(Bloomberg) – Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, started his Sunday sparring with US Senator Bernie Sanders, who tweeted the day before that “we must demand that the extremely rich pay their fair share.” Musk even raised the idea of selling more shares of Tesla Inc., which would require him to pay taxes on the earnings.
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“I keep forgetting that you are still alive,” Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeted in a response to the 80-year-old senator from Vermont. In a later tweet, Musk asked, “Do you want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word …”
Musk dumped nearly $ 7 billion worth of Tesla stock last week, which helped push the automaker’s shares down about 15% for the week. Musk’s stock sales began after he tweeted an unusual survey on Twitter on November 7 asking if he should sell.
Musk did not mention in his previous tweets that he had millions of stock options to be exercised before expiration in August 2022. He said in September that he would likely exercise “a huge freeze” of those options towards the end of 2021. Musk has worth approximately $ 286 billion as tracked on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In October, Musk said Tesla would move its headquarters from California to Austin, Texas, a state that does not collect any income tax. Saturday Musk tweeted that for the past two years he has lived in a small house in South Texas. . “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, Sanders 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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