The founder of e-commerce giant Amazon is watching closely as the Biden administration fights inflation at a 40-year high.
Jeff Bezos is no longer the CEO of Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report.
But he seems to have found another title: the chief controller of President Joe Biden’s fight against inflation at its highest in 40 years.
The second richest man in the world, with a fortune estimated at $133 billion on July 3 according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has indeed found this new job for a few weeks now. His office is on Twitter, the platform he uses to distribute good and bad points to the Biden administration, as soaring prices worry consumers and raise fears of a sharp economic slowdown or even a recession.
Bezos attacks the White House on one of its weak points.
It all started in May. On May 13, Democratic President Biden considers raising corporate taxes as one of the options against inflation. To bring down inflation wealthiest corporations should pay their fare share, Biden suggested. Bezos’ reaction was scathing.
“The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead,” Bezos commented.
“You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” Biden posted on Twitter.
“Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection,” Bezos responded.
Bezos also criticized the Biden administration as the president sought to take credit for deficit reduction. The former Amazon boss couldn’t swallow this and pointed out that Democrats were trying to pump more stimulus into the economy as prices soared.
“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 wrote on May 15.
The following day, the entrepreneur said that the responsible for the surge of your recent grocery store receipts is the federal government.
“Look, a squirrel! This is the White House’s statement about my recent tweets. They understandably want to muddy the topic,” Bezos attacked on May 16. “They know inflation hurts the neediest the most. But unions aren’t causing inflation and neither are wealthy people.”
“Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending. They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40 year high.”
“Deep Misunderstanding of Basic Market Dynamics”
At the time, the White House strongly criticized Bezos, accusing him of wanting to protect his wealth and recalling his opposition to unions.
“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… by asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said at the time.
“It’s also unsurprising that this tweet comes after the president met with labour organisers, including Amazon employees.”
In the background, indeed, the Biden administration supports the unions, which managed to achieve a historic victory at Amazon where employees of a warehouse in New York recently voted to create a union, a first.
After more than a month of calm, Bezos has just reignited his criticism of the White House following a tweet from Biden calling on oil companies to lower gas prices at the pump.
“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” Biden posted on July 2. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”
“Ouch,” Bezos commented. “Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”
The response from the White House was quick. It is just as scathing as the critics of the billionaire.
“Oil prices have dropped by about $15 over the past month, but prices at the pump have barely come down,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote to Bezos. “That’s not ‘basic market dynamics.’ It’s a market that is failing the American consumer.”
And Jean-Pierre had not finished because she added that: “But I guess it’s not surprising that you think oil and gas companies using market power to reap record profits at the expense of the American people is the way our economy is supposed to work.”
Gasoline prices in the United States hit record highs in 2022. The average price per gallon of regular gasoline reached $4.81 on July 3 according to AAA, compared to $3.12 a year ago. year. But prices are expected to continue to rise during hurricane season.