A claim about billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes tweeted out from President Joe Biden’s official Twitter account was fact-checked by Twitter Community Notes, which is a collaborative effort that adds context to potentially misleading tweets.
Pushing a familiar class warfare angle that serves the hard left agenda well, the tweet reads: “Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it, but just pay your fair share. I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%. It’s about basic fairness.”
The tweet includes a graphic highlighting a Biden quote about billionaires paying on average just 3 percent in taxes that repeated a tired, old debunked line Democrats have been using for years: “No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a schoolteacher or a firefighter.”
Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it, but just pay your fair share.
I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%.
It’s about basic fairness. pic.twitter.com/oHgreYCdUz
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 18, 2023
The tweet that was likely posted by some Ivy League intern who manages the POTUS account was flagged with a “readers added context” message that linked to a Tax Foundation summary of the latest federal income tax data.
“This is incorrect,” the message explained. “Avg income tax rate in 2020 was 13.6%. Top 1% of taxpayers paid a 25.99% avg rate, more than eight times higher than the 3.1% avg rate paid by the bottom half of taxpayers. It increased from 20.1%/2019 to 22.2%/2020.”
“New Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data on individual income taxes for tax year 2020 shows the federal income tax system continues to be progressive as high-income taxpayers pay the highest average income tax rates,” the Tax Foundation summary begins.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk responded to the tweet, tagging Community Notes to question the accuracy of the 3 percent claim.
“I paid 53% taxes on my Tesla stock options (40% Federal & 13% state), so I must be lifting the average! I also paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022,” he tweeted. “I certainly agree that everyone should pay taxes and not engage in elaborate tax-avoidance schemes. Would be curious to hear how these other ‘billionaires’ are so good at avoiding taxes!”
I certainly agree that everyone should pay taxes and not engage in elaborate tax-avoidance schemes.
Would be curious to hear how these other “billionaires” are so good at avoiding taxes!
We should get rid of GRATs, but maybe other things too.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
Turns out, the 3 percent figure even contradicts the White House itself, which put out a fact sheet in February called “The Biden Economic Plan Is Working,” which stated: “In a typical year, billionaires pay an average tax rate of just 8%.”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story that shows that while Democrats may be able to fool their low information base, others are onto their distortion of the truth:
The country would be much better off if you were able to keep that money, and were able to invest it productively, rather than turning it over to government to blow it on consumption. Our nation will suffer a lower standard of living as a result.
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) March 19, 2023
Are you kidding me?
Is the Biden family paying their fair share of taxes?
— MatthewJshow (@MatthewJshow) March 18, 2023
The top 1% pay 40% of all federal income tax.
I’m far more interested in how a lifelong politician became a millionaire with multiple mansions than I am about how rich people, who employ others, structure their personal finances.
— Kristen (@Kriscilicious) March 18, 2023
The claim that billionaires pay only 3% taxes is highly deceptive. It’s based on counting unrealized capital gains as income–which they’re not. Look–we can have a debate about how much to tax people, but let’s keep the debate honest.
— Michael Isenberg (@TheMikeIsenberg) March 18, 2023
Except most billionaires are employing hundreds if not thousands. They’re contributing to the growth and sustainability of society. They should be incentivized for that, not punished.
There should be a flat tax for all citizens, regardless of income. That is true equality.
— Joel Bodker (@Joelbodker) March 18, 2023
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