'Focus on Earth' and pay taxes: Bernie Sanders hits back at Elon Musk's plan to use wealth on space exploration

'Focus on Earth' and pay taxes: Bernie Sanders hits back at Elon Musk's plan to use wealth on space exploration
Photo via Gage Skidmore.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is not interested in hearing anything about billionaire Tesla mogul Elon Musk's next big-money venture if it does not involve an increase in his taxes.

It all began with a tweet Musk shared on Sunday, March 21. At the time, Musk tweeted, "I am accumulating resources to help make life multi-planetary & extend the light of consciousness to the stars."

According to Sanders, Musk needs to focus on planet Earth before attempting to explore multi-planetary life. Sanders fired back with his take on Musk's proposed plan. Although he admitted that space exploration is exciting, Sanders urged the Tesla maker to help Earth first.

"Space travel is an exciting idea, but right now we need to focus on Earth and create a progressive tax system so that children don't go hungry, people are not homeless and all Americans have healthcare," Sanders tweeted.

Sanders' Sunday tweet came just days after the Vermont lawmaker discussed the need for Musk and Amazon titan Jeff Bezos to pay more taxes.

Noting that the two billionaires own more than the lower 40% of Americans combined, Sanders tweeted on Thursday that Musk and Bezos should be shelling out more dollars in taxes; not paying lower percentages than many Americans with far less wealth. According to the progressive lawmaker, the imbalance of financial wealth is an example of "greed and inequality" that is "unsustainable" over time.

"We are in a moment in American history where two guys – Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos – own more wealth than the bottom 40% of people in this country," Sanders tweeted on Thursday. "That level of greed and inequality is not only immoral. It is unsustainable."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.