r/WorkReform 9d ago

$147,000,000,000 ✂️ Tax The Billionaires

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49.0k Upvotes

u/kevinmrr 💵 Break Up The Monopolies 9d ago

Ready to throw union-busting fraudsters in jail?

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u/MapleTebras 9d ago

If he did not lose any of that money, the he and his kin can easily live for the next 10.000 generations. That is the money he is making. He is never going to run out, unless the system drastically change.

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u/FinnT730 9d ago

They could solve world hunger, every virus, and every illness In the world, and still have billions left.

They have no value to me, if they die tomorrow of idk what illness, then I would just say "they had billions of dollars to find a cure, ans yet didn't spend a single dime on it, as if they don't want a cure. For themselves or others."..... And then people would say that he was the solution to the entire world, but atlas...

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u/Rubcionnnnn 9d ago

It's funny, the person who skims off the most money at each company could keel over and die and the company would continue working as normal. If an employee at the bottom keeled over and died they would need to be replaced ASAP or things would grind to a halt.

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u/CaptSmoothBrain 9d ago

You would need ALL of the employees to die at the bottom for a company to grind to a halt, not just one. That’s why Unionizing is important, individually we mean nothing, together we have everything.

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u/kalnu 9d ago

Not always true, depends what job that person does. Sometimes there is just one person that is the backbone of a company's operation and they don't realize it or see a need to have anyone else in that role. When something happens to them, either that company adjusts or they fold within a year.

My mom has been that person multiple times, in practically any job she has ever worked at. The most recent time the company did hire people to also handle her work, people she had to train. Because she wanted fewer hours, so someone needed to pick up the hours she doesn't work. Despite this, she is still that person, recently there was a major bug in a new code that actually stopped their work from like 12pm until 11am the next day. Yes, they basically only had an hour work window because of a major bug. Her boss was off in another country and not aware nor in contact. My mom had to figure out a work around/fix. She put a bandaid in the code and had to put said bandaid on over 600 pages. Otherwise the company, yes, screeched to a halt.

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u/MangoCats 9d ago

This is the power of IT/Software. One person is basically doing the work of hundreds or thousands, even millions, in equivalent labor from years gone by. Most companies can "get by" with just one good IT or software person in some very important roles, but they don't realize what a precarious situation that is, until something goes wrong...

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u/MidSizeFoot 9d ago

We also don’t make shit

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u/MangoCats 9d ago

If you are talking about what you get paid, keep looking.... There are lots of places that pay real money for real responsible IT work.

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u/TamraLinn 9d ago

The IT folks generally don't make things for the company. They keep the company running. They are more like grease in the gears than like the gears. Not sure if that is what they meant, but it is important to note. Companies are less likely to understand your value if you are not someone actively making things for that company.

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u/MangoCats 8d ago

I'm reminded of "A Christmas Carol" where Ebeneezer has his office full of accountants (with no heat on Christmas Eve) counting his money... In big companies they used to have thousands of people performing those functions where today a huge chunk of that "busy work" and similar things are effectively performed by the IT systems, that the very small number of IT people not only keep running, but often "create" or at least customize to work for the business. So, yeah, they don't make the widgets, but they make sure you're paid for the widgets you make, they keep the sales smiles targeted on the most productive potential customers, they deliver most of the mail, etc. etc.

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u/zoeykailyn 9d ago

I believe that's called the bus rule. If that person got hit by a bus tomorrow how fucked as a company are you?

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u/BarlowsBitches 9d ago

Not necessarily, just the RIGHT employees, like when I quite amazon and suddenly an entire department can't operate. because as much as I tried training a replacement managers swooped in and screwed the entire system I designed up because non of them cared enough to read the 25 page pamphlet that teaches the whole system.

Last person I talked to told me instead of pallets chilling for weeks like they should the drop time has fallen to an hour and they've had to upstaff 12 more people to cover a department that's supposed to run with 6.

The 4 weeks after I left it costed amazon over 700,000$ to fix their fuck ups and the department hasn't posted green numbers since.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

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u/Fighterd 9d ago

To the last sentence: Welcome to reddit

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u/davidfirefreak 9d ago

The person you replied to was being hyperbolic, or maybe is that naive, but there are ways to solve these problems that aren't "just give everyone money."

Think a bit before you criticize others. For world hunger specifically, he could invest in agricultural sciences, GMO's etc and fund scientific methods of producing more food with less land/resources/energy etc. He could fund non-profits that grow and donate foods. He could market and promote sustainable farming methods. He could do so many things and not make dent in his fortunes. For other things like diseases he just has to fund research. He used to have a pro science reputation but now he's just too busy fighting a right wing culture wars so that he can keep amassing unnecessary amounts of wealth. All for what? His ego? I don't know what answer justifies it that doesn't make him a complete total waste of atoms.

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u/unresolved-madness 9d ago

Actually world hunger is caused by the IMF.

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u/PrimarchKonradCurze 9d ago

I knew the Impossible Mission Force was up to no good from watching those Tom Cruise movies.

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u/localgravity 9d ago

This shit is way deeper than I ever imagined.

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u/AdLonely5056 9d ago

World hunger is a problem of infrastructure, not agricultural production. We produce enough food to be feed more people than there currently are on Earth, what is problematic is transporting the food to remote places, which is exactly where people are starving.

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u/PaoloSmithJr 9d ago

Right, like Bill Gates. And then everyone would respect him...

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u/mallad 9d ago

Most of the severe world hunger problems have little to do with agricultural sciences, sustainable farming, or shortages. We have plenty of food. The places that are most in need are places we can't get it. Numerous war ravaged nations that won't allow aid in, or groups that attack convoys and steal it before it gets where it's needed. Regimes that won't let aid enter the country. Food isn't the reason anymore, it's people.

That said, he doesn't have as much money as people think. He didn't lose that much money, and certainly not more than, say, deposed monarchs have lost. It's more than we can imagine, but it's literally based on speculation that we all know is far overvalued (looking at you, Tesla). If he tried to sell all his shares, his worth would plummet. Again, I'm not downplaying it - he'd still have more than he ever could possibly need! But a fraction of what his purported net worth is.

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u/Massive_game_Cock 9d ago

It’s not like we can’t come up with the cash to do it right now. We just borrow whatever we decide to borrow at this point regardless of revenues. So why haven’t we done it yet, and why would taxing an extra $167B now allow us to do it!

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u/chillum86 9d ago

Harsh but true.

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u/QuarterOunce_ 9d ago

It would help if developed countries didn't make problems worse

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u/acemptote 9d ago

Yea humans are notoriously bad at reasoning about large numbers. Add a generous amount of self righteousness and Dunning Kruger and let that bake in an echo chamber and this is what you get time and time again.

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u/Bencetown 9d ago

Furthermore, imagine there is someone with the amount of money "necessary to end world hunger."

What exactly does that even mean at the end of the day? Certainly not that the rich man simply goes and buys food to give to all the starving people around the world.

Food waste is a huge problem, but I've never heard anyone talk about how much food is currently produced vs how many people are in the world, and dividing that up to see where everyone would stand.

Simply put, money in and of itself cannot and never will be able to solve real global scale problems.

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u/Kitchen_Device7682 9d ago

You don't solve hunger by giving away free meals but I agree with you otherwise. I don't have the plan to solve hunger and neither did the OP even if they had 147 billion.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago edited 18h ago

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u/D14DFF0B 9d ago All-Seeing Upvote

The US government spent over $6 trillion last year. Don't you think that if it was possible to solve world hunger and eliminate all illnesses with $150 billion, uh, we would have done that 40 times already?

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u/SerialMurderer 9d ago

How is it possible to make a claim like this?

Do you genuinely think the federal government spends that much on eliminating hunger and disease?

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u/Massive_game_Cock 9d ago

Yes. https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-security-and-nutrition-assistance/?topicId=14832

And that’s just the amount they currently spend on direct assistance, not including anything for research or other items.

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u/MIGsalund 9d ago

Federal spending on USDA's food and nutrition assistance programs totaled $182.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2021, 49 percent more than the previous high of $122.8 in FY 2020.

$182.5 billion is substantially less than $6 trillion.

While it is true that wiping one billionaire out to pay for food is not enough, more could be done. A lot more. We don't do more because the government is lobbied by those same billionaires to give them multi billion dollar contracts for stuff we don't need.

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u/HD400 9d ago

Eliminating illness is a bit of a stretch but ending world hunger would be 100% possible.

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u/bestatbeingmodest 9d ago

Don't you think that if it was possible to solve world hunger and eliminate all illnesses with $150 billion, uh, we would have done that 40 times already?

Absolutely not. Not when it benefits the people at the top for those things to exist.

I think the curing all illness thing was a bit hyperbolic and unrealistic, as those things require time, not just money.

But solving world hunger? The world has the infrastructure an resources for it already. They just choose not to.

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u/5yr_club_member 9d ago

No because the US government actively makes world hunger worse. The US constantly attacks and sabotages democratically elected governments when they try to use their own resources to help their own people. Maybe if the US government spent less money we could solve world hunger. But as it is now, a great deal of world hunger is the direct result of the US government.

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u/OutcastSTYLE 9d ago

Why do people think that it's like he has 147 billion sitting in a bank account somewhere? This is his net worth, not his cash balance and the majority of it is tied up in assets and other things he uses to earn cash. Not to mention most of his "wealth" comes from valuations of his businesses which is literally just someone's opinion on what his company is worth to other people and the second he thinks about selling it the valuation magically shrinks. If you think he can just liquidate everything he owns for hundreds of billions and go solve every world problem with it you are deluded. I'm no musk stan but you don't seem to understand how these things work.

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u/FinnT730 9d ago

True.

But he has a lot more money then most would think, and so do other billionaires. And worse of all, they only want more, and you to get less.

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u/H-DaneelOlivaw 9d ago edited 9d ago

Forget "every virus and every illness". I don't think you understand how much money (and time) it takes to "solve" one virus.

COVID has cost the world 16 trillion (so far). If 1% of that money (147 billion) can "solve" it, I'm sure the world will gladly spend the money.

HIV has been with us 40 years. We can only contain it despite trillions (not billions) spent on it.

Common cold? thousands of years. Still there.

the only virus we have eliminated is the smallpox. In the history of medicine, we "solved" one virus.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2771764

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u/lesChaps 9d ago

They could solve world hunger, every virus, and every illness In the world, and still have billions left.

WE could solve world hunger, every virus, and every illness In the world, and they would still be obscenely wealthy -- if we fixed this insane corrupt system that continues to shift wealth to the elite few.

Instead we are spiralling into a new feudal nightmare.

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u/travis_touchdown99 9d ago

Mate a billionaire can't just throw money around on everything and make it magically work, plus you already have a huge number of philanthropists,so you thinking that elon's networth is our sole means to solve the biggest issue then you're a bit delusional, but yes billionaires who avoid taxes and don't give out mich to philanthropy as they could can be seen as extremely self centered.

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u/MatterUpbeat8803 9d ago

If he wanted his kin to live off of it…. He’d have to sell it…. Which would necessitate taxes

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u/numbersthen0987431 9d ago

That's not how they live off of it.

They never cash out. It's the "Buy, Borrow, Die" method: where they attain the stocks, their wealth grows, they take loans out on their wealth, and they rinse and repeat. They keep paying off their loans with future loans until they die, but at that point they don't have to worry about it. Since they take out loans they don't have to pay income taxes (since it's a debt), and so they NEVER pay taxes.

This is how Musk, Bezos, Buffet, and other multi-Billionaires live in luxury. But never actually cash out.

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u/Beemerado 9d ago

sounds like a pretty big tax code glitch. we should shore that up.

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u/CountOmar 9d ago

Hard to do.

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u/Beemerado 9d ago

nothing worth doing is easy.

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u/CountOmar 9d ago

That's the fuckin' spirit

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u/Paisable 9d ago

We choose to tax the rich in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

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u/KevinTheSeaPickle 9d ago

Bet if I start doing it it gets shored up pretty quick.

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u/jacobrogers256 9d ago

We should overthrow the dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie and replace it with a democracy of the people.

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u/whocaresaboutmynick 9d ago

It actually would be very easy to do if there was a political will to do it.

It's only hard to do because politicians want to be friends with billionaires, not enemies.

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u/SamGray94 9d ago

Literally just a wealth tax. This may not be "income", but it's still wealth. It also punishes people for hoarding wealth. We all understand hoarding TP at the beginning of COVID was shitty, why don't we all understand hoarding wealth is more or less the same?

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u/shostakofiev 9d ago

Owning stock is the opposite of hoarding wealth - it's more like loaning your wealth out so others can use it while you aren't.

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u/jwrig 9d ago

That is how pension plans and average retirement accounts work?

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u/mwraaaaaah 9d ago

when they take out loans they put up their stock as collateral. so if i want a loan for $100 maybe i have to put up $200 of stock as collateral for the bank to be confident that they will still get their money back if i default.

but oh no - it was actually meme stocks and now my collateral is only worth $100. the bank calls me up and says "hey you need to deposit more money/stocks or we're going to take your collateral, liquidate it, keep the proceeds, and you don't want that". so now i have to put up more collateral.

and this is on top of regular loan payments, plus interest, i have to be making too. if i ever want to pay back that loan, i'll have to come up with the cash to do so, either by:

  1. selling a bunch of stock (and thus triggering taxes)
  2. taking out another loan to pay for this one (but now ive already paid a bunch of interest, and now im paying MORE interest because rates are higher, and i still have to put up collateral for this new loan)

number 1 probably already happened to musk - he sold a ridiculous amount of TSLA shares this year and last year despite saying that he wouldn't anymore (likely to also pay for some twitter and stuff). he'll be paying at least 20% on the majority of that sale

but all in all - the chickens will eventually come home to roost

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u/Seldarin 9d ago

he'll be paying at least 20% on the majority of that sale

And yet a guy that works 72 hour weeks of hard labor will pay about 40% when all is said and done. Double the rate of some cocksucker that's never had a callous and didn't actually make anything.

Our tax code is fucked.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

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u/IndependentPoole94 9d ago

Since they take out loans they don't have to pay income taxes (since it's a debt), and so they NEVER pay taxes.

What about a law requiring individuals who have X amount of net worth to pay income tax (or some amount of tax) on any loans over Y amount in a given year?

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u/numbersthen0987431 9d ago

That might work. Something like "if you have over 100M, and take out a loan, you must pay 1% tax on your overall wealth"

My biggest issue is that there is Trillions of dollars in assets that do nothing but "sit and grow". For those of us with a net worth less than 500k we need it to grow so we can retire one day, but these people that have a wealth over 100M don't "need" it to grow, they just WANT it to grow.

I also believe multi Billionares shouldn't exist, but that's a different topic

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u/ascsdvvsd 9d ago

Ok, but why can you read all the time about them selling stock?

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u/Root_Clock955 9d ago

Nope, that's not how money actually works these days. Money coming in faster than one could possibly spend it.

The only reason for him to sell anything ever is cause he wants to.

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u/MatterUpbeat8803 9d ago

Please break that down for me champ. How does the money go from Tesla stock to his kids account without being taxed?

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u/kevinwilly 9d ago

In addition to what everyone else has said, we also have something called stepped-up basis taxes... so Elon right now would have to pay capital gains taxes if he sold his tesla stock. It was worth a few cents and now it's worth hundreds of dollars per share. He has to pay the difference worth of taxes when he sells.

When you die and the shares go to your family, that all resets. The actual "purchased" price of the shares steps up to whatever the value was when the person died. So Elon pays tons of capital gains tax if he wants to cash out. If his kids sell it all the day that he dies they just get it all tax-free.

It's one of the MANY ways that the rich stay rich generationally in this country.

It makes a ton of sense for the average person. For the truly wealthy it's total bullshit. Biden tried to cap it at 2.5 million but surprise surprise, it never made it through congress.

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u/Legitimate-Tea5561 9d ago

The step up in basis also applies to the value of the assets transferred to a spouse upon death of the decedent spouse. In Elon's case, he has no spouse.

But wealth can hit the step up, twice before the kids get their trust funds that they don't pay any tax on.

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u/Workinginberlin 9d ago

Pretty simple, he borrows money using the stock as surety, he then pays interest on that borrowing which counts as a business expense. Because the stock is rock solid (generally) he doesn’t have to sell the stock to be able to use it, therefore no capital gains tax. So imagine you bought a second house for cash, you then rent out that house, then you refinance the house to get cash out but you now have a liability, the loan, against your asset, the house, you get income from the rent to repay the loan but you can also claim depreciation, management costs etc against your tax on that income. Now imagine you have a fuck load of tax lawyers and all they do is study the tax rules to figure out where they can legally save you tax.

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u/Lamaking65 9d ago

It all gets taxed when it gets inherited by his kids. Its important though they inherited the day of death value of the asset not the asset at the price elon received it. So if elon dies and tsla is valued at 1000 a share at his death than they inherited x amount of shares at a cost basis of 1000. So if they sold it all immediately at 1000 they pay no taxes, if it drops by $1 than they get tax write offs same, mean while they would pay capital gains if its above that value. -source my lawyer when my dad died and I inherited mutual funds and stocks.

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u/MoonlightMile75 9d ago

Tax is only charged on the gain when you sell property - house, gold, and in this case stock. Elon got his stock for essentially nothing, so it he sells the entire sales price is taxed. However, when property goes to heirs, the basis is "stepped up", or revalued at the current price. So if Elon's kid decides to sell everything, they pay no tax. There is estate tax, but there are multitudes of ways around that as well.

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u/NoJobs 9d ago

And cause the stock price, and his net worth, to plummet. He would NEVER get $147 billion cash if he sold. Not even close

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u/booze_clues 9d ago

He doesn’t need it in cash, he didn’t buy Twitter by selling off billions of dollars of shares at once.

The whole “oh but it’s not liquid, he couldn’t sell it, etc” argument falls apart when you realize they can simply stake their shares as collateral, get the cash for them, then use whatever they spent the cash on to repay their loan overtime and get their shares back or sell off slowly to repay it. Had Twitter been profitable he could use those shares as collateral and then use the profits to pay it off slowly without ever losing his shares.

Obviously there are still taxes here, but it avoids capital gains for selling off his shares while still keeping all of them(if he had purchased a profitable company).

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u/Poison_Anal_Gas 9d ago

It would be nice if the banks saw it that way, and that's the problem.

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u/Wonderflonium164 9d ago

What is this? Reason and Economics? In this subreddit? I must be going mad!

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u/NoJobs 9d ago

This sub is very frustrating because most of the posts are a result of not understanding how wealth or economics work. Which in reality is probably the ultimate issue in general in society

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u/Razir17 9d ago

Understanding economics when you make minimum wage that hasn’t changed in over a decade and consumer prices have skyrocketed is utterly irrelevant.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

It most certainly is not utterly irrelevant.

If a movement is to be considered serious it needs the salient points to be cohesive and intelligent. There is a huge difference between, 'rabble rabble musk rabble billionaires BAD' and actually being able to argue why they are bad. Basic finance and a rudimentary understanding of economics does not need even really a high school education to understand. The 'rabble rabble angry' doesn't get anybody anywhere.

You can comment on reddit threads, or repost tweets, or be ignorant out of frustration - but it won't get you anywhere. Proponents of work reform need to be educated on the topics at hand so, if they choose, their civil disobedience is backed up by thoughtful arguments in the courts - which is where change always occurs.

The alternative is guillotining everyone which is simply redditors' daydreams.

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u/Wonderflonium164 9d ago

Sure, but it's utterly relevant when trying to suggest solutions. Now tell me, was this post suggesting making minimum wage, or suggesting a solution to a wide-spread economic issue?

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u/Smash_4dams 9d ago

You can't sell $100 billion of stock without the price plummeting. Elon would have to report his sale ahead of time to the SEC since it's so big. Investors would panic that Elon is cashing out and sell their shares too, causing it to crash in price

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u/trueselfhere 9d ago

I read somewhere that the generational wealth won't last long. If your grandparents were rich so your parents never have to work again, you then have little to nothing and have to work to create your own wealth because those people who inherit the money don't learn about investments or how to keep those wealth but instead live a lavish lifestyle and buying useless crap.

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u/MapleTebras 9d ago

Yeah, in the past that might have been true, when you were dealing with a few million, but that is not the case here now is it. You are dealing with 100k as much money.

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u/SupportDangerous8207 9d ago

Rockefeller was richer than musk in modern day money ( so was Carnegie I think )

His kids still managed to spend it

Generational wealth doesn’t last unless you have your own country basically

Remember inflation is a thing so actually rich dudes in the past where really fucking rich in modern day money

Especially on a sub called work reform we should celebrate the progress made from the bad old days

And hope for more

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u/BellaPow 9d ago

big talk. been hearing it all my life.

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u/payne_train 9d ago

It’s almost like the people who have the authority to write the laws on it listen to them not us.. hmmmm I wonder why (plz plz plz support campaign finance reform)

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u/Panda0nfire 9d ago

The greatest trick the powerful in America played was convincing the boomers we were always the good guys, the pure ones, always doing right.

Everyone else is corrupt and bad. Now it's just gotten to a point where it's unstoppable.

Bruh they banning teachers from teaching kids about the tulsa massacre because white American people can't be seen as doing anything bad.

They've convinced a portion of the voting populace white people face more problems and are victimized more than minorities while doing nothing for poor white people who actually have it bad and only helping rich white people.

It's hilarious how easy it is to get American people to support you. So easy to manipulate reddit too. All you gotta do is say China bad, Russia bad, insert other is bad.

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u/CanAlwaysBeBetter 9d ago

It's almost like one party in Congress's entire platform is reducing taxes and regulation for the rich every chance they get

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

Classic good cop bad cop. Political theater for a corporatocracy.

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u/onemoretimepls 9d ago

because if you liquidated all the billionaires and millionaires assets the US would spend it within a year on military / government contracts

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

Can't the rich just merely move to a jurisdiction that does not want to eat them?

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u/SnooStories8859 9d ago

not if you eat them first

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u/gillers1986 9d ago

Eventually everyone will want to eat them.

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u/numbersthen0987431 9d ago

I mean, he has 147B dollars. That is 147,000 Million dollars.

Your wealth could increase by 5 Million dollars a year for 100 years, and STILL only have less than 1% of his total wealth.

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u/Organicgrowth 9d ago

Ironically, that loss means Musk will not be paying taxes for a good long while.

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u/charlotteboom 9d ago

not if he sold shares at a loss.. none of the sharess he sold is at a loss..

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u/Organicgrowth 9d ago

Good point. Then he didn't really lose money. He realized gains.

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u/PerpetualStride 9d ago Silver

Yeah and he didn't lose money. Stocks going up or down isn't gaining or losing until you sell. It's faux gains/losses, people ought to stop oversimplifying it.

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u/ClumpOfCheese 9d ago

Its super stupid because when Tesla was up and he had tons of unrealized gains people wanted to tax those, okay, what about these unrealized losses?

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u/Scoot_AG 9d ago Helpful

And this is the defense the rich have against paying taxes, which is actually pretty fair. Their money isn't real, in the sense that we know it.

These are unrealized gains which don't get taxed, in the same way these are unrealized losses so he can't get tax write offs.

The problem is is that they take out loans based on their unrealized gains which effectively make them realized, without making them realized.

The typical talking point of "tax the wealth" falls flat when you only look at the fact they never actually made that money. We need to regulate in other ways that can actually be effective.

I'm not sure of any of the answers, but if we tax them on fake money then we make it real. Then they lose fake money but we don't want that to be real. It's almost an oxymoron

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u/rjt1468 9d ago

You’re not wrong, which makes this just so monumentally depressing.

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u/faul_sname 9d ago

The issue is the step up in basis at death. Without that, the "take out a loan" strategy would just be a way to convert a bunch of small tax payments during your life into one big tax payment when you die, plus some additional interest paid to banks.

With the step up in basis that tax liability just disappears though. There was a recent attempt to eliminate the loophole which caused wealthy people to freak out a bit but the loophole ended up being preserved, so old-money families can breathe easy.

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u/Organicgrowth 9d ago

It's worth looking at alternative forms of taxation, such as transaction taxes.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

That's pretty much what capital gains taxes are...

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u/MoonlightMile75 9d ago

These are unrealized gains which don't get taxed, in the same way these are unrealized losses so he can't get tax write offs.

Who cares if they have unrealized losses also?

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u/kingjoey52a 9d ago

Who cares if they have unrealized losses also?

No one, that's the point OP is making. He hasn't gained or lost anything until he sells shares. Then he is taxed on the profit based on value at date of purchase (I believe).

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u/something6324524 9d ago

yeah and i dislike the idea of a wealth tax even if you say it is only for the rich, give it enough time and magically the wealth tax will only apply to the poor given some time. the real issue is the loophole you just mentioned which is the taking loans out on the unrelized gains to make them realized without paying taxes on it, so that is the loophole that needs to be found a way to fix the issue.

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u/4dseeall 9d ago

It's probably cheaper to buy the entire IRS than pay taxes on what TSLA has done the last 4 years, tbh.

Bubble is basically the size of the solar system with his SpaceX shit

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u/Benandhispets 9d ago

Wealth taxes isn't about when selling assets.shares. It's a tax on peoples wealth, so no matter if he sold any shares or assets if we think he's worth $147bn and we have a 3% billionaire wealth tax(the amount sanders, warren, and others have said) then he'd owe $4.4bn just for being worth that much. They of course wont have that much cash so they'd have to pretty much sell 3% of their shares each year to cover the tax. Then theres capital gains tax from selling shares like you say if they still exist if a wealth tax gets put in place.

Not sure if i agree with it, especially at 3%. But there needs to be a way to stop the hoarding of wealth but it's mainly companies where it's all being hoarded.

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u/PhantasosX 9d ago

I don't see this been bad? it means the state will gain 4.4 billions in that year , and while that seems much , we are talking about billionaires with shares in multiple companies.

So he would gain more money than what he lost.

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u/Chronic_Samurai 9d ago

Now what if it is private stock that can only be sold at the company's approval? What if the company doesn't approve the sale of the stock? Does that person now owe a tax bill they can't pay?

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u/Karcinogene 9d ago

They can take on debt to pay the tax, like many of us already have to do.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

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u/HaplessMagician 9d ago edited 9d ago

I'm glad to come here and see other people getting this and with positive votes. If I created a business and it is the majority of my net worth, the government shouldn't tax me in a way that I have to give it up just because other people value it highly.

I'm okay with taxing people in a massive way for gaining billions in realized gains. I'm okay with setting high minimums on taxes that need to be met before deductions. I'm okay with high inheritance tax past 20-30x the median household income. But taxing unrealized gains is not economically stable. At the very best, it would just mean nationalizing rich people's wealth. But the economic incentives to avoid that would turn the economy completely on it's head.

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u/dont_even_bother_ 9d ago

Completely agree. Ultimately we already have a solution we know works well: a progressive income tax. Where those brackets are set and how many there are are can be changed. Wealth taxes make no sense if you stop to think about implementation for even a moment.

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u/Chronic_Samurai 9d ago

Exactly. Under Jayapal's plan, the 2500 hours I worked and the 2000 hours my wife worked last year wouldn't have covered a third of the wealth tax we would have owed. Now we owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wealth taxes every year while giving the government 100% of our wages.

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u/catscanmeow 9d ago

oh they'll switch the argument so its not YOU who is effected but only the mega rich, but that just incentivises the mega rich to do business in a country that doesnt have those rules, and you brain drain your economy.

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u/Sythic_ 9d ago

How about the stock goes to the state into a common wealth fund, like Norway has for their Oil industry profits.

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u/quickclickz 9d ago

because the board have to approve the shares going to the state as well

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u/FreyBentos 9d ago edited 9d ago

It's forcing someone to lose control of their own company ffs. You realise you have to own the majority of share in a company to be its owner/CEO? selling 4.5 billion in tesla stock every year would mean musk would lose his company within 5-10 years depending on current stock price. CEO's selling their shares is seen as a bad thing to and causes others to sell out.

Anyways why are we even fucking talking about Musk? The system works when it comes to musk he pays 50% tax rate every time he sells his shares. he paid the single biggest tax bill of any individual in the united states ever last year. It is the billionaires who manage to get away with paying little to no tax by making all their earnings through off shore accounts that people should be mad about. But the average redditor is too basic to learn about something like the panama papers to see who the real tax dodgers are and just incorrectly go for Musk as he's one of the only billionaires they can think of.

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u/[deleted] 9d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/kevinwilly 9d ago

That's not how taxes work.

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u/xXxPLUMPTATERSxXx 9d ago

Incorrect. Taxes come into play when you sell. And since Musk is an original shareholder, everything he sells is subject to gains taxation.

Ironically, this is also the reason why wealth taxes don't work and the government isn't pushing for it. The value of a share is in the amount of money that someone is willing to pay for it and fluctuates by the second.

Twitter and reddit desperately need an education in personal finance.

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u/DeviCateControversy 9d ago edited 9d ago

Go back to taxing the ultra wealthy 70%. They can afford and still live better than literally everyone else.

40% income.
30% every other funding source

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u/r4tch3t_ 9d ago

At this point it could be 99% and they'd still be billionaires!

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u/Sweepingbend 9d ago

While I agree income tax should have addition tax brackets like you've said, it misses the fact that ultra wealthy aren't making their wealth from income.

It's coming from unrealised capital gains. They then will use their wealth as collateral to take out loans to use for spending without realising their gains.

Eventually, they will need to pay back these loan and in doing so realise their gains and pay tax but in the mean time their wealth has increased considerably while paying no tax.

This circumstance requires a different strategy to tax them than income tax.

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u/Former_Design_2974 9d ago

Compare tax codes. Very few people were paying the higher end of that range.

They were more write offs and other tax deductions back then.

We just need a cleaned up tax code.

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u/Sweepingbend 9d ago

very few people were paying the higher end of that range.

You only need a few ultra wealthy paying 70% of income to make a big difference in tax collection.

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u/Oldmannun 9d ago

Tax what for Musk? His wealth is in shares, it's not "real". That's like if you owned a famous painting that went up in value, you haven't liquidated it. The best way to tax billionaires is to prevent them from using their shares or illiquid wealth as collateral for liquid wealth. He shouldn't be able to skirt around capital gains taxes by getting 100m loans based on his shares.

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u/lmaoredditmods 9d ago

"bUt ThEY WiLL LEaVe tHE cOuNTRY!111!"

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u/Digitlnoize 9d ago

The problem is that it’s income tax. Elon famously has very little taxable income. He might be worth billions on paper, but every dime is tied up in his companies, so he is only taxed if he sells stock at a profit or if he’s paid a salary (which he’s not).

He doesn’t own a home. He either sleeps at the office, at the Space X tiny home, or at friends’ houses. His cars are cars made by his own company that he likely borrows to test drive or something (like driving around the cyber truck prototype for a couple years). He probably doesn’t have a lot of personal debt. I believe he founded his kid’s private schools, so probably doesn’t have to pay tuition there. He just, in general, doesn’t give a fuck about money or stuff. He’s maniacally focused on his companies and his goals, mainly getting to mars.

So with this lifestyle…how would he pay tax if he doesn’t have an income? Make it 70% if you want, but $0 income at 70% is still 0.

I’m not sure how to solve this. Force him to buy stuff? Force him at gun point to purchase a home? I have no idea but I’d love to hear solutions.

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u/revilOliver 9d ago

He paid 12 billion in taxes last year. You are after the wrong billionaire. Lol

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u/Digitlnoize 9d ago

This is true. I believe he was the single largest U.S. tax payer last year. But most years he hasn’t paid because he hasn’t taken a salary or sold any shares.

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u/bottleboy8 9d ago

Says the woman that fires staffers on a whim and doesn't provide severance pay. Working for Jayapal sounds horrible.

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u/thegreatestajax 9d ago

This sub has a problem with amplifying grifters

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u/harrylettuce 9d ago

to be fair, isn't any sub that revolves around screenshots of twitter and advertising people to follow on twitter effectively funding a grifter considering musk owns it now? it's like they don't care.

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u/MolassesPrior5819 9d ago

Not to mention that she will ab. so. lutely never actually take real action to make Musk pay more in taxes

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u/revilOliver 9d ago

He paid 12 billion in taxes recently. The most ever in a single year

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u/Izhyf 9d ago

What is going on here? Im out of the loop.

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u/bottleboy8 9d ago

In November 2020, she (Jayapal) laid off two staffers without severance, two people familiar with the incident told BuzzFeed News.

Chris Evans, a spokesperson for Jayapal, said the decision to consolidate was made to “best utilize” the office’s resources, and the staffers were given six weeks’ notice. But one staff member who was told they were being laid off was invited to reapply for a new job in the office that would consolidate the two roles, those familiar said.

The staffer was required to go through the full application process, despite the job being nearly identical to the one they had been laid off from. And then, without advance warning, they found out in an all-hands meeting that they did not get the job. The staffers who were let go declined to provide comment for this story.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/addybaird/pramila-jayapal-staff-treatment

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u/CHAD_BIGBEEF 9d ago

TL;DR -- She's a hypocrite and an asshole

TL;DR of the TL;DR -- She's a politician.

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u/TheAlGler 9d ago

She folds like a wet napkin to the shit libs in Congress.

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u/pepperoni7 9d ago

How would such wealth tax work genuinely curious since most are stock

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u/Overthemoon64 9d ago

The way Elizabeth warren explained it in the 10 second clip I saw when she was running for prez, it would work similarly to how property taxes work. Homeowners are taxed on the value of their homes. But no one is taxed on the value of their stocks until they realize the gains (sell the stocks). There would be some arbitrary cutoff number, like 10 million dollars of net worth, and anything above that would have to figure out how much they own so they can be taxed. Someone correct me if im wrong.

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u/Dopplegangr1 9d ago

So someone who has 100% ownership of their company would have that ownership chipped away every year as they are forced to sell stock to pay tax on money they don't have?

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u/Lars1234567pq 9d ago

Technically they could borrow money against the value of the business to pay the tax. This is still a terrible idea.

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u/Title26 9d ago

Or they'd just take out a loan backed by their stock. Like they already do all the time for any other expenses they want to pay without selling their company.

Or they'd pay themselves a dividend.

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u/NoJobs 9d ago edited 9d ago

This is not 100% correct. We are not taxed on the MARKET value of our home. We are taxed based on the township property assessment. For example, my home is worth around 300k on the market, but I pay taxes based on a property assessed value of 180k. His wealth is market rate(which varies all the time because it's not cash).

Not saying it wouldn't work, just something to think about.

Edit: also should add, when people sell their home and move to a new primary residence, they take advantage of tax laws and avoid paying capital gains taxes on the home sale. This is the same mindset that billionaires employ to avoid paying taxes just on a higher scale but you don't see people on here asking the government to tax them when they sell their home.

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u/BabyYodaRedRocket 9d ago

The example is correct, but important to note there is a profit cap on your primary home sale (with a varying amount), depending on the taxpayers status.

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u/MisterMetal 9d ago

So if the stock price falls the government gives money back? Because that’s what you’re looking at. If you want to do something, you prevent stocks from being used as collateral.

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u/45321200 9d ago

The govt doesn't give property tax back if the value of the property falls, does it?

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u/quickclickz 9d ago

a house has never fallen below the township property assessment rate that wouldn't be covered by home insurance (read: it went below the township property assessment rate which is drastically below market rate because of a fire, termite, etc)

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u/jamistheknife 9d ago

For a wealth tax, you wouldn't typically be taxed on your gains and losses. You are taxed on the net value, which is always positive.

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u/wagon13 9d ago

It wouldn't. Its a pipe dream and illogical. In this instance he never held that money. He held control of a company. Should people be forced to sell their company to pay a tax on today's value assessed to something?

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u/BiasedNewsPaper 9d ago

True, selling a part of company to pay tax can work for publicly traded companies only. But for companies that aren't listed or family owned, its impossible to cough up tax money.

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u/wagon13 9d ago

There is a lot of grey between a sole proprietorship, a Corp with a few shares held by a family and shares more broadly held.

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u/faulerauslaender 9d ago

I live in a country with a wealth tax. You just have to report all your assets (money, real estate, stocks, cars, artwork, whatever) and there's a progressive tax levied on it. Stocks are taxed at their value on the last day of the tax year.

It's super simple. Unfortunately it's also toothless. The top bracket only pays a fraction of a percent. But the idea is right.

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u/techmagenta 9d ago

That sounds awful lol

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u/faulerauslaender 9d ago

Income taxes tend to be lower than the US and even well-off people are paying less total tax. It's just an attempt to level the field so that the rich don't skimp on the tax bill. Though as said, the margins are so low that it basically fails at that.

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u/srpt99 9d ago

It wouldn't. Bernie and Warren had somewhat similar proposals but they are idiotic honestly, just knee jerk populism. Assuming we could collect this tax (we won't), it would essentially create an even higher wealth gap and conglomerate monopolies when only the ultra rich corpos & individuals could afford the tax bill of owning anything of substantial value or any business larger than 10 employees, not to mention the economic implications of creating more money out of nothing (by expecting actual money to be paid as tax for owning imaginary money).

Even if the wealth is not stock, it's still nonsensical and unenforceable. People will bring up real estate, but there are reasons those assets are in their own category and can be taxed - scarcity, immovability, etc.

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u/Klugenshmirtz 9d ago

The easiest thing you could do is to tax stocks that are used as a collateral. Every time someone wants to do that tax that shit with 1 or 2%.

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u/jlcatch22 9d ago

But there’s a one in a quintillion chance that one day I too could be a billionaire! Therefore I will dislike this and call it socialism.

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u/lookovathare 9d ago

Can you please explain where we would take the wealth tax money from?

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u/Copesnuff11 9d ago

They will have away around it, like all other taxes

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u/blackboard_toss 9d ago

Cute tweet from somebody who will NEVER fight to bring this type of change about.

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u/Embarrassed_Camel_35 9d ago

He can’t get that money unless he sells off company shares and then tanking the company

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u/timmy_throw 9d ago

How about taxing the shares used as collateral ?

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u/10_Virtues 9d ago

If the rich can’t handle being taxed maybe they pull themselves up by the bootstraps, stop buying avocado toast and Starbucks and work harder.

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u/GreenLight_RedRocket 9d ago

He never had that money nor any possible way to get anywhere close to that much. It's a meaningless value that people just use as a taking point.

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u/DonaldoTrumpo6969 9d ago

I'm not surprised she doesn't know what unrealized gains are.

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u/NugKnights 9d ago

Hes literally the highest tax payer in history.

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u/Manspiderman 9d ago

I think this is a great lesson to realize how people will frame things to make people angry for no reason. Elon has contributed more to taxes than the sitting members of congress will make, combined, in their lives. But he isn’t paying enough. Why are the dollars we, as tax payers, being spent so inefficiently? I don’t know, let’s be mad at rich people instead of the incompetent congress who keep literally stealing from us.

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u/Icy-Collection-4967 9d ago

Populists gonna populist

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u/greystone-yellowhous 9d ago

I don’t think he is a good target. He paid the single biggest check to the IRS of any person ever. Focus on Koch Brothers & other Billionaires who hide their wealth overseas.

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u/Former_Design_2974 9d ago

There is only one Koch now.

I don’t find Elon evil or even bezos. Koch is a whole different ball of wax

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u/Reast842 9d ago

Does Reddit really not understand "unrealized losses due to stock market fluctuations"?

Or maybe you pretend you don't understand because reality is inconvenient?

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u/URBeneathMe 9d ago Silver

You’re talking about a bunch of people who can’t even change the person in the mirror to place that person in a better situation but somehow truly believe that they have the ability to change the world.

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u/___unknownuser 9d ago

LOL daaaaamn. Yes, Reddit has changed in the past few years.

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u/Alpha_Omegalomaniac 9d ago

Do you not understand that Bezos sold over $9 billion in stocks last year and was only taxed at the capital gains tax rate of 20% rather than the 37% that it should've been taxed at if it were counted as income?

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u/Ramelteon8mg 9d ago edited 9d ago

They don't want to understand. It's easy to just complain on the internet about Elon musk. This reddit cycle is odd af. Why they keep obsessing about his dude

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u/CHAD_BIGBEEF 9d ago

I recently read an interesting essay where the author points out that "leftists" hate success because deep down inside they know that they are losers.

The guy really made a lot of good points, but unfortunately he also apparently nail-bombed a bunch of people and is now spending the rest of his life in Supermax Prison at ADX Florence.

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u/-abM-p0sTpWnEd 9d ago

The annual budget of the USA is over $6.3T. $147B represents 2.3% of that. That means we could confiscate 100% of Musk's wealth and fund the US government for...8 days. And you only get to do that once.

I understand that you feel it's "unfair" or whatever to be that rich, but a wealth tax is not a viable long-term solution to our problems. If you want something that's realistic long tern, at least star focusing on flow instead of stock.

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u/conservative89436 9d ago

How anyone can look to a politician to decide what anyone’s “fair share” is, borders on insanity.

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u/Erichardson1978 9d ago

He paid more taxes than anyone in the history of the country in 2020 lol

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u/Shameless_Catslut 9d ago

This thread is so painfully full of "I have no idea how wealth works" takes

Value isn't income. Value isn't even money. Musk is rich because his name is on a lot of valuable stuff. He does have a lot of liquid cash, but the dude couldn't actually buy Twitter in cash.

We can tax the rich's actual earnings. We can regulate how they use their wealth.

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u/MisterMetal 9d ago

So you’re going to tax share values? What happens if the share price drops going to give refunds for that?

If you want to do something, prevent stocks from being used as collateral for loans.

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u/RobertK995 9d ago

this is a good example of why wealth tax is a bad idea. Had there BEEN a wealth tax he would have been taxed on wealth he never had.

Stocks go up, stocks go down. Which value is taxed, when it's up, or when it's down?

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u/engineereddiscontent 9d ago

Then people will retort "BuT tHeN He WiLl Go SomEwHeRe ElSe".

Meanwhile capitalism is literally going everywhere else anyway.

Fucking dumb.

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u/Androthi_II 9d ago

He pays his share, y'all just want him to pay more because he is rich. Go after them all and not just this one individual. Especially since he is using his money for things like electric vehicles and space exploration. Things everyone wanted.

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u/Lost_Promise_7244 9d ago

He pays plenty of taxes, and the government has a spending problem. Taxpayers are on the hook of 600 billion just in interest payments for all the free money it prints.

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u/minuteman_d 9d ago

Part of me wonders why we keep laying all of this hate on Elon when it is we the people who keep voting in grifters and some of the most corrupt people in the nation to the highest offices.

I have almost no problem with rich people legally dodging all of the taxes they can. We all do it - pay as little as we can and get refunds.

Without our votes to keep the powerful in power and the rich at the top, they'd be done in a handful of years.

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u/ShillinTheVillain 9d ago

He's done more to advance electric cars than any single person, reinvigorated the interest in space, and is bringing high speed internet to rural areas. And he paid more in taxes last year than every poster in this thread combined will pay in an entire lifetime.

But he makes dumb Tweets, which obviously negates everything else. It's easier to tear someone else down than it is to build yourself up, after all.

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u/evdog_music 9d ago

Without our votes to keep the powerful in power and the rich at the top, they'd be done in a handful of years.

"Oh no, only 2% voter turnout...

...still won plurality, though"

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u/PhysicalGraffiti75 9d ago

He’s so close to getting it.

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u/MKCULTRA 9d ago

Words are cheap. Tweets are cheaper. Do something.

She + the other “progressives’ should be saying this on every media outlet that will have them + rallying people to pressure Democrats into doing something.

They. Won’t. Do. Anything.

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u/Brain_Hawk 9d ago

So fucking much this. If they paid 50% income tax they would still be ungodly rich.

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u/btc909 9d ago

No, you need to remove the tax loopholes. A "Wealth Tax" means another tax with more tax loopholes to get out of paying the previous taxes & the newly instated taxes.