Elon Musk continues to pick Twitter fights with Democrats over wealth, taxes

  • Elon Musk chooses Twitter battles with key Democratic lawmakers pursuing tax on billionaires.
  • Bernie Sanders, known for his “millionaires and billionaires” blunt speech, was the latest to face anger from Musk’s Twitter.
  • A key proposal for taxing billionaires’ wealth is specifically on life support in the 50-50 Senate.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is unhappy with the Democratic senators who are spearheading efforts to tax billionaires.

First, it was Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who authored the “billionaire tax” that would give Musk a $ 50 billion tax bill for the first five years. Musk took an unusually rough slap against the Oregon senator.

The latest target for Musk’s anger was Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. On Sunday night, Musk threw insults at Vermont Independent, shortly after Sanders tweeted that the richest Americans should pay their fair share of taxes.

Musk responded in a tweet: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”

Sanders and Wyden are among the most prominent Democrats in recent months demanding that the rich like Musk pay taxes along with others like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Sanders and Warren have been outspoken advocates for direct wealth taxes, which they both campaigned for during their respective presidential campaigns in 2020, often with Sander broadcasting his famous chorus about all the benefits that “millionaires and billionaires” have. Sanders ‘plan would have imposed an ever-increasing marginal tax rate on people holding at least $ 32 million and halving billionaires’ wealth over 15 years.

“I do not think billionaires should exist,” Sanders told The New York Times.

Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act – also a cornerstone of her campaign – would levy a 2% tax on households with a net worth of $ 50 million to $ 1 billion, and a 3% tax on those over $ 1 billion.

“I am confident that lawmakers will catch up with the overwhelming majority of Americans who demand more justice, more change, and who believe it’s time for a wealth tax,” Warren said in a statement on the proposal, noting that in March By 2021, billionaires had become about 40% richer during the pandemic. By October 2021, billionaires had grown their net worth by $ 2.1 trillion – an increase of 70%.

The White House has not fully relied on a direct wealth tax, although opinion polls consistently show that it is popular with most voters who want higher taxes on the wealthy to offset infrastructure spending.

President Joe Biden had previously proposed taxation

investment income

for Americans who earn over $ 1 million and ordinary income at equal rates, and shut down a loophole that allows the richest people to transfer inheritance to their heirs tax-free. These plans met with opposition among Democrats, who cannot afford to lose more than three votes in Parliament and no one in the Senate.

Last month, Wyden unveiled a proposal to hit the stock of around 700 billionaires like Musk with a new 23.8%

capital gains

tax, forcing them to pay new taxes on the growing value of their shares.

But it collided with opposition from Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who argued it was too punitive for business and corporate executives. His opposition lowered the plan, though Wyden still wants it to be included in the $ 1.75 trillion social spending bill that Parliament is ready to pass by the end of this week.

The unrest over the Wyden plan went far beyond Manchin. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mocked the tax privately at the end of last month during a call with senior Democrats, calling it a public relations stunt that had little chance of becoming law.

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