“I keep forgetting you’re still alive”

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Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, addressed a series of insults at Bernie Sanders on Twitter after the US senator repeated his call for billionaires to pay more in taxes.

Musk even raised the idea of ​​selling more than his own Tesla Inc., which would require him to pay capital gains taxes.

80-year-old Sanders, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020, tweeted Saturday that “we must demand that the extremely rich pay their fair share.” He didn’t mention Musk by name.

Musk, whose $ 286 billion fortune has made him a target for proponents of a wealth tax, replied, “I keep forgetting you’re still alive.”

In a subsequent tweet early Sunday, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX asked, “Do you want me to sell more shares, Bernie? Just say the word …”

Musk was still tweeting 11 hours later, saying Sanders “is a buyer, not a creator”.

Musk dumped nearly $ 7 billion worth of Tesla stock last week, helping push the automaker’s shares down 15%. The stock fell 2.6% at 9:36 am on Monday in New York.

The stock disposals began after Musk asked Twitter users if he should sell. But some of the trades were made as part of a trading plan he set up in September, well before consulting his sizeable following on social media.

Musk also didn’t mention in his tweets that he has millions of stock options that need to be exercised before they expire in August 2022. He said in September that he would likely exercise “a huge block” of those options towards the end of this year.

Late last year, Musk confirmed that he had moved from California to Texas, a state that does not charge any income tax. On Saturday, Musk tweeted that he had lived in a small house in South Texas for the past two years. “It feels more familiar to live in a small house,” he wrote.

Sanders, a Vermont independent who works with Democrats, chairs the Senate Budget Committee and has long argued that the rich pay more taxes. In March, he tweeted that the amount of wealth amassed by Musk and Amazon.com Inc. co-founder Jeff Bezos was “immoral.”

Musk also recently reprimanded US Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, for pushing for a wealth tax on billionaires.

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