Elon Musk delves into the tough right-wing policies of his new home state – or at least that’s what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says.
On the same day that a controversial near-total ban on abortion went into effect in the state, Abbott leaned on Musk’s support for Texas “social policies” to argue that he didn’t. wasn’t expecting a reaction from the business community about the law.
“We continue to see a massive influx of these employers coming to the state of Texas because – frankly – not only do they enjoy the business environment… You have to understand that there are a lot of businesses and a lot of businesses. ‘Americans who like the social positions taken by the state of Texas,’ Abbott said in an interview Thursday with CNBC.
“Elon Musk – to whom I speak frequently – had to leave California in part because of social policies in California,” Abbott continued. “Elon constantly tells me that he likes the social policies of the state of Texas.”
Rather than disagreeing, Tesla CEO responded on Twitter by simply saying, “I’d rather stay out of politics.”
“In general, I think government should rarely impose its will on the people and in doing so should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness,” Musk added.
Despite Musk’s statement, the high-profile businessman hasn’t really been silent on policy issues lately.
Tesla sued Alameda County in California in May of last year after passing a shelter-in-place rule that aimed to tackle the rising number of COVID-19 cases and prevent total collapse of an already strained health system.
Musk later cited the incident as the “last straw,” which ultimately forced the company to move its headquarters out of the Golden State.
On the foreign policy front, Musk made sure to tweet “we’ll hit whoever we want” after a leftist party seized power in Bolivia last October. His comments drew violent reactions online.
The controversial CEO has largely remained silent on the tax issue, although his move to Texas could potentially save him billions because the state has neither capital gains nor income taxes.
It wouldn’t matter much, apparently. An explosive statement released by ProPublica earlier this year revealed that Musk paid less than $ 70,000 in federal income taxes between 2015-2017 and exactly $ 0 in 2018, putting him at a tax rate astronomically lower than that of the average American, regardless of their income level.
Musk achieves this through an arrangement in which he forgoes his salary as CEO of Tesla and lives off loans taken against his massive equity in the company.
He also appears to be embracing the “social policies” of his new home state, just as Tesla tries to corner the electric truck market.
Pickup trucks are the best-selling type of vehicle in the United States, and Tesla’s all-new e-truck has the potential to be a huge money generator for the company if it can capture even one small part of the market for truck buyers. It is also not a coincidence that Musk adopts Texas, given that more than one in six microphones sold in the United States is bought there.
It looks like Musk’s clever vehicle marketing might work, too. Reports suggest that Tesla has received over 1 million pre-orders for his cyber truck.
Production was originally scheduled to begin this year, although it was eventually pushed back to 2022 last month.