Throughout the 2020 Democratic primary election cycle, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has made demonizing wealthy people a core part of her messaging campaign.
In April, Warren proposed a new tax to “ensure every corporation pays their fair share,” noting that it would force Amazon to pay $698 million in taxes. In November, amid reports that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was encouraging Michael Bloomberg to consider a run for president, Warren chastised Bezos, saying that billionaires like him should “pitch in so that everyone can succeed.”
Warren then tweeted a “wealth tax calculator” at Bezos, a reference to her unconstitutional plan that CNBC estimates would cost Bezos over $6 billion in the first year alone.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 9, 2019
But Warren’s condescending attitude toward the Amazon founder now seems especially tone-deaf — For the second year in a row, Bezos will donate approximately $98 million to charities that help homeless people or improve access to education in poor areas, according to CNBC.
The donation will be provided by the Bezos Day One Fund, a $2 billion philanthropic initiative that Bezos started last year and is entirely funded by him, according to the Associated Press.
“Excited to announce this year’s Bezos Day One grants,” tweeted Bezos on Thursday. “Thank you to these 32 organizations in 23 states working to end homelessness. I recently spent time with the amazing team at Community of Hope in Washington, D.C. — one of last year’s grantees.”
Excited to announce this year’s Bezos Day One grants. Thank you to these 32 organizations in 23 states working to end homelessness. I recently spent time with the amazing team at Community of Hope in Washington, D.C. – one of last year’s grantees. https://t.co/Lfy5LUWT99 pic.twitter.com/L0JeDUrjAY
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 21, 2019
Among the grant recipients are multiple religiously affiliated charities, including Catholic Charities Eastern Washington ($5 million), Catholic Social Services Alaska ($5 million), St. Joseph’s Center ($5 million), St. Joseph’s Villa ($1.25 million), and St. Vincent de Paul ($5 million).
Va Lecia Adams Kellum, CEO of St. Joseph Center, believes the grant will help alleviate the “the trauma of homelessness”, which she calls “incredibly harmful to families” in a Friday press release. “Support from the Day 1 Families Fund will have a profound impact on our ability to protect families and help them regain stability.”
Lisa Aquino, the executive director of Catholic Social Services Alaska, said that the grant “will make an enormous impact on our community by expanding the work Catholic Social Services does every day to support families in homelessness to transition to permanent stability,” according to a press release. “We believe that this funding will propel us, together with our partners, to achieve functional zero in family homelessness in the Anchorage area.”
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than half a million people “experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018.” About 36,000 of those individuals were children living on their own, and about an equal number were military veterans.
The Day One Fund also plans on launching “a network of high-quality, full-scholarship Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities. Directly operating the preschools creates an opportunity to learn, invent, and improve.”
“The Fund uses the same set of principles that have driven Amazon,” according to the fund’s website. “Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer. ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ And lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.”