Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday sharply criticized an announcement from tech giant Apple that the company would invest $2.5 billion in helping to asssuage the effects of California's housing crisis—a crisis that Apple has contributed to by driving prices up as the company has expanded in the San Francisco area.
"Apple's announcement that it is entering the real estate lending business is an effort to distract from the fact that it has helped create California's housing crisis—all while raking in $800 million of taxpayer subsidies, and keeping a quarter trillion dollars of profit offshore, in order to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes," Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, said in a statement.
"Bernie Sanders comes out swinging on Apple's housing announcement," tweeted ReCode reporter Teddy Schleifer.
Bernie Sanders comes out swinging on Apple’s housing announcement.— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) November 4, 2019
“Apple is the latest tech industry tax evader that has portrayed its entry into the housing business as an act of philanthropic altruism.” pic.twitter.com/Z3xInapIW8
"Bernie is the first 2020 candidate I've seen to weigh in on this," added Schleifer.
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Sanders, in his statement, said that relying on company's like Apple to solve the issue is not a solution—no matter how much money the tech giant is throwing at the problem.
"Today, more than 134,000 Californians are homeless and renters need to earn $34.69 per hour to afford the average two-bedroom apartment," said Sanders. "We cannot rely on corporate tax evaders to solve California's housing crisis."
As Common Dreams reported, Sanders unveiled his "Housing for All" plan in September, promoting an end to homelessness, national rent control, and the construction of 10 million new homes.
The senator referred to the plan on Monday, promising Apple that it would contribute to solving the issue, though perhaps not in the way the company had in mind. The proposal calls for $2.5 trillion in spending over the next decade—which would "be fully paid for by establishing a tax on the wealthiest top one-tenth of one percent of Americans," according to the Sanders campaign.
"When we defeat Donald Trump, we are going to make companies like Apple start paying their fair share, so that we can finally start making massive long-term investments that guarantee Americans affordable housing," said Sanders.