The war of words between Jeff Bezos and the Biden administration picked up steam on Monday, as the Amazon founder accused the White House of trying to “muddy the topic” on inflation’s relationship with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
The spat began last Friday when the president tweeted that making “sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share” would “bring down inflation.”
Biden didn’t call out Bezos in the statement, but the Amazon founder responded that the “newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet.”
“Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss,” Bezos tweeted on Friday. “Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”
Bezos then followed that up Sunday by saying that “the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy,” and only Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, saved them by holding up Biden’s Build Back Better plan in the Senate.
The White House hit back on Sunday evening, with deputy press secretary Andrew Bates telling the Washington Post that “it doesn’t require a huge leap to figure out why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth” would oppose higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre echoed those comments, saying at a press conference on Monday that “it’s not a huge mystery” why Bezos opposes what she calls an “economic agenda that is for the middle class, that cuts some of the biggest costs families face.”
Bezos responded to Bates’ statement by saying that the White House wants to “muddy the topic” and “inflation would be even higher than it is today” if Biden’s Build Back Better plan passed.
Inflation rose 8.3% in April, slightly below the 8.5% jump in March but still near the 40-year-high.
Biden met last month with the organizer behind Amazon’s first successful unionization push at a Staten Island warehouse last month, Christian Smalls, who wore a jacket emblazoned with the message, “Eat the rich.”