The White House responded for at least the second time in as many days today to tweets from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in a war of words over, well — the parties also argued over what the argument was about.
Bezos tweeted this morning that “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.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates replied by quote-tweeting an assessment from Jeff Stein, White House Economics Reporter for the Bezos-owned Washington Post in which Stein countered his paper’s owner directly.
“The WH’s long-term spending plans were offset by major higher taxes on the rich and corporations, leading Larry Summers and other prominent economists to argue that their inflationary impact would likely be negligible by reducing demand.”
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It all started Friday afternoon when President Biden wrote on the social media platform, “You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share.”
That evening, Bezos decided to share his reaction.
“The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead,” he wrote in part. “Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”
The sometimes richest man in the world jumped back into the scrum again Sunday morning, leveling the misdirection allegation again and contending that the White House had sought a stimulus package when the economy was already overheated before saying that “inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent.”
Three hours later on Sunday, the administration fired back for the first time. In what was surely a tweak at Bezos, Bates shared the official WH reaction with the paper Bezos owns:
“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.”
The verbal melee only escalated from there, with former Obama and Clinton administration economist Larry Summers tweeting in support of Biden, Bezos invoking the “Squirrel!” meme from Pixar’s Up, reporter Stein weighing in with reporting that bolstered Biden’s case and then Bates going back at Bezos yet again. You can follow along below.
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