Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX could have ‘died’ if billionaire’s tax existed in 2008

Elon Musk has slammed the White House’s plan to impose a “billionaires’ tax” on the wealthiest Americans – claiming that his firms probably wouldn’t have survived if the levy had been in place following the 2008 monetary disaster.

The so-called “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax” included in Biden’s fiscal 2023 funds proposal would implement a 20% minimal tax on US households price greater than $100 million. The plan would goal each said earnings and unrealized capital positive aspects.

Musk responded a weblog publish by American Enterprise Institute fellow James Pethokoukis, which detailed University of Chicago economist Steven Kaplan’s argument that cash-strapped Tesla and SpaceX could have collapsed in 2008 if the billionaire had exited PayPal with $60 million less as a consequence of a wealth tax.

“Good point. SpaceX & Tesla would probably have died, since both narrowly escaped bankruptcy in 2008,” Musk tweeted in response to the publish.

Musk has loads of incentive to talk out towards a billionaire’s tax. The Tesla founder is the world’s richest particular person, with a private internet price estimated to exceed $290 billion as of Wednesday.

By one estimate, Musk would pay an extra $50 billion in taxes beneath the most recent Biden proposal.

Elon Musk at Tesla Germany factory
By one estimate, Elon Musk would pay $50 billion beneath a wealth tax.

Musk has described 2008 as “definitely the worst year of my life” as he struggled to maintain Tesla and SpaceX afloat whereas going by a divorce. He invested the entire $180 million in his proceeds from the sale PayPal into the companies.

President Biden and different proponents of a billionaire’s tax – together with frequent Musk foe Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) – argue it’s obligatory to make sure all Americans are paying their justifiable share in taxes. The Biden administration has additionally floated a wealth tax as a key income to pay for its expansive slate of social spending applications.

SpaceX launch
Both Tesla and SpaceX have been in hazard of collapse in the course of the Great Recession.
NurPhoto through Getty Images

“I’m happy to celebrate success, but let’s remember, Elon Musk didn’t make it on his own,” Warren told CNBC this week. “He got huge investments from the government, from taxpayers, from those public school teachers and those minimum wage workers who’ve been paying their taxes all along to get that business up and running and help see it through rough times.”

Musk, who referred to Warren as “Senator Karen” throughout one heated Twitter spat in December, stated on the time that he’ll “pay more taxes than any American in history this year” – with a invoice exceeding $11 billion.

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