Amazon founder Jeff Bezos entered the political fray on Sunday, knocking President Biden over decades-high inflation and claiming Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) “saved” Democrats from making the problem worse.
Bezos, 58, accused the White House of overheating the economy with pandemic-induced stimulus payments. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, approved in March 2020, allocated up to $1,400 per person, plus $1,400 per eligible dependent, for people and families who met certain requirements.
“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,” wrote Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post newspaper. “Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country.”
Bezos was referring to Manchin opposing Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better social spending plan in December of last year.
Manchin’s announcement that he would vote “no” on the legislation killed any change of the bill passing the 50-50 Senate. Since then, he has repeatedly killed any effort to resurrect the legislation.
Bezos’ Sunday post came in response to a Tweet reacting to Biden touting the decreasing federal budget deficit.
“Under my predecessor, the deficit increased every single year,” Biden tweeted on Saturday. “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.”
A Twitter user with the name “NeoLiberal” called Biden’s claim “so silly.”
“The deficit is decreasing because we’re not doing pandemic aid anymore, and federal receipts are up because of inflation,” they wrote. “Congress, or the Biden administration, didn’t do anything to lower the deficit.”
Bezos’ uncharacteristic political criticism came only two days after the billionaire blasted the administration over its newly formed Disinformation Governance Board as well as Biden’s claims about inflation.
“The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead,” Bezos tweeted, “Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”
Bezos was directly responding to a Friday post in which Biden wrote: “You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share.”
The Biden administration has been heavily criticized for its handling of inflation, which stood at an annual rate of 8.3% in April as prices of food and gas continue to skyrocket across the country.