By Guy Page
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) might be weighing his social media options, now that tech billionaire Elon Musk, who publicly snubbed Vermont’s 80-year-old junior senator in November, is the company’s largest stockholder.
On November 13, Sanders tweeted, “we must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.” Nothing new for Bernie. He’s been saying that since the 1950’s.
But the tweet drew a response from none other than maverick tech billionaire Elon Musk.
“I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” Musk Twitter-mused in response. And then added: “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word.”
On March 1, Sanders and other Democrats proposed a 2% annual tax on wealth over $50 million, rising to 3% for wealth over $1 billion. Musk is reportedly worth $222 billion. Under Sanders’ proposal – unlikely to pass – Musk would shell out $6.66 billion/year.
Even Elon Musk would probably have to sell some stock to cover that tax bill.
Recently the Tesla CEO bought a 9 percent stake in Twitter, becoming its largest shareholder. The $3 billion buy of 73.5 million shares came after Musk – an active tweeter who has 80 million followers – was outspoken in his criticism of Twitter’s inadequate protection of free speech rights.
Sanders can only hope that Musk will set a new precedent for the company and refrain from suspending powerful critics. The pre-Musk Twitter banned President Trump.