AMAZONOPOLY: Jeff Bezos May Be About To Control $53 Billion In Federal Government Spending, by Brian McNicoll

As noted in “The Friendly Faces of Fascism,” the recent National Defense Authorization Act has a nice little present for Amazon. From Brian McNicoll at dailycaller.com:

Getty Images/David Ryder, Shutterstock/urbanbuzz

Getty Images/David Ryder, Shutterstock/urbanbuzz

Jeff Bezos spends a lot of time directing the newspaper he owns, The Washington Post, to criticize President Donald Trump in every way imaginable. But for some reason, the federal government cannot stop giving Amazon — the retail empire Bezos also owns — a slew of taxpayer-subsidized subsidies. Now, Congress is considering a new federal purchasing plan that could result in Amazon’s most lucrative government handout yet.

The technology giant is no stranger to sweetheart deals that line its pockets at taxpayer expense. The U.S. Postal Service, for instance — which has lost $60 billion since 2007 — handles last-mile shipping for two-thirds of Amazon’s deliveries. This means overtime for workers and a good incoming revenue number on the USPS’s balance sheet, but it’s a financial bonanza for Amazon.

According to media reports, USPS delivers Amazon packages for $2 per package — even though it costs USPS $3.46 per package to make these deliveries. And that’s before you get into the $200 million three years ago for 270,000 handheld scanners to process the packages or the $5 billion or more to replace USPS vehicles with ones better suited to carry Amazon’s packages.

But even this cozy arrangement pales in comparison to the deal Amazon is now trying to push through Congress.

 Buried deep in this year’s defense spending bill is a provision that would move Defense Department purchases of commercial off-the-shelf products to online marketplaces.

A summary of the proposal, which was inserted into the legislation by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, argues it is needed to save money over the burdensome and expensive current system.

It pointed to a report from the Inspector General of the Government Services Administration that found some IT equipment could be purchased more cheaply on the open market than through the GSA’s “schedules.”

In response, the plan calls for developing an online marketplace platform through which federal agencies can buy products such as paper clips, bottled water, computers, office furniture and more — just as any business would do.

To continue reading: AMAZONOPOLY: Jeff Bezos May Be About To Control $53 Billion In Federal Government Spending

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