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Musk’s Twitter deal prompts calls for taxes, free speech from lawmakers


You can find Monday’s latest news in Washington, D.C. depending on whom you ask. Twitter’sBoard has accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer to buy the companyTake it private or free speech back online, either is evidence that Musk and billionaires must pay more taxes.

“Free speech is coming back,” tweetedRep. Jim Jordan from Ohio, was elected ranking member to the House Judiciary Committee. asked Twitter’s board to preserve documents related to Musk’s offerThis signalling a possible probe if Republicans take control of the chamber.

“#TaxtheRich,” tweetedRep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.

These are the most prominent themes raised by lawmakers of both the right- and left sides in the wake of the announcement. Both sides have different views on the key issues facing the tech industry. These are the reasons Congress has yet not to pass legislation which could significantly impact it, including topics such as content moderation and digital privacy.

Musk’s criticisms of Twitter’s content moderation policies are the reason for the optimism regarding “free speech” on Twitter. In a statement that was included with the press release, Musk described Twitter as “the digital square”.

Musk stated that he prefers to have “time outs” over permanent bans in an earlier appearance, after which he had made his offer to purchase the company. This suggests that there may be a way for the former president Donald Trump to return to Twitter if he chooses. Twitter removed Trump from its platform after his comments about the January 6th insurrection at U.S. Capitol. Twitter claimed that the company made this decision because of the “risk of inciting violence.”

“Big Tech cannot continue to silence people—they are not and should not be the arbiters of truth,” tweetedRep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican from Washington), is a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been involved in privacy and content moderation legislation. “It’s time for Big Tech censorship to be replaced by the battle of ideas, and I hope @Twitter will take a fresh direction in free speech.”

“Today is a positive day for freedom to speech.” tweetedSenator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who was introduced legislation to restrict online platform’s liability shield around content moderation. “I believe Elon Musk can help end Big Tech’s long history of censoring people who hold different views.”

However, most Democratic lawmakers that tweeted about Musk’s purchase concentrated more on Musk’s buying power than on the possible impact of Twitter’s product.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., tweetedMusk’s estimated $44Billion net worth and the transaction’s value are “less than 17%”. Musk and other billionaires pay lower taxes than teachers, firefighters, and nurses. This may sound absurd. “We need to have a Billionaire minimum income tax.”

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.): “If they are able to afford Twitter they can afford tax,” tweetedThe news was not yet official.

Rep. Pramila Japal, D.Wash. said that it was absurd for one person to afford Twitter, while families in this country are forced to make a choice every day between purchasing groceries and prescription drugs. wroteBefore the official announcement.

She reminded Musk that Elon Musk has a tax rate effective at 3.27% from 2014-2018. wroteAfter the announcement of the agreement. The average family with a working income pays 13% in taxes. We need a wealth-tax in this country.

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, declined to comment but stated that, “as an overall matter, regardless of who runs Twitter or owns it, the President is long concerned about large social media platforms’ power over our daily lives and the control they hold.”

She also stated that President Joe Biden is a long-standing supporter of reforms to make tech platforms responsible for the harm caused by their services. These include reforming tech’s legal responsibility shield Section 230 and adopting antitrust reforms.

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