The Silicon Valley Business Journal is reporting that “Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors is on track to win $15 million in new tax breaks as part of the final round of this year’s California Competes tax credit.” According to Governor Brown’s GO-Biz website, tax credits are awarded to businesses that come or stay and grow in California. With much of his $13.3 billion net worth coming from tax subsidies, Musk may celebrate his latest gift of “government cheese” from Reno, where Tesla’s highly-subsidized $5 billion giga-factory is being built.
The latest case of crony capitalist donation of taxpayer funds will join the $4.9 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives that Elon Musk has pocketed from his three companies, which were instrumental in building his $13.3 billion net worth.
Last year, Nevada politicians outbid California politicians with $1.3 billion in subsidies to build Tesla Motors’ 10 million-square-foot lithium-ion battery “gigafactory” near Reno, Nevada. Breitbart News reported a month earlier that a smiling Texas Governor Rick Perry “bought the deal” with a $100 million taxpayer check for SpaceX to build a commercial rocket launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.
Deputy Director Brook Taylor of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development said the $15 million state tax credit would be in return for Tesla (TSLA-NASDAQA) creating about 4,500 California jobs across its facilities in Fremont, Hawthorne, Lathrop and Newark.
The 63 potential awardees for this year’s third $50 million round of awards will go to tech companies and manufacturers of aircraft parts, footwear and medical devices, among other products, according to the Journal. But with California gaining 498,000 new jobs last year and expecting similar growth this year, that means Tesla is about to be awarded 30 percent of the state’s entire $50 million in tax credits–for creating less than 1 percent of the new jobs.
A piece published in Time Magazine by Iron Man director Jon Favreau revealed that major aspects of the Tony Stark character created by Robert Downey Jr. are based upon Elon Musk. The South African-born entrepreneur, who holds dual citizenship in both Canada and the United States, is lauded in the films as a genius “rocket scientist,” a “green pioneer” and a “Renaissance Man.” But Tony Stark is a government contractor.
Musk denies that his companies received substantial government assistance. It seems that in Musk’s mind, the benefits that his corporations provide in the form of new age technologies and well-paying jobs more than make up for the taxpayer “investment” into his business activities. He also states that his companies would still be in business without government assistance. Musk often seeks to deflect criticism by pointing out that the incentives his companies receive “are a tiny, tiny, pittance compared to what the oil and gas industry receives every year.”
Elon Musk, like Tony Stark, is a smart, suave, attractive, successful, brilliant and very rich man. That is why it just seems hilarious that California with the highest poverty rate in the U.S. at 23.4 percent would give more taxpayer cash to an Elon Musk company.