Fact-checking websites have disputed a tweet from President Biden over the weekend that claimed billionaires pay a 3% tax rate. Now the tweet has been flagged by Twitter.
“Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it, but just pay your fair share. I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%. It’s about basic fairness,” tweeted Biden.
A graphic featuring a quote from Biden was included in the tweet. The graphic stated, “You know the average tax billionaires pay? Three percent. No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a schoolteacher or a firefighter.”
It remains unclear as to where the 3% figure originated from, and it contradicts information that has been released by the White House previously.
FactCheck.org reports that President Biden had made the same claim of a 3% tax rate twice in February, and after analyzing the comment, the site had this to say, “After factoring in this change in wealth, the analysis estimated the average federal individual income tax rate for the 400 wealthiest families was 8.2%, based on the years 2010 to 2018. On Feb. 9 and 15, Biden incorrectly said 3%.”
In Las Vegas yesterday, President Biden again incorrectly claimed that the average billionaire pays a federal tax rate of 3%. We wrote last month why his talking point is wrong and misleading. https://t.co/lojindzXVm
— FactCheck.org (@factcheckdotorg) March 16, 2023
Based on a chart from the Tax Policy Center, taxpayers with higher incomes tend to pay higher tax rates than those in lower-income groups. The top 0.1% of earners, who have expanded cash incomes of over $4.4 million, pay an average federal income and payroll tax rate of 25.1%.
The analysis by the organization found that individuals in the middle 20% income bracket, with earnings ranging from $59,700 to $105,900, pay an average tax rate of 12.3%.
Community notes on Twitter included multiple sources, such as Politifact and CNN, that disputed the accuracy of President Biden’s claim.
The community notes read, “This claim has been repeatedly assessed as inaccurate. It relies on a theoretical calculation that treats unrealized capital gains (increase in the value of unsold stocks) as income even though current tax law does not. Taxes occur once stocks are sold for profit.”
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter as well as Tesla and SpaceX, replied to Biden’s post and stated that he pays a considerably higher tax rate than 3%.
“I paid 53% taxes on my Tesla stock options (40% Federal & 13% state), so I must be lifting the average! I also paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022,” tweeted Musk.