Elon Musk slammed for ‘deeply offensive’ tweets claiming US politician was dead

Elon Musk has been slammed for what have been described as “deeply offensive” tweets mocking US politician, Bernie Sanders, by implying that he thought the 80-year-old was dead.

The senator from Vermont and former Democratic Presidential candidate took to Twitter to demand that “the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”

In reply, the Tesla owner tweeted: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”

He then continued by tweeting: “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word…”

Responding to a tweet by a user, the 50-year-old again had a dig at the politician, saying: “Bernie is a taker, not a maker.”

The tech mogul who is worth over £200 billion was called out by Twitter users who described his tweet as “excessive” and “inhumane”.

Writer Shaun King labelled the tweet as “gross and inhumane”, while author Molly Jong-Fast said “this is so excessive”.

Fellow author and political activist Marianne Williamson referred to Musk’s tweet as a “deeply offensive thing”, while Brian Altano, a video producer, likened paying taxes to paying child support, referring to the five children Musk has with ex-wife, Justine Wilson.

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Hollywood actress Patricia Arquette questioned whether the world’s richest man had any short term memory issues, while economist David Rothschild said, “every billionaire owes massive debt to security, human capital, infrastructure, democracy that made their fortune possible.”

Musk does not receive a salary from Tesla but is instead required to pay taxes on gains.

This means that even as his net worth rises through his holding of Tesla stocks, he does not have to pay taxes on any unrealised capital gains.

Sanders however has been advocating for a “billionaire tax” that would tax these unrealised capital gains.

Musk sold nearly £5.2 billion shares of Tesla over the past week following an unusual Twitter poll, in response to the billionaire tax, asking followers whether he should sell the shares.

He said: “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”

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