Elon Musk Continues Insulting Biden Admin's EV Tax Credit Scheme

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
elon musk continues insulting biden admins ev tax credit scheme

Elon Musk has continued bashing the Biden administration’s tax credit legislation designed to spur electric vehicle adoption, this time suggesting that the entire bill be scrapped. Included as part of the Build Back Better Act that’s focused on addressing various social, infrastructure, and climate issues, Musk suggested the entire text simply be done away.

“Honestly, I would just can this whole bill,” he stated at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, appearing remotely from Tesla’s construction site in Austin, Texas.

Though it’s doubtful that he read the complete text, which is actually a menagerie of social programs (e.g. free college admissions, increased funding for Medicare and Medicaid, investments into alternative energy businesses, increased funding and powers for the IRS, more money for education services, and investments into low-income housing) mixed in with some boilerplate infrastructure spending and the aforementioned EV subsidies/incentives. We honestly don’t believe more than a handful of people have ever read the entirety of H.R. 5376 (the Build Back Better Act) due to its absolutely monstrous length.

There was even a poll published by CBS indicating that fewer than 10 percent of Americans actually had a general understanding of what was in the bill. But you only need to take a look at it for yourself to immediately realize that almost nobody has the kind of free time needed to go over each and every item.

Still, the House went on to pass the approximately $2-trillion bill being forwarded by the Biden administration and part of it includes a provision to give consumers a tax credit of as much as $12,500 if they buy an electric vehicle assembled by union workers using American-built batteries. Meanwhile, products made in one of Tesla’s nonunionized facilities would be eligible for substantially smaller tax credits.

But Elon Musk doesn’t seem all that interested in government help, echoing some of his earlier comments about the tax plan. He believes the existing subsidies are sufficient and worked well enough to make his company the top EV producer by an exceptionally wide margin. Musk sees little reason to offer additional help, especially if it’s to be divided based upon a company’s relationships to unions — which many have argued as overtly political.

From WSJ:

He also said that federal funding for electric-vehicle charging is unnecessary. The infrastructure package that Mr. Biden signed into law in November includes $7.5 billion to expand the nation’s network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

“Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t,” he said. “Delete it.”

Mr. Musk, who is often critical of U.S. authorities, including President Biden, has struck a more conciliatory tone when it comes to the Chinese government.

“There are a lot of people in the government in China who kind of grew up … with China being a small economy and maybe who feel like China was pushed around a lot. They haven’t fully appreciated the fact that China really is going to be the big kid on the block,” he said.

Mr. Musk added that Tesla has a good relationship with China, home to the company’s largest vehicle factory by output.

I have seen numerous articles discussing how Elon is at odds with the Biden administration, only to tack on his acknowledgment that China is becoming a dominant world power as a way to discredit him. The reality is quite a bit more complicated than Musk taking sides. Despite having made sizable gains in Asia, the Chinese government has been extremely critical of Tesla and has leveled accusations that its cars can be used by the U.S. for spying. It even went so far as to bar Tesla models from being parked anywhere near military bases as a result.

Musk is ultimately a businessman with a knack for making controversial statements and it’s difficult to seriously believe he has a better relationship with the CCP than he does with the White House. He wants to get the best deal he can for his company and the United States has opted to cater to legacy automakers (specifically Ford, GM, and Stellantis) who would love to see Tesla put out of business. China would like the same for its numerous state-run automotive entities. But only after they’ve tapped the relevant technologies coming from America.

“I don’t mean to endorse everything China does any more than I would, say, endorse everything the United States does, or any country,” Musk added.

[Image: Naresh111/Shutterstock]

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  • Dartdude Dartdude on Dec 08, 2021

    I agree with Musk about the union incentive in the plan. We Americans have given away our power and made to the federal govt too powerful. The govt should not picking winners and losers in the private sector. This bill should be withdrawn. lets go brandon

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Dec 08, 2021

    Musk is a grifter. Look at recent statements he's made essentially licking the boots of the Chinese government. He's an incredibly successful grifter, but we need to call this out. He had nary a negative word to say about subsidies when he benefited from them. I'm glad he moved Tesla and electrified transportation fwd the way he did. But he's playing the game despite being in a position to change the way the game is played. All of these egomaniacs (Jobs, Musk, Gates, Zuck, Bezos) created or advanced some great technology, but they don't give a rip about anyone but themselves. None of us should be cheerleading hypocrisy. I have no hope or expectation of sainthood, but it would be good to see integrity.

    • Maxb49 Maxb49 on Dec 08, 2021

      I’m glad he moved Tesla and electrified transportation fwd the way he did. But he’s playing the game despite being in a position to change the way the game is played. All of these egomaniacs (Jobs, Musk, Gates, Zuck, Bezos) created or advanced some great technology, but they don’t give a rip about anyone but themselves. None of us should be cheerleading hypocrisy. I have no hope or expectation of sainthood, but it would be good to see integrity." +1 This should win comment of the year.

  • Jkross22 This might just be me, but the times that I've driven an EV, I use the brake regen paddles to quell my inner MT/control freak nature.
  • Randy in rocklin I had a 82 733 at one time. It was an awesome car. Good power and great handling. Smooth shifting and ride.
  • Jkross22 Gavin Newsom may not be aware of the fiscal problems of the state he leads, as his focus is on criticizing other states. It's actually better that he has someone shining a laser light on a map so he can stop making things worse here. Just lace his hair gel with some catnip and have him hit himself trying to get to it. Things in LA are getting so bad that even the leftists and progressives are showing up to LA city council meetings with mirrors to protest, well, everything - gas prices, the homeless pandemic, the house pricing pandemic, the crime pandemic. It shocked the City Council that their subjects dare attempt to ask for accountability. The Council president insisted that people with mirrors be escorted out, lest the council be reminded of their incompetence and hubris. That being said, there is no connection being made between the way LA subjects vote and the results it yields. Never underestimate the stupidity of the typical CA voter. The state is a basketcase but voters keep electing the same retreads every time.
  • ScarecrowRepair Too much for too little, unless you treat it strictly as a toy.
  • DedBull Mk2 Jettas are getting harder to find, especially ones that haven't been modified within an inch of their life. I grew up in an 85 GLI, and would love to have one in as close to stock configuration as I could get. This car isn't that starting point, especially sitting 3-4 years in the NY dirt. It's a parts car at best, but there might still be money in it even at that price, if you are willing to take it down to absolutely nothing left.
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