Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy, especially on Twitter, and he has stirred the pot once more with his reply to one of Bernie Sanders' recent tweets.
Sanders is a renowned critic of billionaires and tweeted about his desire to see billionaires pay their fair share of tax: "We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”
Musk, who has been in the spotlight the past week over his recent Twitter poll about selling some of his shares in Tesla, fired back with a withering and, some might say, ill-placed comment.
Sanders is an independent senator for Vermont who causes with the Democrats and is one of the driving forces of efforts to tax billionaires. Musk is the CEO of Tesla, a company that recently reached a market cap of $1 trillion.
Due to Musk's stake in the company, this rise in valuation saw him become the richest man on the planet with an estimated wealth of $271 billion. It's believed this makes him the richest person ever!
Despite a drop in the price of Tesla shares after Musk sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares the past week, he still has a huge net worth to fall back on.
Musk shared his Twitter poll to bring attention to the idea of a billionaire tax. He stated in a tweet:
“Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”
Sanders is the chair of the Senate budget committee and a longstanding campaigner for fairness in taxation. He is a supporter of President Biden's Build Back Better scheme which, if passed, will see an increase in the amount of tax corporations and the very wealthy pay. This will then be used to fund much-needed infrastructure projects across the country.
Musk's tweet and recent Twitter poll can be seen as throwing shade on the idea of increases in tax and highlights his propensity for using Twitter to get into public spats.
He has a lengthy list of such provocations including criticising efforts to rescue boys from a cave in Thailand, criticising lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic last year and his infamous tweet stating he had secured funding to take Tesla into private hands, which resulted in him being fined by the SEC.
Musk's tweet will certainly draw attention his way, but whether it has any influence on policy decisions in Washington will be another matter. Those in favor of a wealth tax will likely rally behind Sanders while the same will apply to supporters of Musk.
What this tweet shows is that the battle lines around how much the super-wealthy should pay in tax is fiercely contested and far from over.
What are your thoughts on Musk's tweet? Do you think he has a point or was his tweet in bad taste? Is Senator Sanders right or not that the superwealthy should pay more tax? Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!