Pretty boy Elon Musk is king of the hustlers, having collected $4.9 billion in taxpayer subsidies for his extravagant schemes and now he wants even more.
Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk has a habit of making products that people don’t want.
They are often too expensive (flights to Mars for $6 million and “a good chance you will die”); wildly impractical (a submarine too large to rescue the Thai soccer players trapped in a flooded cave); or both (the $140,000 Tesla Model X P100D “with Ludicrous Mode”).
But, despite his penchant for expensive and wildly impractical products, Elon Musk manages to keep his various enterprises afloat through generous government subsidies. According to The Los Angeles Times, Musk’s three largest companies—Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and SpaceX—have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support.
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Last month in an effort to become profitable, Tesla even asked its suppliers to “subsidize” the electric vehicle company by returning a “meaningful amount of money” that Tesla had paid them since 2016.
But the biggest subsidy Tesla enjoys is a $7,500 federal tax credit for those purchasing new EVs. Combined with various state and local subsidies, new Tesla owners in states like California can get up to $13,000 in lavish government subsidies. The problem is that about 90% of these tax credits are going to families with incomes over $100,000, which is essentially “welfare for the rich,” as one Forbes columnist described it.