A bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) would force billionaires like Elon Musk to pay massive sums of money in tax, but the SpaceX founder’s response shows he isn’t taking the socialist all that seriously.
On Thursday, Sanders introduced the ‘Make Billionaires Pay Act’, which proposes a one-time, 60 percent tax on any wealth gains made by billionaires between March 2020 and January 2021. The money accrued from the massive tax hike would be then used to pay for Americans’ healthcare expenses.
“According to Americans for Tax Fairness and Institute for Policy, if we taxed 60 percent of the windfall gains these billionaires made from March 18 until August 5 we could raise $421.7 billion,” a press release from Sanders announced. “That’s enough revenue to allow Medicare to pay all of the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for everyone in America over the next 12 months.”
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Musk would be among those hit the hardest if the bill actually managed to pass, with the Tesla founder being forced to cough up $27.5 billion – though that number could change if his wealth fluctuates before the end of the year.
For comparison, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos would be paying $22.8 billion and $42.8 billion respectively.
Wealth gains by billionaires during the pandemic:
Jeff Bezos: +$71 billion
Walton Family: +$21 billion
Mark Zuckerberg: +$38 billion
By taxing 60% of the wealth gains by 467 billionaires, we could cover all out-of-pocket health care costs for a year.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 6, 2020
Musk made it clear he isn’t taking the Vermont senator or his proposed tax hike all that seriously; on Friday he tweeted a meme in response to the news – and the estimates for what he would owe – laughing off the entire situation.
“Official Bernie Sanders drinking game! Everytime The Bernster mentions a free government program, chug somebody else’s beer!” the meme jokes.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2020
Responses to the tweet suggested that plenty of others are also not taking Sanders’ latest plea to get the government more tax money very seriously.
Which would you rather have? Human’s becoming a space faring species or a ton of money disappearing into the black hole of government coffers to be used up by incompetent politicians on things like starting wars.
— Moment of Xzen (@Xzen) August 7, 2020
Uncanny resemblance 🐥 pic.twitter.com/BuKQHQPESW
— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) August 7, 2020
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
— James Stephenson (@ICannot_Enough) August 7, 2020
Some, however, have shown support for Sanders’ efforts to tax the rich.
Taxing wealth billionaires made during the pandemic would fund a year of free health care for every American. It would leave:
*Bezos with $29B pandemic profit
*Musk: $18B profit
*Zuckerberg: $15B profit
*Waltons: $9B profit
*All billionaires: $310B profithttps://t.co/fnaEQdJuv9
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) August 7, 2020
— Jay 🌊🇺🇸🏳️🌈🗽🥁 #WarrenDemocrat #Biden2020 (@FerrazzanoJay) August 7, 2020
This is not the first time Musk and Sanders have clashed. When the billionaire expressed opposition last month to a second government stimulus package to help people unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sanders blasted him as a “hypocrite.”
What a hypocrite. Elon Musk has received billions in corporate welfare from U.S. taxpayers. Now he wants to stop 30 million Americans who lost jobs from receiving $600 a week in unemployment benefits, while his wealth has gone up by $46.7 billion over the past 4 months. Pathetic. https://t.co/hECaTul3ZI
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 24, 2020
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