Elon Musk Gains Public Subsidies, Elon Musk Donates To Both Political Parties. Yes, And?

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It appears to have shocked some that Elon Musk has donated money to the Republicans. Or a Republican supporting PAC, or something, even perhaps he’s donated some money to politicians not entirely and wholly on board with the progressive project. At which point perhaps we’ve got to aid some people with a little information. Sure, some business people do in fact believe. Most though are paying for access when they make a political donation. No, not – or not necessarily – for a specific action, but just to make sure their phone calls get returned.

The reason they do this is because government, the legislature, has such an effect upon who may do business how, when and where. There’s always the risk of some dingbat passing a law that puts you out of business overnight. Or your competitor haranguing politicians until they benefit them by closing you down. Thus there’s always a decent bit of money spread around the political parties to make sure that wherever that dingbat is coming from those phone calls to protest about it get answered.

Elon Musk defended himself in the face of widening criticism over money he sent to a Republican political-action committee, with the billionaire touting his support for environmental and humanitarian causes that he insisted outstripped his political contributions.

In news first reported by The Hill on Saturday, federal election filings showed that Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder sent nearly $40,000 to Protect the House, a GOP PAC designed to help Republicans maintain their tenuous congressional hold, as recent polling suggests Democrats could retake one or both chambers in the November midterm elections.

According to Open Secrets, Musk has distributed his wealth fairly evenly among politicians and PACs of both major parties, which he defended in principle in a series of posts on Twitter.

As I say, spreading the cash around a bit to make certain that one’s voice is heard.

Musk, who is reportedly a friend of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has donated to a variety of candidates across the political spectrum throughout the years, including both Democrats and Republicans.

He made donations of $2,300 to Hillary Clinton during both her 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Quite so, if Hillary had become President he’d want to be able to say that he’d donated to her campaign. Actually, given the Clintons, it was probably necessary that he be able to say so.

Oh, and obviously, all of this becomes vastly more important if your business is reliant upon legislature approved tax breaks or subsidies. For what the legislature giveth the legislature can taketh away. Tesla relies upon the tax credit for electric vehicles, the solar installation business upon feed in tariffs.

A few hundred thousand dollars each election cycle is a very cheap way of ensuring that one’s voice is heard in the halls of the legislature. Something which is only necessary because said legislature has the power to put you out of business overnight. The saving grace of this system is that politicians are so damn cheap it only takes a few hundred thousand dollars to buy that attention and access. Sure, it would be even cheaper if every man’s property weren’t at risk when the legislature is in session but that’s never going to happen, is it?

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Pat
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When politicians decide what can be bought or sold then politicians get bought.

Spike
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The more notorious example of a businessman who donated to both political parties is Donald J. Trump; and an unstated effect of his waves of whim-based tariffs is to notify all businessmen that they ought to help him with his declared re-election campaign as a cost of doing business.

TD
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While those who believe in markets think it wrong of the government to try to pick winners and losers, but it’s a bit naive to think you’ll ever get purity. You’ll be hard pressed to find a politician of any party who doesn’t think it part of their job description to pick winners and losers. Of course, they also expect to be compensated for that in some manner beyond government salaries and benefits. It’s a form of taxation. As are lobbying costs, if you consider that there is a bureaucratic establishment that demands to be funded which is not just… Read more »

TD
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TD

While those who believe in markets think it wrong of the government to try to pick winners and losers, but it’s a bit naive to think you’ll ever get purity. You’ll be hard pressed to find a politician of any party who doesn’t think it part of their job description to pick winners and losers. Of course, they also expect to be compensated for that in some manner beyond government salaries and benefits. It’s a form of taxation. As are lobbying costs, if you consider that there is a bureaucratic establishment that demands to be funded which is not just… Read more »