Jeff Bezos is sparring with the White House over the cause of high gas prices, with the world’s second-richest person expressing opposition to a tweet from President Joe Biden that called on fuel companies to cut prices.
Bezos took issue with a July 2 tweet from Mr. Biden that told “the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump” to “[b]ring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”
Responding to Biden’s message, Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, took aim at the President’s blaming corporations.
“Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this,” Bezos tweeted. “It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”
Gas prices sat at $4.80 a gallon on average on Monday, or 53% higher than a year earlier, according to AAA. The surge in prices at the pump are due to a, ranging from a spike in demand for fuel as Americans began driving again to Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to experts.
The White House issued a retort to Bezos’ criticism, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pointing out a gap between oil prices and the cost of gasoline at the pump.
“Oil prices have dropped by about $15 over the past month, but prices at the pump have barely come down. That’s not ‘basic market dynamics,'” she wrote in a tweet. “It’s a market that is failing the American consumer.”
She added, “But I guess it’s not surprising that you think oil and gas companies using market power to reap record profits at the expense of the American people is the way our economy is supposed to work.”
Meanwhile, gas prices have declined from their record high of $5.02 a gallon on June 14, according to AAA. That’s due partly to Americans consuming less gasoline, a pullback due to the hit to their budgets from high gas prices.
It’s not the first time that Bezos has sparred with the White House over inflation. In May, Bezosfor the sharpest spike in inflation in four decades, and described soaring prices as a “regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent.”