Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks during a tour of the plant of the future foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory on August 13, 2021 in Grunheide near Berlin, Germany. The U.S. company plans to build around 500,000 of the compact Model 3 and Model Y series here every year. (Photo: Patrick Pleul/ Pool/Getty Images)

'Total Hypocrisy': Elon Musk Rebuked for Hit on EV Subsidies After Building Empire With Billions in Taxpayer Funds

"Elon Musk only likes corporate welfare when it benefits himself and pretends to be concerned about the deficit—except when it comes to tax breaks for billionaires."

Critics quickly noted the $4.9 billion in government subsidies that helped build Elon Musk's fortune, after he criticized proposed U.S. federal funding for electric vehicles in an interview this week with TheWall Street Journal.

"Honestly, I would just can this whole bill, don't pass it," said Musk when asked about President JoeBiden's proposed infrastructure spending.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, blasted Musk for not believing that "we should help working families afford electric vehicles" and called for taxing the rich.

The Democrats' Build Back Better legislation passed by the House, and being considered in the Senate, proposes a tax credit of up to $12,500 for buying an electric vehicle (EV) from unionized automakers including General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. Tesla, with its non-unionized workforce, would not qualify for the proposed subsidy.

Congress also recently passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocates $7.5 billion to create a national EV charging network.

The U.S. currently has 45,000 EV charging stations and the new infrastructure funding signed into law by Biden aims to implement a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations.

As CNNreports:

Tesla's charging stations in the U.S. can currently only be used by Tesla vehicles. The company has said it will open them to all automakers, but non-Tesla owners will likely need to purchase an adapter, as Tesla uses a distinct plug. New charging stations will likely be immediately more accessible and affordable for non-Tesla owners.

Musk called funding for more charging stations "unnecessary," and said the current infrastructure bill being considered in Congress should, "get rid of all subsidies." Musk also called the federal budget deficit "insane."

"Total hypocrisy," tweeted Warren Gunnels, staff director for Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in response to Musk's remarks.

"Elon Musk only likes corporate welfare when it benefits himself," Gunnels added, "and pretends to be concerned about the deficit--except when it comes to tax breaks for billionaires."

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