Elon Musk tears into author of 'billionaire tax' bill with crude reference


Elon Musk taunted Sen. Ron Wyden in crude terms in a debate over the Democrat's proposal to tax billionaires.

Musk lashed out as part of a back-and-forth on Twitter about the proposed tax. Over the weekend, Musk, who is the world’s wealthiest person and the founder of Tesla, polled his Twitter followers to decide if he should offload a massive amount of stock in light of Wyden's push to tax the unrealized capital gains of billionaires.

“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?” Musk asked. “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.”


“Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,” he added.

Of the 3.5 million accounts that responded to the poll, 58% said that Musk should sell his stocks.

Wyden, the chairman of the Finance Committee, whose team has been working on a mark-to-market proposal for years, proposed to help finance Democrats’ partisan climate change and social spending package by imposing a 23.8% annual tax on all the appreciation in billionaires' assets in a given year. He lashed out at Musk on Twitter over the flippant nature of the poll.

“Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll. It’s time for the Billionaires Income Tax,” the Oregon Democrat wrote.

Musk replied with a crude response apparently mocking Wyden’s profile picture on Twitter.

Investors responded negatively to the Twitter poll and spat with Wyden, and Tesla’s stock shed 6% of its value early on Monday before paring back some of those losses. Ten percent of Musk’s holdings in Tesla is valued at about $21 billion.


The billionaire tax proposal was off the table almost as soon as it was being considered. After it appeared the Senate wouldn’t approve such a proposal, Democrats instead decided to include a plan to apply a 5% surtax on income above $10 million and an additional 3% surtax on individuals who are earning more than $25 million annually.

The Washington Examiner reached out to Wyden's office for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

View original post