We live in the gilded age of crony capitalism. If you have any doubt about that fact look no further than Elon Musk's purchase of a $17 million mansion in Bel Air, California.
Who is Elon Musk?
He struck it rich with the invention of PayPal. Lately, though, he has cashed in on the Obama "green energy" and government giveaway bonanza. He plays the game well.
Musk has an army of lobbyists on payroll to help lift taxpayer money to help his companies Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity.
Musk is, of course, a big donor to Obama, having given $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund and another $30,400 to the Democratic National Committee.
SolarCity spent $535,000 in 2009 and 2010 to lobby Congress and the Department of Energy on climate legislation, the Recovery Act, “green workforce training and development,” and provisions in various legislation “relevant to solar development,” according to The National Legal and Policy Center. SolarCity also received a $344 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy and $66 million from additional DOE giveaway programs.
Thanks to the support of the taxpayers, Musk was able to roll an IPO out for Solar City earning him an estimated half a billion dollars. Not a bad investment for Musk. Poor investment for taxpayers.
Musk's electronic car company Tesla received a loan guarantee for $465 million from the DOE. When Tesla went public, Musk pocketed nearly $1 billion on his $35 million investment.
And Musk's other company SpaceX has received over $1 billion in taxpayer funding.
Is it any surprise that Musk can live in the lap of luxury? Thanks to Musk's team of lobbyists and the Obama's Administration's desire to enrich green investors, Musk purchased the following home at the end of 2012.
Musk symbolizes the Obama entrepreneur -- someone who relies on government to make their riches as opposed to the marketplace. The Elon Musks of the world have thrived under Obama, while everyone else muddles along funding their lavish estates. Welcome to Obama’s Gilded Age.