never been more important than right now.

The bottom line is simple: The Senate must model policies in the budget reconciliation bill from the INVEST Act already passed by the House to improve the infrastructure package, including specific funding for frequent, expanded services, resourcing electric buses, creating 50/50 parity between highway and transit spending, and establishing long-term funding of operations and repairs.

By doing this, we will turn our values into law, funding public transit to fight climate change and improve racial and economic equity. Best of all, America can afford it -- as long as we make billionaires and millionaires pay their fair share.

The problem is Republicans, and some Democrats, would rather protect tax cuts for billionaires like Jeff Bezos than fully fund public transportation in the president’s Build Back Better agenda.

Congress thinks Americans don’t care about public transportation. It’s up to us to prove them wrong.

Tell Congress: Americans want money for buses, not Bezos in the American Jobs Plan. Sign the petition now.

[1] The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax, ProPublica, June 2021
[2] Richest Americans—Including Bezos, Musk And Buffett—Paid Federal Income Taxes Equaling Just 3.4% Of $401 Billion In New Wealth, Bombshell Report Shows, Forbes, June 2021
[3] IRS records show wealthiest Americans, including Bezos and Musk, paid little in income taxes, report says, Seattle Times, June 2021
[4] Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2019 Report