Bernie Sanders tells Elon Musk to 'focus on Earth' and pay more tax rather than spend his wealth on space travel

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  • Bernie Sanders responded to Elon Musk’s saying he needs his wealth to fund interplanetary travel.
  • Sanders said that “we need to focus on Earth” and called for a progressive tax system.
  • Musk had said he was “accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Bernie Sanders responded to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s claim that he needs his vast wealth to fund interplanetary travel by saying that “we need to focus on Earth” and raise taxes on higher earners to tackle “obscene” inequality in the US.

After Sanders criticized his wealth last week, Musk, one of the wealthiest people in the world, said he would use his fortune to fund space exploration.

“I am accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary & extend the light of consciousness to the stars,” Musk tweeted on Sunday.

Sanders responded: “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.”

He added that “the level of inequality in America is obscene and a threat to our democracy.”

After a rally in Tesla stock, Musk last week overtook Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, with an estimated fortune of $182 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

Musk, who also runs the space-exploration firm SpaceX, said last year that he wanted to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050. He has said he is “highly confident” that SpaceX’s Starship will land on Mars by 2026 and has predicted there will be “a lot of jobs” on Mars.

Musk’s defense of his wealth was a response to a CleanTechnica column criticizing Sanders’ comments about Bezos’ and Musk’s wealth.

“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 had said on Thursday. “That level of greed and inequality is not only immoral. It is unsustainable.”

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