Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Billionaires should pay more taxes to help the ‘next Elon Musk’

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, told CNBC on Tuesday that Elon Musk and other billionaires should pay it forward in taxes to help the next generation of entrepreneurs who can make a difference. “I’m glad to see success, but let’s not forget that Elon Musk didn’t do it on his own.” Warren claimed on “Squawk Box” that “he received big investments from the government, from taxpayers, from those public school teachers and those minimum wage employees who have been paying their taxes all along to keep that company up and operating and to see it through hard times.”

The Massachusetts Democrat was alluding to the billions of dollars in federal grants, subsidies, and incentives that have benefited two of Musk’s firms, Tesla and SpaceX, for years. In their early years, electric automobiles and commercial space flights were far from certain bets. Tesla currently has a stock market value of over $1 trillion, while SpaceX is one of the world’s most valued private enterprises.

“When you succeed, we’d like to ask that you pay your fair amount of taxes.” Every year, the 99 percent pay around 7.2 percent of their entire wealth in taxes. The highest tenth of one percent earns less than half as much as the rest of the population. That’s not the case. Make an investment so that the next Elon Musk has a chance to succeed,” she said afterward.

Warren made her remarks after the Biden administration announced the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax on Monday, which would force American families earning more than $100 million to pay at least 20% of their income in taxes. Households worth more than $1 billion might account for more than half of the income.

In accordance with her harsh position on wealth taxation, the senator indicated support for the plan. Warren has previously supported wealthy tax legislation, proposing the so-called Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act in 2021 with other Democrats, which would levy a 3% total annual wealth tax on wealth exceeding $1 billion and a 2% annual wealth tax on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion. She also made raising taxes on the wealthy a centerpiece of her failed candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Warren stated that Musk paid relatively little in previous years, which is not an option for ordinary Americans when it comes to Musk’s large tax burden, which is expected to be approximately $11 billion in 2021 after he sold $14 billion in Tesla shares that year. According to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaire List, Musk is the world’s wealthiest person, with a net worth of nearly $290 billion.

Musk claimed in a tweet in February that he paid the biggest tax bill ever paid by a person in the United States the previous year. “How much did Elon Musk pay that year?” Warren asked in 2018 when he was also one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. We saw his taxes from that year, and the answer is that he paid none.

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In 2018 or 2021, the public school teacher did not have the option of paying nothing.” Warren was referring to a ProPublica study that revealed Musk paid no federal income taxes in 2018. Musk has said that he did not pay any taxes in 2018 since he does not get a salary. “All we’re saying is, when you get to the very tippy, tippy top, pay something in so that everyone else gets a part,” Warren said. “No one become wealthy on their own.”

Source: CNBC

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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One Comment

  1. Why is only one side of the story being represented.? The boas here is clear leveld against elon musk. Unless you are a critical thinker, taking this article at face value is very biased. The opposite agument should be articulated. Reward for Risk, growth, creation of wealth, job creation, creation of jobs who pay tax. Why not a simple argument that if elon slit his last tax payment into 10 amounts thats 1.1 billion dollars a year back dated the last 10 years.