- The White House slammed Bezos for opposing its economic priorities.
- A White House spokesperson said “it doesn’t require a huge leap” to understand why Bezos resisted tax hikes.
- Bezos lambasted the White House for pushing a plan he claimed would worsen inflation.
The White House fired back at the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Sunday evening for opposing an economic spending package that included taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
“It doesn’t require a huge leap to figure out why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth opposes an economic agenda for the middle class that cuts some of the biggest costs families face, fights inflation for the long haul, and adds to the historic deficit reduction the President is achieving by asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein.
Bates went on: “It’s also unsurprising that this tweet comes after the President met with labor organizers, including Amazon employees.”
Earlier that day Bezos had criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for trying to pass a social and climate spending package once known as Build Back Better. He argued it amounted to “more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves.”
That was a reference to Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a conservative Democrat who tanked the spending plan in late December. Democrats have been unable to revive a smaller version of the package so far, and Manchin has swerved on whether he’s interested to back a bill. Democrats can’t approve the plan over unified GOP resistance without his support in the 50-50 Senate.
Biden’s Build Back Better plan is different from the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that he signed into law in March 2021. The stimulus was meant as a one-time relief effort to flood the economy with direct payments and unemployment benefits for individuals, aid to state and local governments, and money for public-health systems. The federal government didn’t raise revenue to finance that spending, so it was added to the national debt.
Some experts say it worsened inflation since it overpowered demand. Supply-chain bottlenecks and other pandemic-related disruptions have been a persistent factor in rising prices for groceries and gas.
The Build Back Better plan was intended to be fully paid for with tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans. While that bill has been on the back burner, Biden has been focused on repackaging his agenda to combat inflation as well as touting his labor credentials. He hosted union organizers from Amazon and Starbucks earlier this month.