Elon Musk, America’s dumbest smart guy, saw his net worth rise $36.2 billion on Monday, all thanks to a surge in the price of Tesla’s stock, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. The record-breaking rise in wealth, which puts Musk at the top of the list with $289 billion, comes as proposed taxes on the wealthy have hit several roadblocks in the form of Republicans in Congress who don’t want to see their precious billionaires burdened.
Tesla, a company Musk did not start but likes to pretend he did, saw its stock price soar on Monday after struggling car rental company Hertz announced it would purchase 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles. The cars aren’t expected to become available for rent at Hertz locations until late 2022, but Tesla is seeing the gains now, surpassing a market value of $1 trillion on Monday.
The only other companies besides Tesla to reach a market value of over $1 trillion are Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook, though Facebook has since dipped below $1 trillion after achieving the milestone.
Musk’s surge in wealthy surpassed the previous one-day record, held by China’s Zhong Shanshan who saw his wealth skyrocket $32 billion in a single day when his beverage company went public, according to Bloomberg News. And while it’s not like Musk was handed $36 billion cash on Monday—a common defense of billionaires who do not need defending—he still has more money than any single person in the world should be allowed to hoard.
Musk, who has benefited from literally billions of dollars in government subsidies over the years, peddled fear about Democrats raising taxes on middle class Americans on Monday, responding to a tweet about raising taxes on billionaires.
“Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you,” Musk tweeted Monday, half-quoting the late UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
That’s pretty rich, coming from the wealthiest person on the planet. And, again, this is a person who has benefited tremendously from U.S. government handouts for his various businesses, including Tesla and SpaceX. Musk has also managed to avoid paying less in taxes than the average Americans sometimes. For example, Musk paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2018, according to ProPublica:
With the exception of one year when he exercised more than a billion dollars in stock options, Musk’s tax bills in no way reflect the fortune he has at his disposal. In 2015, he paid $68,000 in federal income tax. In 2017, it was $65,000, and in 2018 he paid no federal income tax. Between 2014 and 2018, he had a true tax rate of 3.27%.
But Musk probably has very little to fear in the way of new taxes since the Democrats can’t get their act together. The Dems’ latest idea of creating a new tax for billionaires on unrealized capital gains has reportedly stalled, according to the Associated Press, after a tax on the wealthy and corporations was stonewalled by two “centrist” Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, essentially siding with Republicans. Sinema spoke directly with President Joe Biden recently, who said the Arizona senator doesn’t support raising “a single penny” of taxes on the wealthy.
Musk is now worth more than any other person on the planet, almost $100 billion more than the second wealthiest person, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who’s worth $193 billion. But don’t you dare question what Musk or any other billionaire owes society for extracting those riches. That would only discourage innovation, according to Republicans.