Tucker Carlson said that Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "has a very good point" about Amazon getting large tax breaks after the company announced it would build half of its newest HQ site in the New York City borough of Queens. Full commentary below.
Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Well, news from the tech front tonight. Amazon has announced, after months of hype, that it's building two new headquarter facilities, one outside New York City, and the other outside Washington and Arlington, Virginia.In return for bestowing his grace on America's two richest cities, Jeff Bezos, who is the world's richest man will receive more than $2 billion in subsidies from you, the taxpayer.
Well new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had this to say today. "Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need more investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."
Hate to admit it. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a very good point.
Brian Brenberg is Associate Professor of Business Economics, The King's College. And he joins us tonight. Professor, thank you very much for coming on. That's the only time I've ever agreed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
BRIAN BRENBERG, PROFESSOR, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHAIR OF THE PROGRAM IN BUSINESS AND FINANCE, THE KING'S COLLEGE: Ha-ha.
CARLSON: But it's hard to argue with the internal logic of her point. The richest man in the world just got $2 billion in taxpayer subsidies--
CARLSON: --how does that work?
BRENBERG: --and he's been shopping around the country for 14 months going to cities to see who will give him the best deal. And he's shaking down New York City for about $1.5 billion and he's done some - something similar down in Northern Virginia.
And again, the whole point is he's trying to cozy up the politicians so that they will give him and his company, a $200 billion company, the biggest tax breaks around, and put them in a position where they can fend off competitors for years to come because they're cozy with the rule makers.
CARLSON: Wait. So, you're saying that they're paying him to lobby them and then you see Adam Schiff, the incoming Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee saying he's going to investigate the President for daring to criticize Jeff Bezos.
BRENBERG: Oh, yes, no, no--
CARLSON: It's making my head spin.
BRENBERG: --Jeff Bezos is moving into town because he wants to control these narrative. He wants to control what's happening in the Halls of Power. He's already hired $13 million worth of lobbying and a 100 lobbyists to deal with this.
Now he's going to put 20,000 more people right next to D.C. and Northern Virginia to make sure every time there's an issue that affects Amazon, he has boots on the ground in the Halls of Congress, in the offices of politicians to get his - his preferences passed, even if it means consumers and other small businesses lose out. This is all about getting his hands on the levers of power.
CARLSON: Can I ask you a question as an American? I should just say I'm a property owner in the District of Columbia. This makes my property values go up. I guess it's good for me.
But having lived here for a long time, I can tell you, the last thing we need is more money in Washington. It's rich enough. Why wouldn't Amazon, subsidized by taxpayers, spread the wealth maybe to Detroit or Cleveland or Toledo or someplace that actually needs it?
CARLSON: I don't understand.
BRENBERG: --because, Tucker, Detroit isn't anywhere near Congress. Austin, Texas isn't anywhere near Congress. Dallas, whatever the city, this is purely a play for Amazon to buy political influence. They look around the world and they see potential competitors. They like being on top and they want to keep it that way.
And the way to do that is to write the rules, to write the regulation. They are buying prime real estate where all those rules are written. Amazon has gone from a company that disrupts industries to a company that stays on top by buying--
CARLSON: That's right.
BRENBERG: --political influence.
CARLSON: It's exactly right. And it's got a whole political party protecting it.
BRENBERG: They had pocket (ph).
CARLSON: It's unbelievable. It's the Democratic Party--
BRENBERG: And even more so.
CARLSON: --party of big business. Professor, thank you very much for that analysis.
BRENBERG: You bet.