As Elon Musk has made very clear this week, he is not in favor of the billionaire tax proposed by Democratic leadership, which would raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help fund Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill and make life better for millions of Americans. In the mind of the Tesla cofounder, who is worth $292 billion, he already pays more than his fair share in taxes, even though, like many of the richest people in the country, he actually forks over a relative pittance to the IRS. In 2018, for example, the now richest man in the world paid a grand total of nothing in income taxes, and between 2014 and 2018, he paid what ProPublica calls a “true tax rate” of 3.27%. Which, as any nonbillionaire can attest, is a f–k ton less than what normal people who don’t own their own rocket ship companies part with every tax season.
According to Musk, though, the proposal by Democrats is a nefarious plot that must be stopped. Without a scintilla of irony, the Tesla cofounder warned on Monday that taxing him on the increase in value of his publicly traded assets will ultimately hurt people who won’t make as much money in their lifetimes as he does in one hour. “Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you,” he warned, trying to convince people to contact their representatives by letter and write: “Although the proposal targets billionaires and not myself, the government of elected representatives have a track record of scope creep when writing new taxes. I anticipate that any new unrealized capital gains taxes will slowly make their way down to middle class retirement investments over the next several years. It will start with billionaires, then eventually millionaires, then the modest investments will get hit possibly within a decade.” Which is deeply rich considering the plan proposed by Biden, which the 700 richest people in the country could help fund without making a real dent in their net worths, would include universal preschool for all three- and four-year olds; subsidized child care; a one-year extension on the current expanded Child Tax Credit, which impacts roughly 35 million households; and a four-year extension on pandemic-related Affordable Care Act subsidies, i.e. things that would make people’s live much easier.
So, where does Musk prefer to spend his cash? If you guessed “outer space,” congratulations, you know your billionaires. Per Bloomberg: