Elon Musk and his corporate empire, much of it financed by taxpayer dollars, is very much in the news. Most of it is not good. And it may be getting worse.
Tesla spends $1 million annually on Washington lobbyists. Its cars are financed by over $280 million in federal tax incentives, including a $7,500 federal tax break and millions more in state rebates and development fees. SpaceX has also received over $5 billion in government support. It has over promised and under delivered. SpaceX rockets, for example, are far less reliable than many of its competitors. This is outlined in reports from December 2017 and January 2018 in which the Department of Defense Inspector General and NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Council described a list of security concerns they have with SpaceX, among them 33 significant non-conformities.