SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Monday that Congress should not approve the Biden administration’s bill to boost subsidies for electric vehicles (EVs), saying the proposal would worsen the U.S. budget deficit.
The billionaire entrepreneur is escalating criticism about the administration and Democrats for a proposal to give union-made, U.S.-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive. Tesla and foreign automakers do not have unions at their U.S. factories.
“Honestly, it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass,” Musk said at the WSJ CEO Council Summit.
“I’m literally saying get rid of all subsidies,” he said, adding that the government should “get out of the way and not impede progress.”
Tesla has benefited from a variety of government aid and programs.
Since 2019, Tesla generated more than $3 billion revenue from selling regulatory credits to other automakers falling short of meeting government emissions standards. The rise in the income helped Tesla start making annual profits last year.
The company acquired its Fremont, Calif., assembly plant from the government as it restructured General Motors. Tesla also received a $465 million low-cost loan from the Department of Energy, which it repaid early.
Tesla also benefited from a $7,500-per-vehicle federal tax credit. That credit applied in full to the first 200,000 Teslas sold, and then phased out.
In his comments on Monday, Musk also reiterated opposition to a proposal by Democrats to tax billionaires.
“It does not make sense to take the job of capital allocation away from people who have demonstrated great skill … and give it to, you know, an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation, which is the government.”
Musk said his brain-chip startup, Neuralink, hopes to begin human trials next year pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“I think we have a chance with Neuralink of being able to restore full body functionality to someone who has a spinal cord injury,” he said.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Jarrett Renshaw Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall)