Elon Musk’s 2021 taxes were just about enough to pay back GM’s bailout earlier this century. Reuters reported that the US government lost $11.2 billion bailing out GM, more than the $10.3 billion the Treasury Department estimated it made when it sold its remaining GM shares in December. In 2021, Elon Musk paid over $11 billion in taxes due to selling Tesla shares.
The only reason I didn’t pay federal tax in 2018 is because I *overpaid* in 2017! Since they stole my tax records, they actually know that.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2022
Elon’s taxes are a hot topic on Twitter and many of the critics that interact with me believe lies and misinformation about whether or not Elon Musk pays his taxes. He does, actually, pay taxes, and in some cases he overpays. One example of this is in 2017 when he overpaid in taxes to the point where he didn’t owe anything in 2018.
Despite the irony of it all, to be honest, I’d rather see these tax dollars go toward GM’s debt than being wasted in other areas. Billions of dollars go to the fossil fuel industry every year, for example. So, yeah, I think seeing money that was generated by a company focused on renewable energy and clean vehicles go toward a competing automaker’s debt instead of Exxon or Shell is actually a nicer way to look at it.
Now, I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened, but the idea puts my mind at ease. Especially since GM is focusing somewhat on EVs now — even if only to beat Tesla or to survive.
Some Thoughts About Elon, Taxes, And Common Perceptions Based On Misinformation
It’s pretty sad that many people are taught to see that owning shares in a company means that you are extremely wealthy and are simply robbing the poor. I genuinely feel as if the American education system is sort of to blame for this. If financial literacy was taught, perhaps we would have less of an angry group of people hating billionaires like Elon Musk.
If the average person was to understand that owning shares in a company doesn’t translate into instant money in the bank and that if Elon was to sell everything it would negatively impact his companies, the jobs of Americans, and economies around those companies, then perhaps they would move from hating him for being rich to simply disliking him for whatever reasons.
I have seen so many comments to my own tweets spreading this type of distorted misinformation about Elon Musk, ranging from comments about blood diamonds to never paying taxes, and when you correct the misinformation you’re accused of extreme sexual acts. I see a lot of this on Twitter.
I’ve also had someone I’ve known for over a decade go on a rant on my Facebook page telling me that I’m an awful person paying lip service to billionaires who don’t care about me. It’s really frightening how many on the left are filled with blind hatred of Musk to the point where they can not see reason. And they automatically cancel you because they no longer see you as a friend, but as “one of them.”
And if our political leaders truly cared about honesty, integrity, and the American people, they wouldn’t mislead the masses. One example is Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook ads taken out against Elon Musk. Perhaps she thought that meant well. Or perhaps she was trying to hustle money from her campaign donors. I’m an optimist but I’m also a realist and the way her ads were phrased and worded pitched Elon Musk as the enemy of the poor while asking them for money so she could fight him.
In conclusion, I think we can put the topic of Elon and his taxes to bed for now — at least until someone else starts spreading more misinformation. Whether or not you love or hate Elon Musk (or feel nothing at all), this shouldn’t affect reason or judgement. If he paid his taxes, then claiming he didn’t is simply incorrect.
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