President Biden’s recent tweet claiming that the average tax rate paid by billionaires is only three percent has been fact-checked and labelled as ‘incorrect’ by Twitter. The tweet was accompanied by a graphic of Biden, which read: “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.” The tweet was also followed by a text saying that billionaires should pay a minimum tax of 25 percent.
The tweet has generated controversy and scrutiny as the claim contradicts previous data released by the White House. In a factsheet titled “The Biden Economic Plan Is Working” released in February, the White House stated that in a typical year, billionaires pay an average tax rate of just eight percent. This data stands in stark contrast to Biden’s claim of three percent.
Independent analysis has also contradicted Biden’s tweet. The average income tax rate for 2020 was 13.6 percent, and the top one percent of taxpayers paid an average rate of 25.99 percent, according to the ‘added context’ tab beneath Biden’s tweet.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has also weighed in on the controversy, claiming that he paid more income tax than anyone in history for 2021 and will do so again in 2022. His comment has sparked debate and raised questions about the validity of Biden’s claim.
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.@CommunityNotes, is the 3% number cited above accurate?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
The White House has not yet issued a statement on the matter, and it remains unclear where the three percent figure originated from. The tweet’s labeling as ‘incorrect’ by Twitter indicates that it is not based on credible data and should be viewed with skepticism.
The controversy surrounding Biden’s tweet highlights the ongoing debate over tax policy and the need for transparency and accurate data. While billionaires should be expected to pay their fair share of taxes, it is essential that the public is presented with accurate information to inform policy decisions. As the debate continues, it will be interesting to see how the Biden administration responds to the controversy and whether any changes will be made to its tax policy proposals.