Elon Musk trolls Bernie Sanders over tax remark: ‘I keep


    In yet another Twitter squabble, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is sparring with US Senator Bernie Sanders, after the latter called for billionaires to pay more taxes. In a Twitter post, Sanders demanded that “extremely wealthy pay their fair share”. In response, Musk tweeted saying that he keeps forgetting that Sanders, who was a former US presidential hopeful, is still alive.

    It is to mention that Musk has already offloaded a combined $6.9 billion (Rs 51,289 crore) worth of Tesla shares of as November 12. He offered the shares after outsourcing the decision to a Twitter poll. On Sunday, Musk again offered to sell more of his Tesla stock, saying, “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word”. 

    Even after selling a block of Tesla shares, Musk holds more than 170 million shares. Tesla CEO certainly qualifies under Sander’s description of the “extremely wealthy” as he is the world’s richest person, having a net worth of $285 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index. Earlier this month, Musk staged the Twitter poll to make a point about the ‘billionaires tax’ proposed by Democrats in Congress. 

    “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,” Musk had said. 

    ‘Billionaires Income Tax’ proposal 

    The latest Twitter spat comes at the backdrop of Washington’s efforts to hike taxes for the super-wealthy. US President Joe Biden has proposed a Democratic plan to levy the taxes on the top billionaires, including Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg along with 700 others. The proposal would affect people who either have an income of over $100 million for at least three years in a row or have assets worth over $1 billion. 

    The domestic policy seeks to implement “billionaire tax”, an estimated 23.8% tax rate on the long-term capital gains on tradable assets for the big American tech giants. For scenarios that include non-tradeable assets, like real estate, once taxpayers sell their assets, they could pay both regular capital gains taxes and an additional charge. Meanwhile, Musk has previously slammed the policy and claimed that it would slowly start targeting other taxpayers. 

    (Image: AP)