Amazon hit back at former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday after the presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee criticized the company for paying a low effective tax rate, reminding him that Congress writes the tax laws, and he was part of it.
Biden told CNBC on Friday in a remote interview that Amazon “should start paying their taxes.” He also said: “I don’t think any company, I don’t give a damn how big they are, the Lord almighty, should absolutely be in a position where they pay no tax and make billions and billions and billions of dollars, No. 1.”
However, Amazon paid $1 billion in federal income taxes in 2019, as well as billions more in other federal taxes, and greater amounts in state and local taxes.
Biden tweeted a somewhat scaled-back version of his claim later, claiming that Amazon pays a “lower tax rate”:
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. https://t.co/rsfBvcjqvX
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 22, 2020
Amazon responded that the problem was with the tax code, not the company:
.@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. https://t.co/bKV4Hy4Ma8
— Amazon Policy (@amazon_policy) May 22, 2020
Biden has promised to raise taxes if elected president.
Amazon is a frequent target of criticism from all political parties, for a variety of reasons, and has been the subject of complaints from brick-and-mortar retailers for years. It accounts for a massive share of current job openings in the U.S.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.