This week, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, who has an estimated net worth of $288.6 billion, voiced his opposition to Democrats’ billionaire tax — while simultaneously breaking the record for wealth an individual has accumulated in one day.
Democrats unveiled a proposal this week that would levy a tax on billionaires’ Investment income in order to capture some of billionaires’ wealth, rather than just their reported incomes. Under this plan, Musk — who infamously paid $0 in income taxes in 2018 — would pay an estimatedAccording to economist Gabriel Zucman, $10 billion per year will be needed over the next five-years.
Though $10 billion is an unfathomably large amount of money for any individual to own, it is just a small fraction of Musk’s exorbitant wealth — which adds up to approximately 1.3 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic ProductIt is more than the valueExxonMobil is an international oil company. Contrary, the median worker in America is Mr. makesMusk could be taxed on his investment income for $1.7 million per year, which would require an average worker to work just under 6,000 lifetimes.
Musk also gained enough money Monday to pay the next three-and-a half years of his billionaire share of the tax with over a million dollars remaining. A massive Tesla order that caused a boost to the company’s shares pushed Musk’s fortune up by a whopping $36.2 billionBreaking the record for the most wealthOne day is the most money someone has accumulated. For context, $36.2 billion is 10 percent of the amount that the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act would cost in a year — and Musk made it in one day.
The billionaire tax would therefore seem trivial to someone who has such a large wealth. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from complaining about the tax.
“Exactly,” he saidIn response to a tweet urging people to write to representatives opposing the billionaire tax. Musk then falsely implied that imposing such a tax is a slippery slope to taxing people with less wealth: “Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you.”
This conservative talking point is patently false. The billionaire tax does not apply to taxes on millionaires. It also has no relevance to taxes on the middle or lower classes, which Democrats are fiercely opposed to increasing. It doesn’t even raise taxes on the wealthy, which maxes out at 37 percent for income slightly over $500,000 for individuals — a tax rate that Musk isn’t subject to because he reports a low-to-zero yearly incomeThe Internal Revenue Service, (IRS), is a well-known tax avoidance strategy for the ultra-wealthy.
Studies show that tax cuts for the wealthy over decades have led to significant tax increases. not resulted in the promised trickle-down effectInstead, the rich were allowed to accumulate even more wealth and still pay a premium. lower effective tax rate.
Later, Musk implied in a tweet that the task of allocating the country’s resources is best left up to private interests rather than the government, despite the fact that low tax rates for the rich and corporations have led to the current era of runaway wealth. “Who is best at capital allocation – government or entrepreneurs – is indeed what it comes down to,” Musk said in response to a tweet saying that he should be trusted with resource allocation, rather than the Treasury Department. “The tricksters will conflate capital allocation with consumption.”
Musk, who is particularly ironic about this position, is especially ironic benefits greatlyFrom government subsidies. When his companies were founded in 2015 fractionThe current size of the Los Angeles TimesAccording to reports, Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX received $4.9 billion each in government aid. grants, incentives and tax breaks.
SpaceX and Tesla were worth the investment at the time. $25 billionAnd $12 billionThe government subsidy contributed significantly to the success of the businesses. Six years later, Tesla was founded with the help from the government. worth $1 trillionSpaceX and, $100 billion.
Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is the Chair of Senate Finance Committee. crafted the billionaire taxMusk was retorted on Tuesday. “The people who are clearly trying to be tricky are people who are trying to find a way to not pay taxes,” he said.