In the past, Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), and President Joe Biden have had differing opinions over the flagship electric vehicle’s role in the electrification of the U.S.’s auto industry.
Recently, Biden took to Twitter to make the case for a billionaires’ tax, and Musk — who also heads the social media platform — chimed in with his view.
Biden Says It’s Only Fair: On Saturday, Biden shared a graphic that quoted him saying that the average tax billionaires pay is 3% and that “no billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a schoolteacher or firefighter.”
The president captioned the graphic with the call for billionaires to pay a minimum tax of 25%.
“Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you earn it but just pay your fair share. I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%,” he tweeted. “It’s about basic fairness.”
Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it, but just pay your fair share.
I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%.
It’s about basic fairness. pic.twitter.com/oHgreYCdUz
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 18, 2023
Read Also: How Did Elon Musk Make His Money
Elon Comes Off As Law-Abiding Citizen: In response to Biden, Musk tweeted that he had, in fact, paid 53% in taxes on his Tesla stock options, with 40% to the federal government and 13% to the state. “So, I must be lifting the average!” he concluded.
The billionaire said he paid more in taxes than “anyone ever in the history of the Earth in 2021” and would do it again in 2022. He also called for a fact check on the 3% figure Biden had mentioned.
Still, the tech entrepreneur said he agreed with the president that everyone should pay taxes and not engage in “elaborate tax-avoidance schemes.”
“Would be curious to hear how these other ‘billionaires’ are so good at avoiding taxes,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
I certainly agree that everyone should pay taxes and not engage in elaborate tax-avoidance schemes.
Would be curious to hear how these other “billionaires” are so good at avoiding taxes!
We should get rid of GRATs, but maybe other things too.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
Musk also suggested that the grantor retained annuity trust — a financial instrument used in estate planning to minimize taxes on large financial gifts to family members — should be eliminated, among other things.
The Biden administration is currently moving forward with a set of proposals to meet the funding needs of the Medicare program. They include raising the capital tax from 20% to 36.9%, the top tax rate from 37% to 39.6%, the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, and the stock buyback tax from 1% to 4%. The proposals also include the implementation of a billionaires tax.
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