Elon Musk: The taxpayers’ worst nightmare

Elon Musk: The taxpayers’ worst nightmare
Elon Musk (Image: YouTube screen grab via Y Combinator)

Who is Elon Musk? A Steve Jobs/Wozniak mutant gifted with supreme insight and omnipotent technology, powered by “green energy” and taxpayer money? Well, only part of this statement is true.

Elon Musk is no Steve Jobs — he’s not even a competent businessman. Musk is not gifted with supreme insight and is not delivering much to us, unseen alien technology. If anything, he is a genius at repackaging a defunct product, and convincing the public that the product will save the world. Moreover, he gives it to us at a “discount” while he pockets the taxpayer money that had made it “cheaper” in the first place.

According to recent estimates, Elon Musk’s companies — Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity — have received upwards to $4.9 billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies. The effect was to make all the products more available to the market. The only problem is that the car and the roofing he so champions can be only afforded by wealthy individuals who see the products as luxury goods to show off to their other wealthy friends.

Selling luxury goods is great, because most of the time, the sales tax of the goods can be brought back in as revenue for taxpayers. However, when sales tax for a Tesla car does not even cancel out the amount in stolen taxpayers’ hard-earned cash that Elon Musk receives, how do we expect to see anything but a selfish business model, selling inefficient cars, and antiquated solar panels to make remotely any sense?

The reason why Elon Musk can get away with such an ineffective and dangerous game with our tax dollars is that he can buffer achievements between companies and shift failures from one company to another.

When SolarCity was $2.8 billion dollars in debt, Tesla conveniently declared a merger between the two companies. The deal was ridiculously corrupt, especially considering that the merger was between Elon Musk and his two cousins, Peter and Lyndon Rive.

But the recent story of Musk playing with our tax dollars is after the explosion of the Falcon 9 early this September in Florida. As a result, all shares in Tesla and SolarCity went down. The reason was that Elon Musk used billions from SpaceX to buy bonds in SolarCity. Likewise, Tesla has millions of dollars in SpaceX stock.

Those angry at Elon Musk were joyous to see the rocket burst into flames, and the stocks tumble — except in the ashes, Elon Musk managed to hide the game he will continue to play. Using now Tesla and SolarCity as backers, Musk will funnel the tax dollars and funds into SpaceX. That money does not come out of thin air: It  continues to be delivered by the U.S. government and funded by the American taxpayer.

And now, Elon Musk wants $10 billion per person to send Americans to Mars. Give me a break.

Using the call of “green energy” Musk has extended solar credits to 2018, while also pushing for legislation that calls for charging stations across the U.S to prop up Tesla Motors.

Those who can see past the façade of Elon Musk should not celebrate when he fails. Every failure only digs American families deeper into a pool of corruption that continues to funnel incomes from Americas to faulty and outright hypocritical businesses that do nothing but hurt us and fuel the childhood fantasies of a serial liar and manipulator.

It is time that failure is punished instead of praised. Legislators should not be giving favors to Elon Musk, and Musk should fend for himself with his own money at stakes. Maybe he would fail less, or most likely, just disappear into the folds of history. Only time will tell.


Edward Woodson

Edward Woodson

Edward Woodson is a lawyer, now host of the nationally syndicated Edward Woodson Show, which airs daily from 3 to 6 pm EST on gcnlive.com.

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