- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 1, 2021

President Biden appeared to send mixed messages this week when he accused Amazon Inc. of an unethical avoidance of taxes that he simultaneously had zero desire to “punish.”

The Democrat made the comments while speaking to an audience Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

“[They] use various loopholes where they pay not a single solitary penny in federal income tax,” he told the Pennsylvania audience of nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies, Reuters reported. “I don’t want to punish them, but that’s just wrong.”

Jay Carney — former press secretary during the Obama administration and current Amazon SVP for policy & press — disagreed. He suggested Congress change its laws if political leaders object to its accountants following them.

“If the R&D Tax Credit is a ‘loophole,’ it’s certainly one Congress strongly intended,” he tweeted. “The R&D Tax credit has existed since 1981, was extended 15 times with bi-partisan support and was made permanent in 2015 in a law signed by President Obama.”

Mr. Carney also pushed back against Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren after she echoed the president’s claims.

“But changing the law is certainly more productive than faulting companies for following it — and far better than threatening to break up American companies so they can’t criticize elected leaders,” he tweeted.

Reuters added that Amazon began paying federal income tax in 2019 after a two-year stint of paying $0 in federal taxes.

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