Democrats have repeatedly hammered on Amazon for supposedly failing to pay taxes. To appease voters, especially progressives who favored Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Biden has continually beat that drum.
“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,” Biden told CNBC. “The whole notion of this is: Are you playing the game fairly? What’s the capitalist system all about? The capitalist system is about everyone dealing fairly and dealing straight up with the American people and with their employees.”
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.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 22, 2020
It's time for Amazon to pay its fair share. https://t.co/rsfBvcjqvX
What the presumptive Democratic nominee likely didn't anticipate was a response from the company themselves:
.@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
The e-commerce giant posted a blog in January, highlighting their positive impacts to the economy, including:
- More than 2 million American jobs.
- Employees have a minimum wage of $15 an hour and receive benefits.
- $270 billion invested in corporate offices, customer fulfillment and cloud infrastructure, wind and solar farms, eco-friendly equipment and machinery, and compensation to our teams since 2010.
- Investing in local communities, including Seattle, WA and Arlington, VA, where the company is headquartered, as well as 16 hubs across the U.S.
According to Amazon, the company's 2019 taxes included:
- $1 billion in federal income taxes.
- 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 receipt taxes.
- Almost $9 billion in sales and use taxes that went to states and localities.
Amazon is right. If Biden doesn't like what the tax code looks like maybe he should have advocated for changes throughout the various decades he spent in Congress.