Kyle Kuzma is in hot water.
The NBA superstar took up for billionaire Elon Musk in a recent tweet, a tweet that seemingly mocks people who claim that the Tesla capo doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes.
This tweet also hits hard when you consider that, according to ProPublica (via Complex), the super-rich like Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates have avoided paying their fair share of taxes for years. What’s more, Musk — who has nothing if not a problematic history with his Black workforce — has only paid about 3.27 percent of his annual income in taxes since 2014. That’s far from “his fair share.” And, comparatively speaking, Kyle Kuzma misspoke when he mocked people’s complaints about the subject.
“I know your teachers used to hand you your tests back face-down,” wrote one commenter. “Rich people like Elon really have fooled nerds on Twitter defending them paying no taxes,” wrote another.
And, it should shock no one to know that this is entirely legal.
“This is entirely legal and sort of one of the points of the story is that they don’t need exotic, illegal, evasive techniques,” said Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica to NPR. “This is not about tax evasion. It’s about legal routine tax avoidance through regular means. … The system has been built up so the ultrawealthy can easily avoid taxation.”
Elon Musk in Taxes: By The Numbers
On Dec. 19, 2021, Elon Musk announced that he would be paying $11 billion in taxes.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
Certainly, this is a lot of money — more than most will make in a lifetime. However, according to Forbes’ real-time report, Musk has a net worth of $277 billion. That’s only 4 percent of his total net worth — and, for purposes of reference, USA Facts (a governmental website) reports that the average American who makes about $51,000/year will pay more than $11,000 in income taxes. In other words, the average American will pay more than 20 percent of their income back to the government. So, no, Kyle Kuzma…compared to the rest of us, the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes.