Bezos vs. Biden: Amazon founder calls out president over inflation and corporate taxes

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Left: Jeff Bezos (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle). Right: President Joe Biden (White House File Photo via Flickr).

Jeff Bezos spent a good chunk of Friday tweeting about everything from his critique of slidedecks to heartfelt remarks about his father.

But his nightcap garnered the most attention, as the Amazon founder took aim at a tweet from President Joe Biden’s account.

Biden’s message suggesting that taxes on corporations such as Amazon can help bring down inflation seemed to get under Bezos’ skin. It’s unusual to see the Amazon chairman publicly take aim at the administration.

Biden last year specifically called out Amazon during a speech outlining his infrastructure spending plan. He cited a 2019 analysis highlighting 91 Fortune 500 companies that didn’t pay federal income tax in 2018 — “including Amazon,” Biden noted, while not mentioning any other companies. 

Amazon last year reported $2.3 billion in federal income tax expense, according to a statement to CNBC.

Elected officials, progressive activists, and academics haven taken aim at Amazon in the past for reportedly paying nothing in federal income taxes. Researchers and journalists came to that conclusion by calculating the tax deferrals and credits Amazon is eligible for. Federal tax laws also allow the company to delay payment of the bill. 

More recently President Biden voiced support for workers when discussing the historic unionization at an Amazon warehouse in New York City.

Bezos in 2015 tweeted at former President Trump, saying he would reserve a seat for the presidential candidate on one of his Blue Origin rockets. He later said the tweet was a mistake.

Last month Bezos responded to a tweet from Elon Musk about converting Twitter’s HQ into a homeless shelter. Musk is in the process of buying Twitter for $44 billion.



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