HILL: Elon Musk’s “itty-bitty” $11 billion tax payment

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020, file photo, SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Tesla founder Elon Musk is scheduled to pay $11 billion in California state and federal taxes by April 15. 

That figure, $11 billion, would almost be equal to tax collections from all sources in South Carolina or Louisiana. 

Musk’s tax payment would pay for every state-related expense from teacher salaries to road construction to the state Medicaid match in each state. His single payment is about 40% of all state taxes collected from millions of North Carolinians last year.  

And yet, we have an almost cartoonish U.S. president, Joe Biden, who last week said: “Look, I’m a capitalist. I think you should be able to go out and make a million or billion dollars if you have the capability, but just pay a little bit. Pay your fair share.” 

Paying $11 billion in taxes is not just a “little bit” or just a “fair share.” Mr. President. It is humongous. 

Federal bureaucrats should make sure Elon Musk gets the Congressional Medal of Honor, a Nobel Prize and a ticker tape parade down Constitution Avenue to thank him for sending billions to them to spend on the leviathan federal government we have today. 

Elon Musk is facing such an enormous one-time tax bill because he exercised options for 22.8 million shares granted to him in 2012 in his then start-up electric vehicle company, Tesla. He made such a colossal gain in capital value through his hard work, high tolerance for risk and vision over the next nine years.  

Since his options are taxed as an employee benefit or compensation at the top ordinary-income level, Musk is facing a 37% federal tax plus the 3.8% net investment tax imposed by Obamacare that goes to support Medicare. In addition, Musk will have to pay the 13.3% top tax rate in California.  

His combined state and federal tax rate is 54.1%. How “fair” is that? Should one person be responsible for paying taxes equal to what many states collect from millions of people? 

How can anyone such as President Biden or any of his progressive socialist Democratic soulmates say wealthy people such as Elon Musk need to pay “just a little bit” when the top 5% of income-earners in America already pay 60.3% of all income taxes annually? 

If progressives want to engage in a debate over who should “pay their fair share,” here’s a philosophical question for them to answer: “Shouldn’t everyone pay at least $1 in federal taxes to be protected by our national military?” 

Isn’t part of living in a democracy a shared sacrifice of the cost of living in peace at the very minimum? The moment someone stops “paying” for a service or product — in this case, government protection against enemies — the less they start to care about whether it is good or not. 

Well over half of American taxpaying households pay nothing in federal income tax each year, and 60% of all American households receive more in federal benefits than they pay in all taxes combined. If the truth was being told, the left has already “won” when it comes to the progressive income tax because there is a net transfer of $1.7 trillion annually from the rich to the less-rich via the tax code. 

President Biden and progressive socialist liberals are stuck in the Gilded Age of the 1880s in America. They believe every rich person is a “robber baron” like the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and Goulds, who made fortunes in railroads and unethical trusts. The thought process in progressive minds goes like this: Uber-wealthy people must have their fortunes on the backs of poor people. Therefore, they should be punished with high tax rates to force them to share their wealth with the same poor people they abused to get to the top. 

“Pay your fair share” is just a euphemism for progressive socialist Democrats who really want to use the coercive power of government to force the full redistribution of all wealth to the poor and near-poor right now. 

The question is not how we can force a few other Elon Musks nationwide to pay “a little bit more” in taxes.  The question is whether we can save America from progressives who would like to shut down future Elon Musks from ever getting wealthy through their own hard work and ingenuity in a free enterprise system of laws and individual rights.