Billionaire businessman and Twitter owner Elon Musk challenged President Joe Biden’s social media team to give the 80-year-old the password to his Twitter account Saturday in a tweet thread overflowing with humorous jabs and cold, hard fact.
“It’s about time the super-wealthy start paying their fair share,” President Biden tweeted from his personal account Saturday afternoon.
About two hours later, Musk responded with an unusual challenge.
He requested that Biden be given the keys to his social media account, not-so-subtly suggesting the gaffe-prone octogenarian doesn’t come up with tweets on his own.
“Please give him the password so he can do his own tweets. Please, I’m begging you!” Musk wrote, responding to Biden’s tweet.
Please give him the password, so he can do his own tweets. Please, I’m begging you!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2023
Musk’s challenge spurred a number of responses ranging from Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s quip about the definition of “super-wealthy” being “those who have more money than @JoeBiden” to screenshots of the national debt clock.
After the joking remark about Biden writing (or not) his own tweets, Musk took on a more sober tone. He slammed excess government spending, saying that the burden is carried by those who can least afford it. Musk also included a prediction that the status quo would win the day.
“In all seriousness, I agree that we should make elaborate tax-avoidance schemes illegal, but acting upon that would upset a lot of donors, so we will see words, but no action,” Musk wrote.
“Those who will actually be forced to carry the burden of excess government spending are lower to middle income wage earners, as they cannot escape payroll tax.”
March 18, President Biden tweeted that the average tax billionaires pay is 3%, including the same “pay your fair share” verbiage as Saturday’s tweet. That tweet earned a “Community Note,” which is Twitter’s crowd-sourced version of a fact-checking service.
Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it, but just pay your fair share.
I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%.
It’s about basic fairness. pic.twitter.com/oHgreYCdUz
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 18, 2023
“I paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022,” Musk tweeted in response, adding that he also said he paid 53% taxes on his Tesla stock options, which “must be lifting the average.”
I paid 53% taxes on my Tesla stock options (40% Federal & 13% state), so I must be lifting the average!
I also paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022.@CommunityNotes, is the 3% number cited above accurate?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
In 2021, Musk said he paid over $11 billion in taxes.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021