Elon Musk is trolling again on Twitter, this time at Senator Bernie Sanders.
“I keep forgetting you are still alive,” Musk tweeted on Sunday morning, in response to Sanders’ remark that the ultra-rich should pay their fair amount of taxes. Sanders has been contacted by CNN Business for comment.
I keep forgetting that you’re still alive
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 14, 2021
“Bernie, do you want me to sell additional stock? Simply utter the phrase…” Musk followed up with a tweet an hour later.
Musk completed the week by selling a total of $6.9 billion in Tesla stock. That equated to less than 4% of the shares he personally controls, and less than 3% when all options to purchase further shares were included.
Musk fits Sander’s definition of “the exceedingly affluent” —- he is the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $285 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Musk asked the Twitterverse last week if he should sell 10% of his Tesla assets to pay taxes, and 58 percent of those polled said yes.
However, it seems unlikely that the results of the Twitter poll were the driving force behind last week’s stock sell. Musk is facing a tax burden, which will be triggered by his obligation to execute 22.9 million options to acquire shares by August of next year. At current market levels, such amount would be close to $10 billion.
He may also owe California state income tax, which has a top tax rate of 13.3 percent. Despite the fact that he has relocated to Texas, which has no state income tax, he recently admitted in a tweet that he will still owe California state income taxes since he still spends a significant amount of time working in the state.
Sander’s agenda has a strong emphasis on taxing excessive affluent. As leader of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders has proposed a yearly tax on the richest 0.1 percent of US households that he estimates will raise $4.35 trillion over the next decade and slash billionaires’ wealth in half over 15 years. He also wants to put important enforcement procedures in place for the anticipated wealth taxes.
Democrats attempted to levy a millionaire tax to support President Joe Biden’s expansive social safety net agenda.
“Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all should not be determined by the results of a Twitter poll,” Oregon Senator Ron Wyden tweeted in response to Musk’s poll. “The Billionaires Income Tax is overdue.”