Raising taxes on billionaires was among the many proposals President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats made ahead of the 2020 election, which a majority of voters decided was a winning message. But actually getting it done has faced some serious headwinds.

Last week, United States Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) cited Tesla founder Elon Musk‘s massive wealth gains during the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of why the richest Americans should pay more in taxes.

“Nearly half of Americans do not earn enough to afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Half our people continue to live paycheck to paycheck,” Sanders tweeted. “Meanwhile, Elon Musk is some $293 BILLION richer since the start of the pandemic. That’s what a rigged economy is all about.”

On Saturday, Sanders again declared that ultra-wealthy Americans are not paying their fair share of taxes.

“We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period,” he wrote on Twitter.

That prompted a response from Musk, who took a jab at Sanders’s age on Sunday morning.

“I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” Musk quipped.

Musk also asked Sanders if he should sell more of his Tesla stock, which he has explained is his source of compensation in lieu of a traditional salary.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted on November 6 along with a poll asking Twitter users if they agree.

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

Financial disclosure documents reveal that Musk has unloaded 930,000 shares of Tesla stock, worth around $1.1 billion.

Then, on Monday, Musk authored another reply to Sanders with a specific proposal.

“Ok, how much do you think is fair? Does 53% seem reasonable?” asked Musk.

Musk, whose staggering net worth is approaching $300 billion, has surpassed Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller as the richest American of all time.

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android