Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.
• Fortune reports that Amazon founder-CEO Jeff Bezos has declared that he is in favor of "an increase in the U.S. corporate tax rate, as well as the major investments in the country's infrastructure that the higher taxes would help fund."
The statement came as the Biden administration has introduced a $1.9 trillion infrastructure plan that would require increasing the federal corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which is below the pre-2017 35 percent rate. The bill has been criticized by some on the left as being too modest, by some on the right as being too expensive, and has generated debate about the definition of the word "infrastructure."
In calling for "bold investments in American infrastructure," Bezos said via Twitter, "We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides — both on the specifics of what's included as well as how it gets paid for (we're supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate)."
Fortune writes that "the support for a higher tax rate is notable because of Biden's repeated criticisms of Amazon in recent years for not paying what he said was its fair share—criticisms he aired as recently as last Wednesday. (Amazon responded at the time by saying the research and development credits it had used to reduce its tax bill had bipartisan support and were well established.) … According to calculations in February by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Amazon didn't come anywhere close to paying the current 21% rate on the record profits it earned in 2020 . ITEP, which last week took to task 55 major corporations for paying no taxes at all, said that Amazon's effective tax rate was 9.4%, meaning it used deductions, credits, and other accounting strategies to avoid $2.3 billion in taxes."