It must be something in the political air or maybe the water because very strange things are happening.
Or maybe, you don't think there's anything strange about the owner of the Washington Post blasting Joe Biden over the last couple of days? By the way, how about the fact that the Washington Post editorialized against Joe Biden or that Elon Musk is going to make his first Republican vote? This is getting really weird.
Mr. Bezos, who of course founded the Amazon empire, is talking to squirrels in his latest White House repost:
"Look, a squirrel! This is the White House’s statement about my recent tweets. They understandably want to muddy the topic. They know inflation hurts the neediest the most, but unions aren’t causing inflation and neither are wealthy people. Remember the Administration tried…their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending. They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today and inflation today is at a 40-year high."
I'm first going to take up the squirrel. Right on, Jeff Bezos! Except, the unions do cause inflation, which is why your Amazon is fighting unionization tooth and nail all across the country, but I digress.
You've got the big picture right about the Bidens causing higher inflation. The squirrely response came after the White House relapsed into some good, old-fashioned, big government, socialist, radical, progressive billionaire-bashing.
Here it was: "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."
Bezos, the day before, said: "In fact, the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves. Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country."
I agree with that too, especially the Manchin part and then, what triggered this Bezos-Biden war, is that the Amazon founder said: "The newly created Disinformation Board should review this tweet, or maybe they need to form a new Non Sequitur Board instead. Raising corp. taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection."
Now, if that isn't strange enough, there is more. My hero Elon Musk got into the act and he backed Bezos, not Biden, by saying this. Take a listen:
ELON MUSK: The obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously.
Before that, Elon Musk really piled on by saying: "The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter. You know, it's like... the path to power is the path to the teleprompter."
Then here's Elon Musk's election strategy. He says: "I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, historically. Overwhelmingly. I'm not sure I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear. Now, this election, I will."
So, let’s count up the sides. So far, we have Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and the Washington Post editorial board: 3, President Biden: 0. Next thing you know, Mark Zuckerberg — who basically did his best to rig the 2020 election against Donald Trump — next thing you know, he'll come out against Joe Biden too.
Anyway, regarding inflation, which is public enemy number one, both Bezos and Musk are correct. Too much government stimulus has driven up prices across the board and the Washington Post editorializes: "To show voters he is on top of the problem, Mr. Biden needs to do more than blame someone else for high prices."
It's hard to know what it will take to turn Biden around. He's got these traditionally Democratic billionaires breathing down his neck. He's polling in the mid-30s, the inflation rate is still running hot and yet Uncle Joe keeps talking about spending more, canceling energy leases and raising taxes — kind of hard to believe.
By the way, a quick word on Donald Trump's corporate tax cut. It boosted business investment big time. That leads to higher productivity and that leads to lower inflation. In other words, lower corporate taxes bring inflation down.
I would think Uncle Joe would like that. Also, lower corporate taxes incentivized American businesses that kept their cash offshore to bring the money home at the lower tax rate. In other words, they weren't paying their fair share, but now they are, with nearly $2 trillion of repatriated cash and no more foreign company inversions to avoid paying American taxes.
I would think Biden would like that. Oh, and did I mention blue-collar family incomes jumped $5,000? I would think a good Democrat would like that, but I would be wrong in these strange times. So, I'll just keep pushing for the growthier budget plan that Newt Gingrich and I talked about on last night's show.
Trim spending, keep the Trump tax cuts, go back to slashing regulations — especially for fossil fuels — and work for king dollar. I'll try to persuade Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to come along with this plan. Save America, balance the budget.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the May 17, 2022, edition of "Kudlow."