Elon Musk Throws a S -- t Fit Over the Possibility of Being Taxed His Fair Share - 2021-10-27
As Democrats attempt to figure out how to pay for Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan, one idea a number of lawmakers have coalesced around is a tax on the wealthiest people in the country, whose net worths begin with a b. Drafted by Senator Ron Wyden, the plan, released on Wednesday, would raise hundreds of billions of dollars from approximately 700 billionaires by requiring them to pay taxes on the increase in value of their publicly traded assets, like stocks and bonds. One of the many reasons the proposal is more than fair is because despite being the richest people in the country by a long shot, many billionaires often pay nothing in income taxes; unlike working stiffs who actually have to collect a paycheck, these people live off of the skyrocketing value of their assets, which, unlike income, is not taxed until said assets are sold. (The ultrarich are able to pay for stuff, while holding on to their extremely valuable stock and taking $1 salaries to further avoid taxes, by repeatedly taking out loans with single-digit interest rates that the IRS does not consider income, a process dubbed "buy, borrow, die.") Which is how, for example, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the richest people in the world, have been able to get away with paying zero dollars and zero cents in income taxes in some years, and, in the case of Musk, a laughable $68,000 in 2015 and $65,000 in 2017.
Given that Musk paid nothing in income taxes in 2018 and, as of yesterday, was worth $287 billion, you might think that he'd reflect on his situation and say, "You know what? This is fine. The tax won't affect my life in any way whatsoever, but it would help millions of people who make less money over the course of their entire lives than I do in a single day. So go for it—make me pay my fair share." But...surprise! Instead, he's thrown a predictable hissy fit over the whole thing.