Biden repeats false claim that billionaires pay 3% tax rate, gets flagged by Twitter

Twitter's "community notes" weighed in on Biden's claim and posted several sources that found it to be inaccurate

Published: March 20, 2023 1:15pm

Updated: March 20, 2023 2:50pm

President Biden tweet this past weekend that billionaires pay a 3% tax rate has been refuted by fact check websites and has now been flagged by Twitter.

"Look, I think you should be able to be a billionaire if you can earn it," Biden tweeted. "But just pay your fair share. I think you ought to pay a minimum tax of 25%. It’s about basic fairness.

According to, Biden made the same 3% tax claim twice in February.

"Biden’s statements refer to a White House economic analysis that included earnings on unsold stock as income," reads a analysis. "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%.)"

According to a Tax Policy Center chart" "When looking only at income, the top-earning taxpayers, on average, pay higher tax rates than those in the income groups below them. The top 0.1% of earners, with more than $4.4 million in expanded cash income, pay an average rate of 25.1% in federal income and payroll taxes.

Those in the middle 20%, with income from $59,700 to $105,900, pay an average of 12.3%," the organization's analysis concluded.

Twitter's "community notes" posted several additional sources – including ones by Politifact and CNN – that found Biden's claim to be inaccurate.

"This claim has been repeatedly assessed as inaccurate," the Twitter post reads. "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.)."

Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, responded to Biden's post and said he pays a much 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!," he wrote. "I also paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth for 2021 and will do that again in 2022."

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