Story at a glance

  • The “Build Back Better Act” passed the House last month and Democrats are hoping to clear the measure in the Senate before the end of the year.
  • “In general, if we don’t cut government spending something really bad is going to happen. This is crazy. Our spending is so far in excess of revenue it’s insane,” Musk said.
  • The legislation includes $555 billion for climate and clean energy investments, including providing tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says it would be best if lawmakers didn’t pass the nearly $2 trillion social spending and climate bill due to concerns over federal spending and the deficit. 

The “Build Back Better Act” passed the House last month, and Democrats are hoping to clear the measure in the Senate before the end of the year. The legislation includes $555 billion for climate and clean energy investments, including providing tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles. A tax credit of as much as $12,500 would be offered to consumers who buy an electric car assembled by union workers that use American manufactured batteries. 

During an interview at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Musk was asked what he would say if President Biden called him and asked him what he needed from the legislation. 


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“No one at Tesla has brought up whether they care about this bill or not,” Musk answered. “We don’t think about it at all really.”

“Honestly, I would just can this whole bill. Don’t pass it. That’s my recommendation,” Musk said. 

The Tesla CEO said he was primarily concerned with out-of-control government spending, pointing to the nation’s nearly $3 trillion budget deficit

“In general, if we don’t cut government spending something really bad is going to happen. This is crazy. Our spending is so far in excess of revenue it’s insane,” he added. 

Musk also criticized provisions for building an electric vehicle charging network across the country, calling it unnecessary. 

“I’m literally saying get rid of all subsidies,” he said. 

Musk did say improvements could be made to U.S. infrastructure, including updating airports and highways. 


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Published on Dec 07, 2021