Elon musk, the richest person in the world, directed a series of insults at Bernie Sanders on Twitter after the US senator repeated his call on billionaires to pay more taxes.
Musk even floated the idea of selling more Tesla stock, which would force him to pay taxes on capital gains.
Sanders, 80, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020, tweeted on Saturday that “we must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share “. He did not mention Musk by name.
Musk, whose fortune of $ 286 billion has made it a target for supporters of a wealth tax, he replied: “I keep forgetting that you are still alive. “
In a subsequent tweet early Sunday, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX asked: “You want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word “.
Musk was still tweeting 11 hours later, saying that Sanders “is a taker, not a creator.”
Musk dumped nearly $ 7 billion worth of Tesla stock last week, helping the automaker’s shares tumble 15 percent. The stock fell 2.6 percent at 9:36 am Monday in New York.
The stock sale began after Musk polled Twitter users about whether to sell. But some of the transactions were carried out under a negotiation plan that he pre-established in September, long before consulting his important followers on social networks.
Musk also failed to mention in his tweets that he has millions of stock options that must be exercised before they expire in August 2022. He said in September that he was likely to exercise “a large block” of those options toward the end of this period. year.
Late last year, Musk confirmed that he had moved from California to Texas, a state that does not collect income taxes.
On Saturday, Musk tweeted that he has been living in a small house in South Texas for the past two years. “It feels more homey living in a small house,” he wrote.
Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is part of the Democrats, chairs the Senate Budget Committee and has long advocated for the rich to pay more taxes. In March, he tweeted that the amount of wealth that Musk and Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos had accumulated was “immoral.”
Musk also recently rebuked US Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who had lobbied for a wealth tax for billionaires.