Bezos slams Biden on inflation, blaming stimulus spending

Jeff Bezos blasts Joe Biden over inflation, taking to Twitter to blame the president for the biggest price hike in 40 years and saying the skyrocketing costs facing Americans amount to “a regressive tax that harms the less well off the most”.

Bezos’ post — whose estimated $137 billion fortune ranks him behind only Tesla CEO Elon Musk among the world’s richest people, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index — was in response to the Biden’s call for higher taxes on big business as a way to fight inflation.

“Want to lower inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest companies pay their fair share,” Biden tweeted on May 13.

Bezos retweeted Mr Biden’s statement with his assessment of inflation. “Discussing raising corporate taxes is good. Discussing controlling inflation is essential. Mixing them together is just the wrong direction,” he wrote.

In a separate tweet, Bezos added: “In fact, the administration has been scrambling to inject even more stimulus into an already overheated inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves. Inflation is a regressive tax that hurts the less fortunate the most. Misdirection does not help the country.”

Bezos remains the largest individual shareholder of Amazon, which he founded in 1994, with nearly 10% of its shares.

Amazon and other big companies have long been the subject of criticism over corporate tax rates that can fall. single digits – and even lower – due to loopholes and tax breaks that are not available to most Americans. For example, Amazon’s financial statements show that it had a federal income tax rate of 1.2% in 2019, about 13 percentage points lower than the average US tax rate that year.

At the same time, companies last year appreciated their most profitable year since 1950 – due to government handouts as well as consumer spending supported by stimulus spending.

Government stimulus efforts are cited by economists as one of the contributing factors to the high rate of inflation, which increased by 8.3% in April. With cash from stimulus checks and child tax credit payments, households increased spending, adding demand to an economy still recovering from the pandemic.

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Mr. Biden authorized a round of stimulus checks, while his predecessor, Donald Trump, signed bills that sent two rounds of stimulus checks to eligible American households.