Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has for some reason begun seemingly trying to make a splash on Twitter — and Biden administration deputy press secretary Andrew Bates rebutted some of Bezos’s arguments this week. Bezos complained about inflation — which has been high worldwide, not just in the U.S. — and Bates pointed out that it’s not a shock to see Bezos slinging opposition (in the form of inflation complaints) at the president’s agenda.
“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. It’s also unsurprising that this tweet comes after the President met with labor organizers, including Amazon employees,” Bates said. Jeff Stein of The Washington Post shared that statement from Bates in response to a tweet from Bezos in which he claimed the Biden team “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.”
Six months ago, I signed the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and we’ve gotten right to work building a better America. We’ve announced over $110 billion in funding for projects in all 50 states to modernize our infrastructure.
We’re just getting started, folks.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 16, 2022
Later on, Bezos responded to Bates’s remarks. “Look, a squirrel!” Bezos mockingly stated on Twitter. “This is the White House’s statement about my recent tweets. They understandably want to muddy the topic. 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.” Is Bezos really that mad about a socially oriented spending proposal that was meant to support Americans in need and advance efforts like fighting climate change? Inflation can be tied to various causes across the economy, such as high demand (although it’s not just individual consumers who exemplify demand — large corporations do as well) and impacts to supply — “Truck drivers, seaport slots and warehouse spaces are all in short supply, leading to costly delays and rising shipping rates for goods,” The Wall Street Journal (a generally conservative-leaning publication) recently noted.
Under my predecessor, the deficit increased every single year.
This year, we’re on track to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion – the biggest one-year decline ever.
It matters to families, because reducing the deficit is one of the main ways we can ease inflationary pressures.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 14, 2022
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also stands to have a negative impact on global prices because of affected supply chains, although officials opposing Russia’s violence have worked on keeping price impacts low. Officials “commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil,” G7 leaders recently stated. “We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies. As we do so, we will work together and with our partners to ensure stable and sustainable global energy supplies and affordable prices for consumers, including by accelerating reduction of our overall reliance on fossil fuels and our transition to clean energy in accordance with our climate objectives.”
I think @JeffBezos is mostly wrong in his recent attack on the @JoeBiden Admin. It is perfectly reasonable to believe, as I do and @POTUS asserts, that we should raise taxes to reduce demand to contain inflation and that the increases should be as progressive as possible.
— Lawrence H. Summers (@LHSummers) May 16, 2022