Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) vowed on Thursday to fight to “break up Big Tech” companies so they are not powerful enough to “heckle senators with snotty tweets.”
Warren advanced this anti-free speech argument after the Twitter account for Amazon News challenged the progressive senator when she falsely asserted that Amazon paid “close to nothing” in federal taxes.
“Giant corporations like Amazon report huge profits to their shareholders – but they exploit loopholes and tax havens to pay close to nothing in taxes,” Warren tweeted Wednesday, sharing a clip from a Senate Finance Committee hearing in which she argued for legislation to increase the tax burden on corporations.
Warren claimed that between 2018 and 2020, when the corporate tax rate was 21 percent, Amazon only paid an effective tax rate of 4.3% by exploiting various loopholes, deductions, and profit-shifting provisions of the tax code.
Amazon News responded to Warren’s tweet telling her, “You make the tax laws @SenWarren; we just follow them. If you don’t like the laws you’ve created, by all means, change them.”
@SenWarren 1/3 You make the tax laws @SenWarren; we just follow them. If you don’t like the laws you’ve created, by… https://t.co/21DXVmzbZ9
— Amazon News (@Amazon News)1616719591.0
Amazon went on to say that the company paid $1.7 billion in federal taxes in 2020, excluding the additional $18 billion revenues generated for state governments through various sales taxes nationwide. The account noted Amazon made $350 billion in investments since 2010 and created 400,000 new jobs last year.
In a parting shot, Amazon told Warren, “While you’re working on changing the tax code, can we please raise the federal minimum wage to $15?”
The senator from Massachusetts responded to the criticism with a threat to break up Big Tech companies like Amazon so they can’t tweet disagreements at her.
“I didn’t write the loopholes you exploit, @amazon — your armies of lawyers and lobbyists did,” she claimed. “But you bet I’ll fight to make you pay your fair share. And fight your union-busting. And fight to break up Big Tech so you’re not powerful enough to heckle senators with snotty tweets.”
I didn’t write the loopholes you exploit, @amazon – your armies of lawyers and lobbyists did. But you bet I’ll figh… https://t.co/YuApiIAFrK
— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1616728140.0
Warren has previously proposed a plan to increase regulation on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to “fight disinformation.” Her proposal calls for reforms to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a law that grants liability protections to social media platforms so they can’t be sued for content posted on their websites by third parties.
Warren wants Big Tech companies to share data with the federal government, moderate even more content with warning labels about disinformation, and otherwise increase censorship to combat so-called “false information” — and apparently to stop “snotty tweets.”