Elon Musk Needs to Shut Up and Pay Taxes
Elon Musk took to Twitter last weekend to gather a poll to see if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. Musk is stating that he will “abide by the results”. Elon Musk asserts that as he does not take a cash salary, or take direct cash payments, and that all his wealth is in stocks.
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
This was in response to Senator Ron Wyden’s push earlier to pass a bill for the Billionaires Income Tax. In the proposed tax bill, for the first time, gains and assets from owning stocks would be taxed, not just when they are bought or sold. It could also apply to increases in value on properties, but does not make it clear at what value these rules would begin to apply. Wyden’s bill is a progressive bid towards wealth equality, but lacked support in Congress, so has since been benched.
Ron Wyden has since said that, “Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll.”
Elon Musk’s $15 Billion Dollar Tax Debt
According to CNBC though, Musk likely already had plans to sell these stocks, as he has been taking out loans using the stocks as collateral. If he doesn’t want to default on those debts, he will have to sell some stock.
And then there’s his taxes. Elon Musks wealth from Tesla stock has increased from $22,800,000 in 2012 to an estimated $28,000,000,000 this year. Because Musk started taking payment in form of stocks, and hasn’t sold any, he hasn’t paid much in income taxes in years.
In 2019 I think I owed over $1,200, and I made $40,000 a year. That fall I ended up having to live in my car for two months after losing my job and moving to a new city. During the pandemic I lost all my possessions that were in a storage unit in Austin. I don’t really care about the stuff so much, being an absurdist, but I had some one-of-the-kind paintings from unknown artists that I’ll never be able to get back. Oh and I guess photos from my childhood or whatever.
Sorry, Back to Musk
So, for a quick recap:
- Musk doesn’t pay into taxes for years, despite seeing an unprecedented increase in wealth
- Because Musk avoids using money for so long, he’s forced to sell stock to cover his obligations
- Wyden proposes a wealth tax to tax people like Musk ,who use tactics like these, to avoid paying taxes
- Musk doesn’t like that, so he goes to Twitter to make it seem like Billionaires are willing to do what’s right (?) without government intervention
What’s funny about it though, is that Tesla stock has been dropping basically since Musk did this.
Musk and Other Billionaires Just Don’t Care
Musk and his other Space Cadets have been spending enormous amounts of time and resources in the world’s worst dick measuring contest. Blue Origin is now planning a space station just for super-rich people to fly up and do business (?). Didn’t we all figure out that business can just be done via fucking zoom?
Meanwhile, Germany is now making sad, Sarah McLachlan style hungry children commercials about the United States.