The US tax system is rigged, and it is breaking the country in more ways than one. Much of the Republican Party lives and breathes to protect the rich and powerful from paying taxes, and Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia too often side with them. Meanwhile, public opinion — strongly supporting higher taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations — counts for little because the rich have undue influence over the political class.

But the severity of the problem cannot be overstated. Between 2014 and 2018, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, saw his wealth grow $99 billion (to the level of $191 billion today) while paying a pittance in income taxes, according to an investigation published by ProPublica, which revealed several of America’s best-known billionaires paid similarly little in taxes. (Bezos’ personal and corporate representatives declined to receive detailed questions on the ProPublica story.)