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Bezos bashes Biden over inflation, blaming stimulus spending

Inflation rises to near 40-year high
Inflation rises to near 40-year high 02:15

Jeff Bezos is bashing Joe Biden over inflation, taking to Twitter to blame the president for the sharpest spike in prices in 40 years and saying that the soaring costs facing Americans amount to "regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent."

The post from Bezos — whose estimated $137 billion fortune ranks him behind only Tesla CEO Elon Musk among he world's richest people, according to Bloomberg's billionaires index — was in response to Mr. Biden's call for higher taxes on big corporations as a way to battle inflation.

"You want to bring down inflation? Let's make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share," Mr. Biden tweeted on May 13. 

Bezos retweeted Mr. Biden's statement with his assessment of inflation. "Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection," he wrote. 

In a separate tweet, Bezos added, "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 remains the largest individual shareholder at Amazon, which he founded in 1994, with almost 10% of its shares.

Amazon and other big companies have long been the focus of criticism over corporate tax rates that can fall into single digits — and even lower — because of loopholes and tax breaks that aren't available to most Americans. For instance, Amazon's financial statements show it had a federal income tax rate of 1.2% in 2019, or about 13 percentage points lower than the average American's tax rate that year. 

At the same time, companies last year enjoyed their most profitable year since 1950 — due to government aid as well as consumer spending buoyed by stimulus spending. 

The government's stimulus efforts are cited by economists as one factor contributing to the high inflation rate, which rose 8.3% in April. Flush with cash from stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit payments, households boosted spending, adding demand to an economy that was still recovering from the pandemic. 

Amazon fires two employees tied to New York City union effort 04:34

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

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