Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) have introduced a corporate tax legislation on Wednesday which is aimed at taxing large corporations with over 500 employees for every dollar that their low-wage workers receive in government welfare programs such as healthcare benefits and food stamp. The bill named Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, or BEZOS is aimed at shaming companies like Amazon, which has reached a market cap of USD 1 Trillion, for not paying their low-wage workers a living wage. A report published in April by New Food Economy, a nonprofit organization, finds that 1 in 3 Arizona Amazon employees receive SNAP aid (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and 1 in 10 receive them in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The Bill aims to eliminate corporate welfare by imposing a 100% tax on equal to the number of federal assistance programs received by each of their low-wage workers. As stated by Senator Bernie Sanders the legislation “gives large, profitable employers a choice: Pay workers a living wage or pay for the public assistance programs their low-wage employees are forced to depend upon”. Furthermore, the Senator estimates that by forcing the large corporation to pay workers a living wage, taxpayers will save roughly and USD 150 Billion a year in federal assistance programs. The figure of USD 150 Billion is based on the study from the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center.
However, the legislation is unlikely to be passed as Republicans, who ideologically oppose any form of new taxes, have a majority in both the Houses of Congress. Nevertheless, there is a chance BEZOS may be revived if Democrats win the House this November.