On Wednesday, the Independent senator from Vermont introduced a bill in the Senate called the "Stop BEZOS Act", which would require big corporations like Amazon and Walmart to pay the government for food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other assistant programs that their workers use, according to The Washington Post.
In a far from veiled reference to the richest man in America, the acronym in the bill's name stands for "Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies".
"The American taxpayer should not be subsidizing Jeff Bezos so he can underpay his employees", Sanders tweeted last week. There are some fundamental differences in facts between the two-for example, Sanders states that average Amazon workers earn $28,000 per year, when Amazon itself says that's across the world and U.S. Amazon employees make more like $34,000. For instance, if an Amazon employee gets $2,000 in food stamps, the company would be taxed $2,000 to cover the cost.
In addition, Amazon workers' median annual salary a year ago was $28,446, but this figure includes both full and part-time employees. The company says it created more than 130,000 new jobs in the USA past year.
"We do not believe that taxpayers should have to expend huge sums of money subsidizing profitable corporations owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country", continued Sanders, who's partnering with California Rep. Ro Khanna on the bill.
The most troubling potential effect, in Bernstein's opinion, is that the Stop BEZOS Act could further the stigmatization of worker benefits. Another is that employers would discriminate against hiring those who they think might trigger the tax.
Business Insider contacted Amazon for comment on the bill.
Denise Bennett, a former Amazon worker in Tennessee, said she made $11 an hour as a full-time employee but had to rely on SNAP benefits to make ends meet.
The proposal by the socialist who came within an ace of being the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee would tax employers one dollar for every dollar that their employees take in food stamp, health-care and other welfare benefits.
"There was a point where I would find myself crying on my shift", Seth King, who served eight years in the Navy, says in a July video about his experiences in a fulfillment center.
Amazon, which has more than 575,000 workers, is the country's second-largest private employer, behind Walmart.
Sanders' legislation has also raised concerns with at least one prominent left-leaning organization.