Elon Musk, the world’s richest billionaire and self-proclaimed “Emperor of Mars,” has slammed a new measure introduced by US Democrats aimed at taxing the country’s wealthiest individuals to pay for healthcare, childcare, and combat climate change.
Musk, who sits on a fortune of about $275 billion, has slammed President Joe Biden’s planned 23.8 percent tax rate on all assets, claiming that it would not fully fund Biden’s “Build Back Better” program and will hinder Musk’s eventual objective of putting people on Mars.
Musk, of course, would not be the only one affected, but he has definitely made the most noise. In what is regarded to be a more equitable approach to taxing the affluent, the wealthiest 0.0005 percent of Americans would be targeted, including anybody who has made $100 million in three consecutive years or has over $1 billion in assets. This means that around 700 persons in the United States would face a tax hike on their wealth.
The way the tax is computed is the true kicker: billionaires would have to pay a 23.8 percent tax on all capital gains on tradeable assets. This would imply that billionaires would tax the market value of their assets every year, which would be a substantial upheaval in the tax system.
Previously, the total tax was computed when assets were sold, which resulted in many affluent people paying little to no taxes as their investments grew in value. According to a study provided by the White House last year, billionaires pay an average of only 8.2 percent income tax, compared to the top marginal income tax rate of 37 percent for the ordinary American.
According to the Washington Post, the tax reform would result in Musk, Jeff Bezos, and others paying large sums of money. Musk, who recently surpassed Bezos to grab the top place on the wealthy list, would pay as much as $50 billion in taxes in the first five years, while Bezos would pay roughly $44 billion, explaining why the Twitter rant has begun.
Elon Musk’s Twitter account suggests that he would better spend the money. Musk said that he wanted to utilize it to “transport mankind to Mars” and “preserve the light of human awareness” when confronted with the possible losses (whatever that means). The plan has sparked debate on both sides, with some arguing that it is past time for billionaires to pay their fair part, while others argue that the tax would not cover the required amounts and that the wealthy’s generous efforts are sufficient.