Joe Biden, despite almost a half century in politics during which he has played politics relentlessly, has managed to get in to a fight with the richest man – and internet mogul – in the world.
Here is Biden’s tweet, attacking amazon.com for not paying enough taxes:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: No company pulling in billions of dollars in profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers.
It’s time for Amazon to pay its fair share.
And here is Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos’ response:
.@JoeBiden We pay every cent owed. You spent 3 decades in the Senate & know that Congress wrote these tax laws to encourage companies to invest in the US economy. We have. 500k jobs w/ a min wage of $15/hr across 40 states. Assume your complaint is w/ the tax code, not Amazon.
Interesting point. Didn’t Joe Biden spend 36 years in the senate, and 8 years as Vice President? What did he do to change the laws that Amazon is following when it files taxes?
But that’s not all. Amazon as a corporate entity may not pay enough taxes to please Joe Biden. But here, according to its January 31, 2020 statement, titled “Amazon’s economic impact in the U.S.”, is a more complete picture of the company’s contribution:
Over the last decade, no other U.S.-based company has created more jobs than Amazon. Our investments have led to the creation of over 2 million jobs in the U.S. We have more than 500,000 U.S. employees across 40 states and 250 counties. In addition, our investments have produced a ripple effect of more than 680,000 indirect jobs that help communities across the nation thrive. On top of that, we are supporting the rapid growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to launch and grow by selling their products online. SMBs have created more than 830,000 jobs in communities across the U.S. as a result of selling on Amazon. In fact, SMBs from all 50 states that sell with Amazon are more than twice as likely to see 25-50% hiring growth compared to those that do not, according to research by IDC.
Amazon has a $15 minimum wage, and all of our employees receive quality benefits as well as access to a wide range of programs to learn new skills for in-demand jobs as part of Upskilling 2025, a $700 million commitment by Amazon to support all employees in gaining critical knowledge to move into higher skilled, better paying, technical or non-technical roles. Due in part to these programs and benefits, we are proud to have been recognized by LinkedIn as a top company to work for.
Like most governments that try to encourage economic investment by companies, the U.S. Congress has written a tax code that incentivizes the type of job creation, capital investment, development of technology, and employee ownership that Amazon does because these are critical drivers of a prosperous economy. We follow all applicable federal and state tax laws, and our U.S. taxes are a reflection of our continued investments, compensation of our employees, and the current tax rules.
A summary of Amazon’s 2019 U.S. taxes includes:
- Over $1 billion in federal income tax expense.
- More than $2.4 billion in other federal taxes, including payroll taxes and customs duties.
- More than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, including payroll taxes, property taxes, state income taxes, and gross receipts taxes.
- Last year alone, Amazon collected and remitted nearly $9 billion in sales and use taxes to states and localities throughout the U.S. The recent enactment of “marketplace laws” by 40 states allows Amazon to legally collect state and local sales and use taxes on behalf of third-party sellers who sell their goods on our platform. We support marketplace laws and expect them to generate even more sales and use taxes in the coming years.
You were saying, Joe?
I wonder when – maybe if is a better word – Joe Biden learns that his 1970’s brand of standard-issue politics is stale, tired, old and a few more adjectives you can fill in for yourself.
And I wonder when the Democrat power brokers take the fact that this is pretty much all Mr. Biden has to offer, along with his obviously debilitated mental condition, seriously enough to do something about it before the party’s convention.
Or have they already realized as much? Are they already working on how it will be done?
I don’t know the answer, but – as I have suggested in previous blogs – it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.