‘Tax the rich’? Elon Musk declares he will contribute his fair share to the IRS this year: $11 billion

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Tesla and SpaceX visionary Elon Musk certainly seems set to pay his ‘fair share’ of taxes this year: $11 billion, to be exact.

“For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year,” Musk, who is reportedly worth around $190 billion, according to Forbes, making him the runner-up to the world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (worth ~$201 billion, according to the Forbes ranking).

That said, CBS News reported, “Earlier this year, [Musk] became the first person in the world to reach a net worth of more than $300 billion.”

Musk was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” just last week, an award that led Sen. Elizabeth Warren — herself a multimillionaire — to tweet that Congress should change the “rigged tax code so that The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.”

Warren’s jab led to a response from Musk: “And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.”

The Massachusetts Democrat’s back-and-forth with Musk comes amid a debate in Congress over levying a special tax on billionaires, which Warren and some others in her party have spent the year pursuing.

Initially, the tax was included as part of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation and would have affected Americans with $1 billion or more in assets, or those earning $100 million or more for three consecutive years. According to Forbes, the provision has been replaced; it would have affected around 700 of the country’s wealthiest people including Musk — but not Warren, who is still in the 1 percent of earners.

Musk became the first person in the world to have an accumulated net worth in excess of $300 billion, or more than the annual GDP for Finland, Chile, and Vietnam — as well as Netflix’s total market value. He’s been selling millions of shares in Tesla over the past several weeks, which has earned him billions of dollars more, CBS News reported.

Musk’s post about his taxes and further speculation regarding his income follows a June ProPublica report that said though his wealth grew by $14 billion between 2014 and 2018, he only paid around $68,000 in federal income taxes in 2015, $65,000 in 2017, and no taxes in 2018. Between those years, according to the report, Musk had a true tax rate of 3.27 percent.

Republicans ripped the report and have since vowed to find out who leaked Musk’s IRS data along with that of several other billionaires if they win control of Congress next year.

In addition, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), if he ascends to the Speakership, also vowed to look into Biden’s deadly mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal; Biden’s reversal of Trump’s immigration policies that the GOP believes are responsible for the current — and ongoing — migrant crisis; his handling of the still-lingering COVID-19 pandemic; the National Security Agency’s reportedly spying on Fox News host Tucker Carlson; and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo instructing U.S. attorneys and the FBI to probe protests and complaints by parents at school board meetings.

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Jon Dougherty

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