Former treasury secretary says Jeff Bezos is 'mostly wrong' in his criticism of Biden's handling of inflation

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Former treasury secretary says Jeff Bezos is 'mostly wrong' in his criticism of Biden's handling of inflation
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; President Joe BidenCliff Owen, File/Associated Press; Susan Walsh/Associated Press
  • Larry Summers defended Biden after Jeff Bezos criticized the White House's handling of inflation.
  • The former treasury secretary has been critical of the Biden Administration in the past.
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Economist and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers took issue with Jeff Bezos' criticism of President Joe Biden on Monday.

Over the past few days, Bezos has openly attacked the White House's handling of inflation on Twitter. In particular, the Amazon founder took issue with Biden's claim that raising corporate taxes would lower inflation, calling it a "misdirection."

"I think @JeffBezos is mostly wrong in his recent attack on the @JoeBiden Admin," Summers said in a response to Bezos' thread on Twitter. "It is perfectly reasonable to believe, as I do and @POTUS asserts, that we should raise taxes to reduce demand to contain inflation and that the increases should be as progressive as possible."

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Summers, who was the head of the National Economic Council under Former President Barack Obama, has been critical of how the Biden Administration has handled inflation in the past. Last year, the former treasury secretary said in an opinion column for The Washington Post that Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-relief proposal could "set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation."

"I say this even though I have argued vigorously that excessively expansionary macro policy from the @federalreserve and the government have contributed to inflation," Summers said in his response to Bezos on Monday. "I have rejected rhetoric about inflation caused by corporate gouging as preposterous."

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Last month, inflation remained near a 40-year high despite early efforts from the Federal Reserve to bring it down through increasing interest rates.

Summers is one of many high-profile figures who has expressed concern regarding the current rate of inflation in the US. On Monday, Elon Musk said the US is "probably" in the midst of a recession. The billionaire attributed the economic decline to incentives from the government, saying the Biden Administration had printed "a zillion more dollars than it has."

The White House fired back at Bezos' comments earlier this week.

"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," White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Bezos responded by saying that "inflation hurts the neediest the most" and arguing that wealthy people are not causing inflation.

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The Amazon founder is the second-richest person in the world. He is worth nearly 2 million times the median US household income, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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