Elon Musk Responds to Senator Ron Wyden's Criticism With a Crude Diss

Elon Musk and Ron Wyden had a tense Twitter exchange in which the Tesla CEO made a crass joke about the U.S. senator.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Nov. 8 2021, Published 2:06 p.m. ET

Elon Musk
Source: Getty Images

If you noticed Elon Musk and Senator Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) trending on Twitter lately, you can blame a juvenile tweet from the Tesla CEO.

After Wyden responded to one of Musk’s tweets with a call for the Billionaires Income Tax, Musk asked him, “Why does your [profile pic] look like you just came?”

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The crack came after Musk called for opinions about him selling 10 percent of his Telsa stock to pay taxes, amid calls from Wyden and other lawmakers for billionaires to pay more in taxes.

Wyden said a Twitter poll shouldn’t decide whether Musk pays taxes.

Sen. Ron Wyden
Source: Getty Images

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk wrote as he posted a poll on Twitter on Nov. 6. “Do you support this?”

In follow-up tweets, the 50-year-old added, “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes. … 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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As of the time of this writing, more than 3.5 million votes have been cast in Musk’s poll, and 57.9 percent of respondents supported him selling his Tesla shares.

But Wyden, for his part, said the matter shouldn’t be up for debate. “Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll. It’s time for the Billionaires Income Tax,” the senator tweeted on Nov. 6, replying to Musk’s post.

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On Nov. 7, Musk responded and compared Wyden’s appearance in his profile picture to a post-coital expression. As of the time of this writing, Wyden hasn't responded to the SpaceX founder’s diss and Musk hasn't responded to the results of the poll.

Other Twitter users certainly had a lot to say about Musk’s lewd tweet. “Imagine being a grown man who runs a publicly-traded company and actually writing this and then deciding to hit ‘Reply,’” one wrote.

Another person tweeted, “So you can’t respond to his point and instead have to try to insult or shame him. Such a mature and intellectually honest response.”

A third Twitter user wrote, “I have a cousin who admires you. I wonder if she’ll still admire you after she sees this tweet? I never admired you, but I’m older and a little wiser.”

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Senator Ron Wyden recently unveiled his Billionaires Income Tax plan.

Wyden, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, released an updated version of the Billionaires Income Tax plan on Oct. 27. The proposed legislation would apply to taxpayers with more than $100 million in annual income or more than $1 billion in assets for three consecutive years, which currently covers roughly 700 taxpayers in the country.

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The plan calls for billionaires to pay tax on gains (or take deductions for losses) on tradable assets each year. It also calls for an interest charge called a “deferral recapture amount” to be applied to the sale of billionaires’ non-tradable assets.

“The Billionaires Income Tax would ensure billionaires pay tax every year, just like working Americans,” Wyden said in a statement when unveiling the plan. “No working person in America thinks it’s right that they pay their taxes and billionaires don’t. We have a historic opportunity with the Billionaires Income Tax to restore fairness to our tax code, and fund critical investments in American families.”


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