The owner of Twitter denied the US president’s claim that billionaires only pay the government 3% of their income.
America’s richest man on Saturday disputed President Joe Biden’s attempts to sell voters tax increases, saying billionaires get away with paying an average of just 3% of their income to the federal government.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke out after Biden tweeted a message alleging that the mega-rich weren’t paying their fair share of taxes. “Do you know what average taxes billionaires pay? Biden asked before answering the question himself with his 3 percent demand. “No billionaire should pay less taxes than a teacher or a firefighter. »
Musk responded, “I paid 53% tax on my Tesla stock options (40% federal and 13% state), so I have to raise the average! I also paid more income tax than anyone else in Earth’s history in 2021 and will do so again in 2022.”
I paid 53% tax on my Tesla stock options (40% federal and 13% state), so I have to raise the average! I also paid more income tax than anyone else in Earth’s history in 2021 and I will do so again in 2022. @CommunityNotes Is the 3% figure above correct?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
Biden has made this point repeatedly as he promotes his efforts to raise taxes for high-income Americans. When he made the same claim in a speech last month, PolitiFact pointed out that it was not true. “Under today’s laws, the top 25 billionaires pay an average tax rate of 16%,” the report said. The group added that most teachers and firefighters are in the income group with an effective tax rate of zero to 15%.
Biden’s 2024 budget proposal includes higher tax rates for people with incomes above $400,000 a year and married couples making more than $450,000. He also demanded a minimum tax of 25% for Americans with wealth in excess of $100 million.
“Look, I think you can be a billionaire if you can make it, but just pay your fair share,” Biden said. “I think you should pay a minimum tax of 25%. This is a matter of fundamental justice.
Musk responded, “I fully agree that everyone should pay their taxes and not engage in complex tax avoidance schemes. Such plans are not needed for low-income Americans, since more than 40% of American households do not pay federal income tax.