In two tweets, Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Inc. founder, recently criticized the Biden administration, tying the corporate tax structure to soaring inflation. Bezos’ tweets were spurred by one from President Biden, which read, “You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share.”
Bezos responded to Biden, tweeting that the two issues need to be separately discussed because “Mushing them together is just misdirection.” Inflation in the United States remains near the four-decade high it reached in March, hovering at 8.3% in April.
In July, the former Amazon chief executive stepped down from his position and remained on as executive chairman; he also tweeted that the passage of the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan — signed into law in March, contributed to high inflation. Bezos also said that West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin’s objection to Biden’s other spending plans prohibited the administration from adding to inflation.
“In fact, the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy, and only Manchin saved them from themselves. Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country,” Bezos tweeted.
President Biden initially proposed a healthcare, climate, and childcare package the party said would cost $3.5 trillion before passing a package of roughly $2 trillion in the House. The package has been in a holding pattern in the Senate, where Manchin’s support is needed for the Democrats to pass the 50-50 Senate despite Republican opposition. Senator Manchin has raised concerns about yet another spending package, increasing inflation.
Biden claims policies help inflation
When President Biden was questioned if his policies were responsible for inflation, he said, “I think our policies help, not hurt.” Although Biden didn’t mention Amazon in his tweet, he has previously mentioned Amazon when speaking of businesses not paying enough in corporate taxes.
Amazon has been hit hard this year, along with many other corporations, by inflation, supply-chain breakdowns, and higher labor costs. In April, the company reported its first quarterly loss in seven years. The loss reflected broader economic trends and shocked investors who had come to trust Amazon as a safe investment during the pandemic.
During the last quarter, Amazon saw about $6 billion in cumulative losses tied to inflation, productivity loss, and warehouse capacity exceeding demand, according to Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky. Olsavsky said Amazon is not constrained by capacity issues or labor as it was often throughout the pandemic.
For his part, Mr. Bezos has been more active on Twitter recently than in previous months this year. He has offered his opinions on various issues, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the need for civility in discourse, and his views on inflation.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bezos has been irritated by criticism of Amazon by Washington and has pushed the company to become more assertive in its defense of itself.
Although the founder of Amazon’s past social media posts have primarily focused on business interests, fundraising efforts for his Bezos Earth Fund, celebrity gatherings, and occasional space launches by his rocket company, Blue Origin, more recent posts have offered unwavering opinions on issues and given more glimpses into his perspectives and personality.