RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Wolverton writes: "Bernie Sanders showed Friday he isn't afraid to call out hypocrisy - particularly when it comes from someone like Tesla CEO Elon Musk."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)

After Elon Musk Criticized Bernie Sanders' Brand of Socialism, Sanders Took Him to Task for Taking Billions of Dollars in Government Support

By Troy Wolverton, Business Insider

08 August 20


ernie Sanders showed Friday he isn't afraid to call out hypocrisy — particularly when it comes from someone like Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk on Friday tweeted out a meme critical of Sanders and his brand of socialism. The tweet was in response to an article about a bill Sanders introduced Thursday that would place a 60% tax on the wealth gained by billionaires such as Musk during the coronavirus pandemic. The meme, dubbed the "Official Bernie Sanders drinking game!" showed a picture of Sanders along with the text: "Every time the Bernster mentions a free government program, chug somebody else's beer."

Sanders, who's no neophyte when it comes to defending his leftist views and programs, wasn't about to back down from such criticism. In a tweeted response, he called out Musk for benefiting to the tune of billions of dollars from government subsidies and linked to an article from The Los Angeles Times that detailed the assistance Musk and his companies have received.

"Every time Elon Musk pokes fun at government assistance for the 99%, remember that he would be worth nothing without $4.9 billion in corporate welfare," Sanders wrote. "Oh, Elon just l-o-v-e-s corporate socialism for himself, rugged capitalism for everyone else."

According to The Los Angeles Times article, Musk and his companies — Tesla, SolarCity, which is now owned by Tesla, and SpaceX — had received an estimated $4.9 billion in government support through May 2015. That assistance came in a variety of forms, including grants, tax breaks, subsidies for construction, environmental credits, and discounted loans.

The amount of that assistance has only gone up since then. For example, Tesla garnered $428 million from selling regulatory credits in its most recent quarter. The company receives those credits from California for selling electric cars and sells them to other automakers who don't sell enough to meet the state's requirements.

Sanders' bill would raise billions from billionaires

Sanders' bill was cosponsored by senators Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY. The bill would tax any wealth gained by any of the 467 billionaires in the US between March 18 and January 1 of next year and use the amount raised from the tax to pay for the out-of-pocket health expenses of every American for a year.

Millions of US residents have lost their health coverage during the pandemic after losing their jobs. Even those with insurance have sometimes faced steep bills after contracting the coronavirus.

The co-sponsors estimated that those billionaires had seen their wealth increase by $731.8 billion between March 18 and Aug. 5. Musk, according to a fact sheet from them, had seen his own wealth go from $24.6 billion to $70.5 billion. He would face a tax bill of $27.5 billion under the measure

Much of the wealth gains cited by the bill's sponsors are a result of soaring prices. In order to pay such tax bills, the billionaires would almost certainly have to sell large numbers of shares which could undermine their companies' stock prices — and their wealth. your social media marketing partner
Email This Page


THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.