Tesla CEO Elon Musk railed against President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act – despite the bill offering incentives for electric vehicles and funding to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Musk is deeply concerned about how the multitrillion-dollar bill would increase the national debt.
At this week’s Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit, Musk urged Congress not to pass the Build Back Better Act.
When asked about federal funding to expand the electric vehicle charging network, Musk proclaimed it was "unnecessary."
"Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t," Musk shot back. "There’s no need for this support for a charging network. I would delete it. Delete. I’m literally saying, get rid of all subsidies, but also for oil and gas."
Regarding the Build Back Better Act, Musk advised that "it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass" because of the federal budget deficit.
"We’ve spent so much money ... the federal budget deficit is insane," he stated. "Federal expenditures are $7 trillion. Federal revenue is $4 trillion. ... If it was a company, it would be a $3 trillion dollar loss. So I don’t know if we should be adding to that loss. That seems pretty crazy. Something's gotta give. You can’t just spend $3 trillion more than you earn every year and don’t expect something bad to happen. This is not good."
"We don’t need the $7,500 tax credit. Honestly, I would just can this whole bill," Musk said. "Don’t pass it, that’s my recommendation."
Under the Build Back Better bill, the proposed electric vehicle incentive includes a $7,500 tax credit to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle and another $500 if the vehicle's battery is made in the United States. There is also a $4,500 tax credit if the EV is assembled in the U.S. at a factory with union labor. Tesla doesn't have union workers.
On Oct. 31, Musk accused President Biden of being a "puppet" for the United Auto Workers labor union.
Musk blasted Biden in September when Tesla was not invited to a White House meeting regarding electric vehicles. The Biden administration invited Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. However, Tesla – the largest EV maker in the world – was not invited.
Musk reacted to the snub by saying, "Biden held this EV summit. Didn’t invite Tesla. Invited GM, Ford, Chrysler, and UAW. EV summit at the White House, didn’t mention Tesla once and praised GM and Ford for leading the EV revolution. Doesn’t it sound a little biased?"
The billionaire Tesla CEO slammed the Biden administration, "It’s not the friendliest of administrations. Seems to be controlled by the unions."
As of October, Tesla had the top two best-selling electric vehicles in the United States in 2021 by a vast quantity, according to Car and Driver. Tesla also had four of the top 11 best-selling EVs in the U.S.
During the WSJ event, Musk took aim at big government, saying it is inefficient.
"It does not make sense to take the job of capital allocation away from people with a demonstrated great skill in capital allocation and give it to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation," the world's second-richest person in the world said.
"The government is simply the biggest corporation, with a monopoly on violence and where you have no recourse," the SpaceX founder said.
"We should minimize what the government does," he continued.
"The role of government should be that of like a referee, but not a player on the field," Musk stated. "Government should try to get out of the way and not impede progress."
"Rules and regulations are immortal, they don't die. Occasionally you see some law with a sunset provision, but really, otherwise, the vast majority of rules and regulations live forever," he said. "Eventually it just takes longer and longer and it's harder to do things. There's not really an effective garbage collection system for removing rules and regulations. And so gradually this hardens the arteries of civilization, where you're able to do less and less over time."
Musk suggested, "So I think government should be trying really hard to get rid of rules and regulations that perhaps had merit at some time but don't have merit currently."
On Twitter, Musk continued to trash big government and the Build Back Better Act. Musk cited analysis from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School — Musk's alma mater — that found that if the temporary provisions in Biden's Build Back Better plan are made permanent, then the U.S. federal debt would increase by 24.4% and "GDP would fall by 2.9% relative to current law."
"There is a lot of accounting trickery in this bill that isn’t being disclosed to the public," Musk tweeted on Wednesday.
The entrepreneur with a net worth of $151 billion then quoted Nobel Prize-winning economist and free-market advocate Milton Friedman, "Nothing is more permanent than a 'temporary' government program."
Analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget arrived at a similar conclusion that the Build Back Better Act could end up being shockingly more expensive to American taxpayers than advertised.
"If the plan's temporary policies were made permanent, we find the cost would increase by as much as $2.5 trillion," the CRFB analysis stated. "As a result, the gross cost of the bill would more than double from $2.4 trillion to $4.9 trillion."
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