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Elon Musk Responds To Dem. Senator's Criticism About 'Tax Avoidance' With Crass Sex Joke

Elon Musk Responds To Dem. Senator's Criticism About 'Tax Avoidance' With Crass Sex Joke
Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images; Greg Nash/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked his Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, things got a bit weird when he sparred with Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, the architect behind the proposed billionaires tax that recently died in the Senate.

Musk created a poll on Saturday in which he asked his followers whether he should sell 10% of his stock, and promised to abide by its results.

The majority of those who participated in the poll agreed that Musk should sell his stock.

The poll also caught the attention of Senator Wyden, who not only devised the billionaires tax but also chairs the United States Senate Committee on Finance.

Wyden criticized the poll, which comes at a time when many support taxing unrealized capital gains.

He said that whether Musk "pays any taxes at all shouldn't depend on the results of a Twitter poll" and called for the implementation of the Billionaires Income Tax.

Musk later responded but did not address Wyden's concerns directly.

Instead, he commented on Wyden's appearance and claimed that Wyden's Twitter profile picture makes him look like he just had an orgasm.

Many criticized Musk for childish and immature behavior.

The Billionaires Income Tax which died in the Senate last month, would have imposed annual capital-gains taxes on about 700 of the wealthiest Americans.

As pointed out by The Wall Street Journal,

"The Wyden proposal would have taxed holdings for a small group of investors, mostly billionaires, based on paper gains in publicly traded companies."
"In other words, they would have owed tax annually if their shares in a company rose even if they didn't sell them. Losses would have offset gains, and large losses could have been carried forward or back to other years."

Wyden unveiled the proposal in September, which, according to a press release, was designed to "close loopholes that allow wealthy investors and mega-corporations to use pass-through entities, primarily partnerships, to avoid paying their fair share of taxes."

Billionaires would have been taxed at 23.8% on their capital gains, whether realized or not.

The proposal has received heavy criticism from the right-wing, who have largely accused Democrats of interfering with the free market.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, branded it "likely unconstitutional."