White House fires back after Bezos tweets about inflation
By The Citizen on May 16, 2022
The White House on Monday fired back at criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos over its economic policies in the latest back-and-forth between the administration and the tech and retail magnate.
“It doesn’t require a huge leap to figure out why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth opposes an economic agenda for the middle class that cuts some of the biggest costs families face, fights inflation for the long haul, and adds to the historic deficit reduction the President is achieving by asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.
“It’s also unsurprising that this tweet comes after the President met with labor organizers, including Amazon employees,” Bates added.
Bezos responded a short time later on Twitter, accusing the White House of trying to “muddy the topic” and shift the focus away from soaring inflation.
“They know inflation hurts the neediest the most. But unions aren’t causing inflation and neither are wealthy people. Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending,” Bezos tweeted. “They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40 year high.”
Monday’s jabs mark the latest escalation in what has been a tense relationship between the Biden administration and Amazon.
President Biden routinely singles out Amazon for not paying federal taxes in speeches calling for higher tax rates on corporations and the wealthiest Americans. And he met earlier this month with labor leaders who led efforts to unionize an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island in New York, a first for Amazon workers.
Bezos over the weekend took aim at Biden and his administration for its economic policy, pushing back against arguments that increasing taxes on wealthy corporations would help cool inflation, which has been a persistent issue in the U.S. dating back to last year.
“Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss,” Bezos tweeted. “Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”
The billionaire also said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) had saved the Biden administration “from themselves” by blocking spending proposals that Bezos said would have further fueled inflation.