Jeff Bezos Supports Corporate Tax Hike But Conspicuously Fails to Endorse $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (L) and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez pose for a picture during their visit at the Taj Mahal in Agra on January 21, 2020.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (L) and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez pose for a picture during their visit at the Taj Mahal in Agra on January 21, 2020.
Photo: Pawan Sharma/AFP (Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, released a statement late Tuesday saying that he generally supports President Joe Biden’s desire to invest in infrastructure, along with a rise in the corporate tax rate. But some of the things Bezos doesn’t support in the statement are conspicuous in their absence.

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“We support the Biden Administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure,” Bezos said in a statement posted online, presumably meaning “Amazon” when he says “we.”

“Both Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure in the past, and it’s the right time to work together to make this happen,” Bezos continued.

But Bezos, who’s reportedly worth $193 billion, stopped short of specifically endorsing the $2 trillion infrastructure plan that’s currently on the table, instead choosing to say that there must be concessions “from both sides” in order to get something done.

“We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides—both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate),” Bezos said. “We look forward to Congress and the Administration coming together to find the right, balanced solution that maintains or enhances U.S. competitiveness.”

The top corporate tax rate is currently 21% cut down from 35% by the Trump regime’s massive tax bill that acted as a handout to millionaires, billionaires, and corporations in 2017. And while Bezos says he supports a higher tax rate, he doesn’t specify how high.

Big Business isn’t excited about taxes generally, so it’s no surprise that many other American companies are fighting against Biden’s infrastructure plan, even as those some companies complain about U.S. infrastructure, according to a new report from Politico. Large companies are also grumbling behind the scenes about Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s desire to get the major wealthy nations on board with a corporate minimum tax that would level the playing field and stop international companies from shopping around for tax havens.

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From Politico:

Executives often say they could live with a corporate tax rate of around 25 percent — which groups like the Business Roundtable previously supported — but only with deductions restored and without much of the international reform.

“I didn’t think 21 percent was the right number when we did tax reform. And 25 percent is a spot where you could probably get a lot of consensus,” the CEO of one of the world’s largest financial firms said on condition that they not be named. “It’s not the rate, it’s all the other stuff that would make us less competitive around the world. And jobs will go if we do this stuff.”

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Everyone wants nice roads, fast internet across the entire country, and bridges that don’t fall down randomly, but large corporations would like that to happen without paying taxes. Unfortunately you can’t get those nice things without taxes. And anonymous CEOs can say “it’s not the rate” all they want, but it’s the rate. They don’t want to pay higher taxes and they’ll do everything they can to stop them.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

DISCUSSION

Classic example of our failed educational system

I don’t really have much of an issue with what he said. He is right that both sides should be working together on a bill like this. Mind you, I’m not implying that the racist infants that control today’s GOP are capable of good faith negotiation. But his statement is still correct in ideally how our government should function.

That being said, words are just words and the true test will be how Bezos spends his money lobbying the bill.