Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested the Trump administration "focus more on cutting public assistance to billionaires instead of poor families" after news broke Friday that Amazon was expanding its presence in New York City without the state giving the company billions in tax incentives.
Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway - *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, & corporate giveaways.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 6, 2019
Maybe the Trump admin should focus more on cutting public assistance to billionaires instead of poor families. https://t.co/BbqhXbB9MM
The decision by the online giant to lease 335,000 square feet of office space in Manhattan and employee 1,500 employees in the consumer and advertising departments was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The announcement came roughly 10 months after Amazon announced it was ditching its widely condemned plan to locate a second headquarters site in Long Island City, Queens—a plan for which New York state would have given the online giant nearly $3 billion in tax incentives.
Ocasio-Cortez was among that plan's most vocal critics, asking at the time, "Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?"
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In a Twitter thread Saturday morning, the New York Democrat said that Amazon would now be "bringing work without the welfare." Ocasio-Cortez also countered the Republican talking point that the city was losing out on thousands of jobs.
While we’re here, let’s clear up some GOP disinfo:— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 7, 2019
- “It’s 1500 jobs vs 25,000”: The 25,000 jobs figure was a 10-20 year fantasy # from Amazon, not a promise or agreement. In exchange for that lack of commitment, they wanted billions of public $. Their Y1 jobs projection was 700.
- Also, and very importantly, these jobs are for FREE. The public was going to pay $3 billion in public subsidies & millions in hard cash building Amazon’s campus for them- NYC residents were subsidizing Amazon tons per job. Now they‘re bringing work without the welfare.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 7, 2019
New York state Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris—who was also among the critics of Amazon's so-called HQ2 plan for the city—weighed in on the news as well Friday.
"Amazon is coming to New York, just as they always planned. Fortunately, we dodged a $3 billion bullet by not agreeing to their subsidy shakedown earlier this year," Gianaris said in a statement. "Now, we must enact reforms to our economic development programs to ensure no company can seek to take advantage of the public again."