New York: “You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” US President Joe Biden had said in a tweet.
Never one to balk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pushed back calling Biden out publicly.
“The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead. Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection,” Bezos, the world’s third richest human after Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault, tweeted.
Bezos’ allusion left little unstated. That President was “mushing together” corporate taxes and “misdirecting” the country.
Inflation in the US is at its highest since the 1980s, affecting the price of essential goods like gas, food, healthcare, and housing.
Only in April, inflation slowed for the first time in eight months.
Commonly understood explanations are excess demand for goods and services, rising costs of wages and materials, erosion in currency, and Biden’s policies and regulations.
Amazon, the company Bezos founded, paid no federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.
The company has long been accused of not paying its fair share of taxes, an accusation it contests.
Earlier this month, Biden announced the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board, to combat disinformation in online social media posts.
The White House said the board was “nonpartisan” and “apolitical”, even as Federal Communication Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr, described it as “Orwellian” and “unconstitutional”.
Republican officials have announced a multi-state lawsuit against the DHS and the “un-American” board.
Biden has tried to pin the record inflation on his predecessor, Donald Trump, and big corporations.
His saga with Bezos has never had a predictable moment. Nor for that matter has Bezos’s with Donald Trump.
“We recognise this investment will require concessions from all sides both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate). We look forward to Congress and the Administration coming together to find the right, balanced solution that maintains or enhances US competitiveness,” Bezos said last year supporting Biden’s infrastructure funding plan by hiking corporation tax from 21 per cent to 28.
But then a series of antitrust and anti-workforce matters began being taken up by US regulators.
In 2016, Jill Biden, then the second lady of the US, drew attention for planting what the White House media described as “an awkward kiss” on Bezos.