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Twitter Takes Sides in the Battle Between Elon Musk and Bernie Sanders

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk went (overinflated) head-to-head (or tried to) with Senator Bernie Sanders over tax policy on Twitter recently.

The feud was provoked by Musk selling a shit ton of Tesla stock – in the most Musk way possible: via Twitter poll.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?” he asked the users of the social media platform. The answer was, unanimously, yes.

Musk ultimately rid himself of about $6.9 billion worth of stock in the electric car company. But selling that stock means he could owe a massive tax bill.

Coincidentally, a few days later, the independent Vermont senator (sub)tweeted: “We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”

OK, though critics would argue that Sanders making this argument is somewhat hypocritical. While he supports renewable energy initiatives (like electric cars), he also supports imposing higher taxes on the super-rich. He’s also a millionaire himself (closer to the tune of $3 million net worth) and as far as we know, hasn’t defined what qualifies as “extremely wealthy” or “their fair share.”

Thus, Musk had to clap back, in several tweets:

“I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” he chided the 80-year-old politician. Then, “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word.”

He followed up with this quip: “Ok, how much do you think is fair? Does 53% seem reasonable?”

Sanders didn’t engage. But Twitter users did. Some who got in on the debate were on Sanders’ side:

While others thought Musk was entitled to be the wealthiest man in the world:

Though the showdown has since cooled off, there’s one contest where Musk has Sanders beat, and hard: the senator only has 15 million followers, while Musk boasts a whopping 63.8 million. That said, there’s no accounting for classiness, and in that category, Sanders wins, hands-down, every time.

Cover Photo: picture alliance / Contributor and Chip Somodevilla / Staff (Getty Images)

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