The Ongoing Beef Between Elizabeth Warren & Elon Musk

© AP Photo / Steven SenneFILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2020, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to the media outside her home in Cambridge, Mass., after she dropped out of the Democratic presidential race
FILE - In this Thursday, March 5, 2020, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to the media outside her home in Cambridge, Mass., after she dropped out of the Democratic presidential race - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.01.2022
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In an interview on New York Times podcast Sway, Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren responded to Elon Musk’s personal attacks following December 2021 back and forth between the two on Twitter.
Elizabeth Warren has never been shy about taking on the wealthiest Americans. Whether it's pushing a progressive tax code or trying to break up massive corporations, Warren has been one of the loudest political voices pushing the Democrats' progressive economic agenda.
Which makes it unsurprising that Warren and Elon Musk, Forbes wealthiest human and CEO of Tesla and Space-X, are engaged in a months-long back-and-forth.
On Thursday, Warren reignited the pair's beef when she responded to disparaging comments Musk made about her. Warren wasn't satisfied with setting the record straight and threw some barbs back Musks way, calling him, "thin-skinned," and mocking his record tax bill.
How the Elon Musk Elizabeth Warren Spat Started
In December 2021, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and currently the world’s richest man, was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
On December 13, 2021, Elizabeth Warren poured cold water on Musk’s parade. Through Twitter, she called out Musk for dodging federal income taxes.
Elon Musk responded with a tweet the next day with a personal attack against Warren.
The spat didn’t end there. On December 21, Musk, in an interview with the Babylon Bee, claimed that Warren, “doesn’t pay taxes,” and joked, “if you could by irony, [Elizabeth Warren] would be dead.”
Warren, in her interview with Sway, responded to both of Musk’s attacks.
When asked about their back-and-forth on Twitter, Warren said, “Well, can we just start with the fact that, baby, this isn’t random. What I care about is that Elon Musk paid— you want to know how much he paid in taxes in 2018? One of the richest guys in the whole world— how much did he pay in taxes, federal income taxes? Answer, zero. Zero. None. Every nurse who paid taxes, every firefighter who paid taxes, paid more than Elon Musk. That’s a broken taxation system.”
The host of Sway, Kara Swisher, brought up Elon Musk’s reported 2021 $11 billion tax bill.
Warren responded, “This year, he will pay a lot because chose to sell a big, big bunch of his stock. But you know, I just want to point out, pretty much everybody in America would be a little richer today or a lot richer today if they had not had to pay any federal income taxes for years and years and years. So to say now that he’s in this position where he can sell off a slice of his business and make a bazillion dollars and because he chose to take that action he will pay taxes this year— I’m sorry, I just don’t think that wins him the Good Tax-Paying Citizen of the Year Award.”
When Warren was asked about Musk referring to her as ‘Senator Karen’, with the name ‘Karen’ a popular slang term to denote a white woman who is demanding and entitled, she dove into her perception of Musk’s strategy.
“What he’s hoping for is that this is personal,” Warren noted, adding that, “it’s about trying to make it personal instead of talking about what’s wrong with the tax system. Because I really— I do want to have that conversation. What is wrong with a tax system that literally the richest people in this country, the billionaires, can get by paying zero? We saw this. We actually saw their tax returns and have learned that they can now structure their lives once they have amassed a big enough fortune to never have to pay the taxes that nurses and firefighters and waitresses are paying, and I think that’s wrong.”
Later in the interview, Warren talked about her consistent portrayal in the press as a ‘schoolmarm’ or a ‘Karen.’
“You know, I just assume it’s the same as anybody who doesn’t like someone who challenges them. And they look for what they think is a vulnerability. And somehow, they think that’s my vulnerability. [...] I don’t actually spend a lot of time worrying about it. I am not a thin-skinned billionaire,” she noted.
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