Opinion | Elizabeth Warren Claps Back at Elon Musk

The Massachusetts senator defends her plan to tax billionaires and break up Big Tech.

Produced by ‘Sway’

Few people draw more ire in Silicon Valley than the Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She’s long fought against the power of big banks and corporate behemoths, so it’s natural that she’s turned her attention to breaking up dominant tech companies and taxing the billionaires behind them. So far, it’s not going down well: When she called out Elon Musk, a billionaire who paid no federal income tax at all in 2018, for not paying his fair share, she received a classically Muskian tweetback: “Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen.”

Her response? “Every nurse who paid taxes, every firefighter who paid taxes, every dishwasher and waitress who paid taxes paid more than Elon Musk. That’s a broken taxation system,” she tells Kara Swisher.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Warren to make her case for antitrust scrutiny of Silicon Valley. They discuss Congress and the Biden administration’s first year — if Build Back Better is actually “Build Back Never,” Joe Manchin, and why Warren thinks the Democrats could expand their number in the Senate this year.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe and Wyatt Orme, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski.

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