RUSH: Here is Matthew in Denton, Texas. I’m glad you called, Matthew. Welcome to the program. It’s great to have you here.
CALLER: Fantastic. Thank you for taking my call, Rush. I appreciate it.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: All right, Rush. So I heard you talk about Elon Musk and how much government support he’s received, and I don’t disagree with you with, you know, your point regarding, you know, socialism and government subsidies and all that. But, you know, at some point Tesla needed a government loan for… I think it’s $428 million? You know, they paid that back, you know, well in advance and with interest. Now, I did kind of exaggerate a little bit to Mr. Snerdley. I said that they paid all of the millions of dollars that they’ve received so far, but that was my bad. I’m needing a rank amateur and not a professional such as yourself, you know, I thought he paid all of it. But upon further research while on hold, you know, I found that it was quite a bit less. But still, you know, Elon’s running a fairly successful, you know, satellite business, from what I can tell.
CALLER: You know, and that’s —
RUSH: Well, I think you may be… Look, all I’ve got here on this… I didn’t know any of this until I started doing show prep for today’s program, by the way. I have no animus against Mr. Musk, one way or the other.
RUSH: I just want you to understand up front. I admire him. He’s obviously brilliant, a genius, creative, forward thinker and all that.
RUSH: I got no problem with him. But I’ve got a lot of stories today. One of them is about society’s lottery winners. We got Obama running around ripping into the successful in this country by calling them successful lottery winners.
RUSH: Now, we have always referred to the rich as winners in society, but all of a sudden… Well, actually not all of a sudden. Dick Gephardt started talking about them back in the nineties as “the winners of life’s lottery,” and here comes Obama now calling ’em lottery winners. Elon Musk is not a lottery winner, and neither is Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Paul Allen or Warren Buffett or any of these people.
RUSH: They didn’t just go buy a scratch-off card. They busted their rear ends. So the mischaracterization of success is something that the modern Democrat Party does that really ticks me off because it’s —
RUSH: Well, A, it’s morally wrong, and it’s factually wrong, but as far as Musk is concerned, you mentioned $128 million or $129 million you think in loans?
CALLER: It was $428 million, something like. Yeah, it was Tesla. I think it was one of their first loans that they had taken out. They repaid it back well ahead of time and with more interest than they were required.
RUSH: What would you think if you were to learn that it’s not $428 million or $520 million, but $5 billion in subsidies that Elon Musk has received?
CALLER: Well, considering I’m a really big fan of his so I might be a little bit biased here, I think what he does with that $5 billion is really what matters, and what he’s been doing with the tests that he’s been doing with the use of satellite launchers, building towards reusable rockets and stuff.
RUSH: Now, that is fascinating. To you, what he does with it is the biggest determining factor of whether or not it’s legit, right?
RUSH: Well, let me share with you some of the details of this LA Times story. The headline of this story: “Elon Musk’s Growing Empire is Fueled by $4.9 Billion in Government Subsidies.” First line of the story: “Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space,” and he has not even come close to showing a profit in any of these divisions ever.
CALLER: Really? Hmm.
RUSH: “[H]e’s built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies. Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by the [LA] Times.”
RUSH: “‘He definitely goes where there is government money,’ said Dan Dolev, an analyst at Jefferies Equity Research. ‘That’s a great strategy, but the government will cut you off one day.'”
CALLER: Right. Now, I know —
RUSH: Wait, wait. Here’s the point. Wait a minute now, Matthew. This is my point. What this proves is that none of what Elon Musk is doing is sustainable without some entity willing to give him $5 billion.
RUSH: Well, you give me $5 billion and let me do something with it and I guarantee I can make a lot of people think I’m a genius too. He’s doing things that are not making a profit. I’m not being critical here. This, to me, is fundamentally important about the value of the money, the use of the money, the source of the money. He couldn’t get a bank to give him this kind of money, not with the performance his companies are showing.
RUSH: The government wants to subsidize all this New Age stuff, solar and electric, because Obama’s a big climate change guy and is trying to convince as many people as possible to let the government run their lives to “save the planet.”
RUSH: Let’s get back to Matthew in Denton, Texas. Now, Matthew, the reason I interrupted you is because, as you noted, I’m a professional and we had a time crunch and I had to get to that break which didn’t float. But I wanted to give you some time. You are still here, right?
CALLER: I am still here, Rush.
RUSH: The Tesla thing that you were talking about, just wanted to acknowledge that Matthew was right here, those loans that Tesla originally got were from Bush, President Bush. They had nothing to do with Obama’s energy, or green energy ideas. It was a blackout of the auto companies is what it was. Tesla got some of that money, and they did pay it back. But besides that money, Musk and all of his other related businesses have been subsidized nearly $5 billion by the government and neither or none of his businesses have yet shown a profit.
Now, that in and of itself does not kill the deal. And I want to remind you, Matthew, I have no animus for Elon Musk here. To me, this is a teachable moment and instructional moment about far more than just Tesla, and really intriguing to me is your statement — and I’m not saying you’re wrong. You are a learning experience for me, just so you know. As long as he’s doing what you think is good with it, then you don’t care where he gets the money or something like that, or you think the subsidies or okay. So —
RUSH: But, anyway, since I had to stop you because of time, what is the point that you originally called about and wanted to make about this?
CALLER: Well, ultimately I feel like SpaceX and Tesla are good investments. You know, government has been so terrible at investing, you know, in itself, you know. It really grows and grows and grows, but it doesn’t really have anything to show for it. I feel like that, you know, as a government contractor, SpaceX has, you know, more potential to show a profit than anything else that’s really come along as far as, you know, government’s concerned, it’s innovative, it’s exciting.
You know, it’s just awesome, you know. You mentioned that, you know, Obama had his global warming agenda. You know, it’s my… You know, I believe we should be good stewards of the earth. I see pictures of Beijing covered in haze and it irritates me. But, you know, my thing with Tesla and SpaceX was more technology-oriented like you with Apple: 80% technology, maybe 20% environmental. But my ultimate point is that I believe that they are… You know, they’re good investments for, you know, it’s better than NASA.
You know, NASA has been a… They… You know, they do good things with the budget that they have, but they… You know, they — they could, you know, they could do more, and I believe SpaceX is doing more, you know, by integrating, you know, the testing with their commercial, you know, satellite deals, you know. I believe that’s really innovative, and that’s really just the larger point that I wanted to make, is that they’re — they’re better investments than other things that, you know, the government could be, you know, spending money on.
RUSH: Will the taxpayers share in the eventual — if there are any — profits of Tesla or SpaceX?
CALLER: Would the taxpayers what, now?
RUSH: Will the taxpayers share in the…? In other words… Look, this is tough for me. I’m not trying to destroy your admiration for Musk or anything, so don’t interpret in my opinion comments that way. It’s hard to explain this in a relatively short period of time without giving you the impression I’m being critical, and I’m not.
CALLER: You’re okay, Rush. You’re okay.
RUSH: Well, it’s just I was stunned, Matthew. I mean, I’ve always wondered where Musk got the money to do this.
RUSH: And like everybody, I’m naive. Okay, I assume I’m reading stories about Elon Musk and he’s building Tesla and he’s having all these challenges because he doesn’t have dealerships and states are not letting him sell, like Texas is the latest, and SpaceX and all these things, I wonder, “Where is he getting all this money?” I mean, it doesn’t make sense. He’s not showing a profit. Where does he get all this money to invest? And when I found out that it was $5 billion in government subsidies, then I started thinking Solyndra. I started thinking all these other crony corporate socialist deals that have happened. They’re really unique to this administration. They happened prior in previous administrations, but this administration lives and dies on these things.
RUSH: And businesses are getting in business with government as a means of stifling their competition rather than actually competing with them.
RUSH: For example, if Musk had to build his electric car without a dime of government money, then he might have other competitors. But if the government is gonna give Musk — Tesla is not a good example ’cause those were loans that he has paid back, as you pointed out. But when the government — which we don’t have the money anyway, Matthew. The government has to print five billion to give to Musk.
RUSH: We’re running an $18 trillion deficit.
RUSH: Now, I will admit to you giving it to Musk or lending it to Musk is probably a better investment than, you know, never ending welfare payments and this kind of thing, but it just kind of took me aback. As I say, I’m naive. I assumed that Tesla and Musk had his own money or had borrowed it. And when I found out it was a government subsidy, some air went out of my sails here on this a little. I was a little bit disappointed, because I —
RUSH: — know that his competitors don’t have this kind of thing, and I look at Solyndra and all these other solar energy firms that have gone under because it’s a lousy investment.
RUSH: And even Tesla, the electric car, yeah, it’s clean, but look at the power plants that need to work overtime to charge those damn batteries.
CALLER: Yeah. But then you also have Musk getting into the solar industry too with his giga-factory. He’s kind of a renaissance man, into everything. I do understand, I remember, you know, the whole Solyndra thing —
RUSH: It boils down to sustainability. If a company cannot self-sustain, if it’s not self-sufficient without the government being involved in it, then something about that rubs me wrong, because not every company is gonna have this kind of government underwriting.
RUSH: And at some point these companies have to become self-sustaining or it’s all a wash.
CALLER: It’s hard to tell when you have new technology that is involved, and it’s a risk, it really is, you know, it’s risk and a gamble. For me it boils down to what are they doing, what’s the mission? What do they believe in and things like that, and, you know, I agree. But I kind of view SpaceX as a potential replacement for NASA, you know, if not a helper.
RUSH: Okay, I gather you’re big on SpaceX.
CALLER: I am. I’m a Fanboy, I’m defending it, like you would defend Apple, I’m sure, but, you know, maybe I’m —
RUSH: No, I’m big on space exploration. I hope this pulls up. I’d rather Elon Musk eventually put our astronauts in space than the Soviets.
RUSH: Or than the Russians. But one of the things I do when I find out something like this, Matthew, okay, I just found out that Musk’s growing empire is basically underwritten by $5 billion in government subsidies. So the first thing I did was went and checked his political donations. He was bailed out during the Bush administration. Well, as part of the automobile bailout, he was given money to start his company by a Republican president. The guy donates, a vast majority of his political contributions go to Democrats. In fact, the only Republican, I’m not kidding, Matthew, the only Republican that I can find so far that Elon Musk has donated to is Denny Hastert. I kid you not. (laughing)
A lot of Musk’s money has gone to the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is responsible for electing as many Democrats to the Senate. The Republicans have one, too. And those people do really vicious, mean-spirited — and I have been targeted in that e-mail campaign fundraising efforts by both the House and Senate Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, Senate campaign committee. I’m fundraising example number one in there. So these things all get thrown into the hopper for me. But, anyway, I’m glad you called, and I appreciate your spending so much time here.
RUSH: You know, I don’t remember where it was, and I don’t want to find out ’cause it was just a cockeyed story, and it was not the first time this has happened. But this program, folks, never got a dime of funding anywhere. This program was started as a risk like all small businesses are. There wasn’t any underwriting. There were no investors, other than the principals and me. That was it. There was not even any thought of going to the government for a subsidy. Not even our way of thinking.
But it didn’t take long, within five years of this program’s success, the left started saying that this program was created by secret cabal of Republicans who picked me from obscurity and funded and underwrote and whatever all for the purposes of combating the left-wing tilt in the media, and it was not true. I mean, not a shred of it was true. And there was a cockeyed story recently repeating the same thing, except it went further. It said that a bunch of rich Republicans handpicked me to essentially extend the Reagan presidency 25 years, which would allow the Republican Party to focus on the rich. I mean, it was insanely stupid, and whoever wrote it was dead serious about it.
The people on the left, remember Air America, they thought funding, donations is what they needed. The concept of actually succeeding in the business world was foreign to them. They didn’t understand it, and they never did succeed, they never did get it. Were it not for the commercial success of this program, we wouldn’t have lasted. Funding and this whole notion — That’s why when I get up and I read that Elon Musk, $5 billion of funding, $5 billion in underwriting, it baffles me because such stuff is not available to me or anybody like me or anybody else. We had to make it in the standard old-fashioned way, put it out there and see if it floats. (interruption) Oh, yeah, I don’t want to mention that. I don’t even want to mention it ’cause it’s cockeyed.
But this idea that I am the result of a conspiracy cabal of secretly powerful Republicans who scoured the nation in 1988 and, of all people, picked me. And then they planned on me lasting 25 years while they could, while I was occupying everybody’s attention, corrupt the country in favor of the rich. I never got a phone call. In fact, two years after this program started there wasn’t a Republican who even knew who I was before the program started, and they weren’t sure who I was even after it started. First two years, everybody’s suspicious as hell ’cause I had not networked. Nobody knew who I was. I had lived in obscurity professionally, and I still do, practically, in terms of that stuff.
Just the comfort level people have with even talking about getting subsidies and underwriting and funding, I mean, anybody can succeed doing that. If you don’t have to show a profit to stay in business and all you have to do is play the political game to keep the funding rolling in? Then it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. And as we learned with Obama and Solyndra and all the other solar, it wasn’t even about that. It was a screwy way of Obama’s donors being paid back a little bit and Obama getting greased as well at the same time.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, exactly. I understand what all that stuff is. That’s why I don’t want to publicize it, Snerdley. There are people… Look, look at Tom Brady. There are people that want Tom Brady to be suspended and found guilty simply because they just don’t want to believe anybody’s that good, that lucky, that beautiful, that attractive, that successful. Now, I’m not… Well, the point is these are deniers, these guys that want to talk about the conspiracy theory. Anything to deny this program’s legitimate success.
The talent, the overall business success, the performance, the greatness, whatever, they want to deny it. So they come up and say, “It’s all the result of a scandal. It’s a conspiracy. Limbaugh is just a placeholder. Rich Republican extremists plucked Limbaugh from obscurity to occupy everybody’s attention while they went about their real mission, and nobody was looking because Limbaugh was so good at distracting everybody.”
There’s a guy actually postulating this, and it’s all rooted in the fact that these clowns just cannot admit to themselves the success that I have made of this program without feeling small themselves and irrelevant themselves and insignificant (which is what they are). So they’re classic examples of, “How do you build yourself up? Well, you tear everybody else that’s above you,” in your view, “down,” or try to. But it creates some of the most cockeyed theories that you have ever seen.
I found one other Elon Musk donation. The FEC website’s a little screwy today. He did give money to the Bush reelection effort in 2004. But also this. In 2013 Elon Musk was the highest paid CEO in the world, according to TIME Magazine. Well, look… (sigh) You’re the highest paid CEO when your combined businesses are underwritten to the tune of $4.9 billion by the government, it kind of cancels out the highest-paid-CEO business. I think… Look, I have no interest in running people down.
You know what, folks? I’m a big self-reliance guy is all this is. I mean, if you give anybody $5 billion, most people are gonna do something with it. I would like to think that I, if somebody gave me $5 billion, could at least show a profit at it, whatever I chose to do, which I have demonstrated that we do here. The first two years were not, but ever since then every year has been profitable. (interruption) Well, no. Snerdley’s yelling at me, “Well, how did Musk get this money? What do you have to do to get that much?”
I don’t know.
I didn’t pay any attention back then.
It was all part of the auto bailout. They say that there was no green component to it, but I find that hard to believe. The guy’s out there promoting the electric car, and the electric car is being promoted as what? An environment-saving device. But it’s not. You have to use coal. I mean, electric cars are powered by coal. If it weren’t for coal-fired power plants, there wouldn’t be electric cars on the road. And solar is an absolute junkyard. Nobody knows what you do with solar panels that are defective.
The only reason solar panels are out there, is the ChiComs are getting into the business and undercutting everybody, and that’s why solar is getting cheap. But you ought to see a solar panel junkyard. You want to talk about an environmental disaster waiting to happen? But nobody’s talks about that because everybody’s into the marvel of “clean” energy. Solar and wind are cleaner than big, bad oil, and I would maintain that when you throw everything in the mix, that that’s not true.
Particularly when you charge a battery that you put in your house that you’re gonna run your house on for three or four days or whatever it is. A car? You need to plug those batteries into your local power plant for quite a while. I mean, you’re using more than your fair share of electricity, but yet you’re getting credit for not using it by saving the planet. It’s screwy to me. Common sense and intelligence are going by the wayside as all this stuff gets promoted. That’s my problem with it.