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Home / Companies / People /  Elon Musk mocks Bernie Sanders on Twitter over taxing the rich

Elon Musk, the richest person in the world and chief executive of Tesla Inc., mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders after the former presidential candidate tweeted that the ultra rich should pay their fair share of taxes.

“We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period," Mr. Sanders’s account tweeted early Sunday afternoon.

“I keep forgetting that you’re still alive," Mr. Musk replied. “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word …" he said in a follow-up reply.

A representative for Mr. Sanders didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Musk didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Musk sold roughly $6.9 billion worth of Tesla stock last week, one of the largest-ever stock disposals by a chief executive over a several-day period. The sale came after Mr. Musk earlier this month asked his followers through a Twitter poll if he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares. People voted in favor of the sale.

Mr. Musk has a net worth of $285 billion, the richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and ahead of the second wealthiest, Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, who has an estimated wealth of $203 billion.

The Twitter exchange between Mr. Musk and Mr. Sanders also comes as Democrats and the White House have been trying to push the Build Back Better plan into law, which—among other things—would raise taxes on very high-income Americans and large companies. Mr. Sanders, an independent from Vermont who ran against President Biden for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has been in favor of raising tax rates on companies that have large gaps between what their workers and CEOs make.

Mr. Musk’s social-media candidness has previously prompted scrutiny. He tweeted in 2018 about a potential buyout of Tesla that led to the Securities and Exchange Commission settling an enforcement action with the company alleging the CEO had committed fraud through his tweet. Mr. Musk and Tesla each had to pay $20 million to settle the case.

He also agreed to have lawyers for Tesla preapprove public statements from him disseminated on social media. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the SEC informed Tesla in 2020 that Mr. Musk’s Twitter use had violated that policy twice.

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