Musk Tweets Against Billionaire Tax as Means To Pay for Reconciliation Bill: Legitimate or Self-Serving?

SpaceX Capsule Test, Cape Canaveral, USA - 19 Jan 2020
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Still struggling to find a way to pay for the reconciliation package, some Democrats are proposing a “billionaire tax.” However, the richest man on the planet, Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, is not happy about it and took to Twitter to let the world know.

See: Nearly 40% of America’s Wealthiest Billionaires Give Relatively Nothing to Charity
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Yesterday, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, released a plan for the Billionaires Income Tax, which would apply to roughly 700 taxpayers and raise hundreds of billions of dollars, “ensuring the wealthiest people in the country pay their fair share toward historic investments in child care, paid leave, and addressing the climate crisis. Only taxpayers with more than $100 million in annual income or more than $1 billion in assets for three consecutive years would be covered by the proposal,” according to the plan.

“According to their own estimates, this tax only covers ~10% of the $3.5 trillion spending bill. Where will the other 90% come from? The answer is you,” Musk tweeted in response.

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“US national debt is ~$28,900 billion or ~$229k per taxpayer. Even taxing all “billionaires” at 100% would only make a small dent in that number, so obviously the rest must come from the general public. This is basic math. Spending is the real problem. https://usdebtclock.org,” he said in another tweet.

“Who is best at capital allocation — government or entrepreneurs — is indeed what it comes down to. The tricksters will conflate capital allocation with consumption,” he responded in another tweet.

Related: Musk’s Company Granted Approval for 29 Miles of Vegas Tunnels To Combat Traffic: ‘Roads Must Go 3D’

Replying to a tweet about Musk’s opposition to the tax, Senator Wyden tweeted: “Witnessing how scared billionaires are of paying their fair share under my Billionaires Income Tax plan shows you exactly why we need to get it done.”

Musk would pay as much as $50 billion under the tax over its first five years, the Washington Post reported. “That could pay for a Mars mission,” a Washington Post reporter tweeted. To which, Musk replied: “My plan is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”

More: Data Reveals Billionaires Got Richer Thanks to COVID – While (Almost) Everyone Else Got Poorer

Musk’s net worth stands at $292 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth jumped $25 billion earlier this week, following the announcement that Hertz had purchased 100,000 Teslas. Tesla’s stock also soared, which made the company hit the $1 trillion market cap. Now, some experts see the EV company’s valuation continuing to balloon and the stock continuing to rise.

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Explore: Fight for Extended Child Tax Credit Intensifies As Democrats Slam Biden’s One-Year Proposal 
Learn: Free Community College Cut From Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

Also this week, Morgan Stanley analysts say that Elon Musk will become a trillionaire. But this won’t be because of Tesla; it will be thanks to his other company, SpaceX.

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Last updated: October 28, 2021

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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