Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss Jeff Bezos criticizing President Biden on Twitter over high inflation rates.
JULIE HYMAN: Well, Jeff Bezos once again is taking to Twitter to criticize President Biden over high inflation rates, speaking of inflation. Bezos saying, the administration tried to inject even more stimulus in an already overheated inflationary economy. Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection does not help the country. This was in response to President Biden talking about the challenge of inflation here.
There's so much of this Monday morning quarterbacking that's been going on, right? What would the economy have looked like, what would our pandemic period have looked like if the US government didn't do what it did? We have no way of knowing. There's no counterfactual, right? We don't live in that alternate universe. But it's very difficult-- it's difficult for me now to go back and say, well, they should have-- they're to blame for inflation. They shouldn't have done it. What should they have done? I don't know.
BRAD SMITH: Well, and it's at the same time that we already know many of the billionaires have been targeted by Democrats, especially, on tax policy. And so with that in mind, Bezos continuing to fire back at the administration, and more broadly, at the party, it raises this larger question of, of course, there's hindsight is always 20/20, but what should we do going forward from here? And I think for a lot of average Americans, you look at what the average CEO is making.
You look at what the average billionaire is paying in taxes, or not paying in taxes, and where those funds could come from to offset exactly where the money needs to come in from on a tax revenue basis from the average person that perhaps doesn't have the same type of propensity and, we already know, doesn't have the same type of ability to pay nearly the same amount in taxes or garner as much income that should go back towards making some of these policies and even future goals actionable as well.
BRIAN SOZZI: No, this is, I think, Jeff just being upset about inflation for numerous reasons. One, year to date, his net wealth is down $55 billion, in large part because of inflation. Where is inflation hitting Amazon? In the past two quarters alone, Amazon has seen a $10 billion hit because of various supply chain pressures and various inflation. That is, in fact, obviously pressuring Amazon stock, which he remains a big holder in. Amazon shares are still hovering around a 52-week low.
And then you have two other factors here at play. You have a greater union push at the likes of Amazon, I would suspect, because employees feel like they're being taken for a ride. And then recently, in February, you had Amazon raise more than double the corporate base pay to $350,000 a year max from 100 and-- about 150,000 or so before because of inflation. So all of this is coming out of his wallet. Of course he's going to speak out.
JULIE HYMAN: Well, he's also speaking out because the president was talking about increasing taxes on big corporations, so that's something that, of course, Bezos isn't going to like, especially considering Amazon pays very, very little in taxes year after year after year, so. You know, well, you could argue we do need that sort of relook at the tax code, more broadly. But maybe Bezos doesn't want that to happen.