Tags: david stockman | amazon | trump | twitter

David Stockman: Amazon 'Predatory Monster' But Trump Rants Are Wrong

(Jonathan Weiss/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 06 April 2018 08:18 AM

Economic guru David Stockman isn’t a fan of online-retail titan Amazon.com Inc. but the former Reagan adviser says President Donald Trump shouldn’t be publicly attacking any American company.

Stockman, who was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981–1985) under President Ronald Reagan, said the president’s tweet rants against Amazon proves that the argument Trump is “pro-business” is wrong.

“Presidents shouldn’t be meddling in the economy,” Stockman recently told Fox Business Networks’ Neil Cavuto.

“I think he’s right about Amazon for the wrong reason,” Stockman said. “It is a predatory monster that is destroying value, jobs, businesses, assets all over America.”

Meanwhile, Stockman is also suspicious of Amazon’s growth.

“The big problem is,” he said, “when you tell [Amazon founder Jeff] Bezos that he can run a profit-free business and the market cap goes from $200 billion four years ago to $750 billion,”  said Stockman, who served as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan (1977–1981).

Meanwhile, Amazon is spending millions of dollars on lobbying as the global online retailer seeks to expand its reach into a swath of industries that Trump's broadsides haven't come close to hitting, the Associated Press reported.

Trump's attacks over the last week targeted what Amazon is best known for: rapidly shipping just about any product you can imagine to your door. But the company CEO Jeff Bezos founded more than two decades ago is now a sprawling empire that sells groceries in brick-and-mortar stores, hosts the online services of other companies and federal offices in a network of data centers, and even recently branched into health care.

Amazon relies on a nearly 30-member in-house lobbying team that's four times as large as it was three years ago as well as outside firms to influence the lawmakers and federal regulators who can help determine its success. The outside roster includes a retired congressman from Washington state who was a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee when he stepped down.

Overall, Amazon spent $15.6 million on lobbying in 2017.

"Amazon is just not on an even playing field," Trump told reporters Thursday aboard Air Force One. "They have a tremendous lobbying effort, in addition to having The Washington Post, which is as far as I'm concerned another lobbyist. But they have a big lobbying effort, one of the biggest, frankly, one of the biggest."

Bezos owns the Post. He and the newspaper have previously declared that Bezos isn't involved in any journalistic decisions.

Earlier in the week, Trump alleged that Amazon is bilking the U.S. Postal Service for being its "delivery boy," a doubtful claim about a contract that's actually been judged profitable for the post office. And he has charged that Amazon pays "little or no taxes," a claim that may have merit. Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said in February that Amazon "has built its business model on tax avoidance." Amazon reported $5.6 billion of U.S. profits in 2017 "and didn't pay a dime of federal income taxes on it," according to Gardner.

(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).

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Economic guru David Stockman isn’t a fan of online-retail titan Amazon.com Inc. but the former Reagan adviser says President Donald Trump shouldn’t be publicly attacking any American company.
david stockman, amazon, trump, twitter
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2018-18-06
Friday, 06 April 2018 08:18 AM
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