Billionaire Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, usually makes headlines these days for trolling Twitter followers and opposing expanded taxes for the wealthy, especially in regards to a revitalized capital gains tax in which investments are taxed as they accrue wealth instead of when they are sold.
The latter is what Musk discussed in recent comments to the Wall Street Journal, where he painted increased taxes for wealthy corporations as "capital allocation" imposed by the state, rather than the corporations themselves.
NOW - Elon Musk: "The government is simply the biggest corporation, with the monopoly on violence."pic.twitter.com/lFE09fIOUY
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) December 7, 2021
Comparing the government to a corporation, Musk said:
"It does not make sense to take the job of capital allocation away from people with a demonstrated great skill in capital allocation and give it to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation. Think of the government essentially as a corporation in the limit. The government is simply the biggest corporation, with a monopoly on violence and where you have no recourse."
While libertarians and conservatives hailed Musk's comments on social media, his sentiment got sharp pushback from Democrats, including from Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona.
Gallego noted the entwinement of Musk's SpaceX with the U.S. defense budget, while laying bare Musk's true motive.
You literally ask for billions of dollars from the government in the Defense Budget every year. SpaceX is the literal vendor for the so called “corporation with the monopoly on violence.”
1. You just don’t want to pay more taxes
2. You don’t want competition for Tesla. https://t.co/IPbeOKgEtn
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) December 8, 2021
Gallego is right.
For years, Musk's enterprises have relied on government subsidies. As far back as 2015, his empire had collected nearly $5 billion in government subsidies. His companies have been awarded hundreds of millions in Pentagon contracts, including a $160 million contract earlier this year. As recently as April, SpaceX was also awarded a $2.9 billion contract from NASA.
People agreed with Gallego's indictment of Musk's greed.
.@elonmusk is both morally and intellectually dishonest. https://t.co/Yb00DKqHKR
— Carol Kim (@carolkimSD) December 8, 2021
Yet another reason to detest Musk. Being named after a stinking secretion sure determined his disposition. https://t.co/E56cP52ZGf
— TweetLD (@TweetLDToo) December 8, 2021
Me Ruben Gallego
Hating on Elon https://t.co/FKkntQ0SIw
— goblinpilled emi 🧪 (@emiavilasolis) December 8, 2021
But the Congressman was far from the only one to call out the multibillionaire.
I teach politics and ethics to students in science & technology. Some people ask me what the point is. Well, maybe if Musk had thought about such things seriously when getting his education, we wouldn't have a tech billionaire with the political philosophy of an edgy teenager. https://t.co/TUvU4iJsTO
— Bernhard Isopp (@BernhardIsopp) December 8, 2021
But without the monopolized violence how would Mr. Musk's companies survive without government backing ? https://t.co/oQzPWAO241 https://t.co/Nc2SrV0Mgf
— PointAndLaugh (@POlNTANDLAUGH) December 8, 2021
I have a newborn that cries less than Elon. GD this guy is a whiner
If you don’t want competition, if you don’t want taxes, if you don’t want to be accountable to the leaders elected by the sovereign American people — that’s fine. You can leave! https://t.co/04jy5g9FK9
— Stephen Cornelius (@sb_cornelius) December 8, 2021
Employees can’t vote for the board and ceo. Anyone with an address and no felony can vote for their representatives. What I’m saying here is, the metaphor doesn’t work, at all, in any way. https://t.co/uelGqRCogH
— Uni (@_Unicornsfyeah) December 8, 2021
Elon has conveniently forgotten that the federal government subsidized Tesla and helped nurture its viability and growth using, wait for it…taxpayers’ money. https://t.co/aAbsfiPyLS
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) December 8, 2021
This charlatan who can't even make cars that work correctly (look up Tesla's whompy wheels) has received billions of dollars in US government subsidies, to continue to allocate capital in ways that are awful for humanity (but good for his stock portfolio): https://t.co/hWLaUCzws4 https://t.co/jyOwrP7gcM
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) December 8, 2021
Musk, whose net worth is nearly $300 billion, paid $70 thousand in income tax between 2015 and 2017 and zero in 2018.