Elon Musk slammed government efforts to subsidize electric vehicles, despite serving as CEO of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.
The billionaire called the funding for electric charging stations in the Build Back Better bill "unnecessary" and said the government should toss out the whole bill.
"Honestly, I would just can this whole bill. Don’t pass it. That’s my recommendation," he said at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit Monday.
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The Tesla CEO noted the company had previously benefited from a vehicle purchase tax credit but stopped receiving it almost two years ago. He said the company did not expect to receive subsidies when it launched, adding it was unnecessary for the government to subsidize electric charging stations because gas stations do not need government subsidies.
Musk, a frequent critic of Democratic spending proposals, said he was concerned about the Build Back Better bill's increased spending amid large government deficits, saying future obligations relating to programs such as Social Security and Medicare mean the deficit will likely remain a significant problem in the future.
"I think the role of government should be that of a referee but not a player on the field," he said. "Generally, the government should get out of the way and not impede progress."
Musk said he is not an "extreme libertarian" but argued the United States should minimize the role of government, at one point saying the government should work hard to reduce regulatory burdens.
"Rules and regulations are immortal. They don't die. Occasionally, you see some lull with a sunset provision, but really otherwise, the vast majority of rules and regulations live forever," he said. "There's not really an effective garbage collection system for removing rules and regulations. This hardens the arteries of civilization."
Musk dismissed the scrutiny over his wealth as "anti-billionaire BS" and said billionaires do not have enough wealth to pay down the deficit.
"[With] assets that are far beyond a person's ability to consume, at a certain point, what you're really doing is capital allocation," he said. "It does not make sense to take the role of capital allocation away from people who have demonstrated great skill in capital allocation and give it to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation."
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Musk has previously sparred with top Democrats over policy issues. When Sen. Bernie Sanders called on “the extremely wealthy to pay their fair share” in November, Musk responded, “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.”
He also previously chided President Joe Biden for not congratulating him on SpaceX’s successful launch of civilian astronauts into space. In August, Biden did not invite Musk, who runs the largest electric car company, to a signing ceremony for an executive order on electric cars.