Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a social media zinger Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s way after the Massachusetts Democrat said Musk does not pay enough in taxes.
In an interview last week, Warren disclosed that she had seen Musk’s tax return for 2018.
“You know how much he paid in taxes? One of the richest people in the world? Zero,” the senator said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day,” according to a transcript.
“And he’s not the only one. Jeff Bezos, right, another one of the richest people in the world, he pays less in taxes than a public schoolteacher or a firefighter,” she said. “And they do this because they’re only being taxed on income. They very cleverly make sure they have no official income. They just have all this stock that keeps building in value, building in value. They borrow against it.
“It’s just not right.”
Musk responded Sunday on Twitter.
“Will visit IRS next time I’m in DC just to say hi, since I paid the most taxes ever in history for an individual last year,” he said. “Maybe I can have a cookie or something …”
CNN reported in December that Musk owed a staggering $11 billion — “one of the largest tax bills in history” — for 2021.
The massive tax bill was the result of his selling off his stock options in Tesla, the report said. The shares he sold were worth about $23.5 billion and were taxed at a rate of 40 percent.
Musk and Warren have dueled before.
In a December tweet, the senator accused him of “freeloading” by not paying what she thinks he ought to pay in taxes.
Musk responded by saying, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”
He followed up with another jab: “Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen.”
“She struck first,” Musk later said in an interview with the Christian satirical site The Babylon Bee. “Obviously. She called me a freeloader and a grifter who doesn’t pay taxes, basically. And I’m literally paying the most tax that any individual in history has ever paid this year, ever.”
“And she doesn’t pay taxes, basically, at all. And her salary is paid for by the taxpayer, like me,” he said.
“If you could die by irony, she would be dead. If irony could kill,” Musk added.
Warren responded to that with a barrage of ads attacking the Tesla CEO, who had the final word on Twitter.
“This is such a deeply messed up lie to the American people,” Musk said. “She is the one freeloading off taxpayers, while I’m paying the largest amount of tax of any individual in history.”
“Is @SenWarren really someone we want as a US senator?” he said.