Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter remains ongoing, slammed President Biden in a podcast interview Monday and warned that if the government continues printing money, inflation will get worse and the US might follow the path of Venezuela.
Musk, who said he has voted “overwhelmingly for Democrats,” slammed the Democratic Party and Biden in particular. He suggested that Biden is something of an empty suit.
“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” the Tesla CEO said. “The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”
“I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like Anchorman,” the CEO added, referencing the 2004 film in which Ron Burgundy reads whatever is written on the teleprompter, even if it would ruin his career .
“This administration doesn’t seem to get a lot done,” Musk said. “The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done.”
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He also claimed that the Democratic Party is “overly controlled by the unions and by the trial lawyers, particularly the class action lawyers.” He argued that when Democrats go against “the interests of the people,” it tends to come from the unions and the trial lawyers, while when Republicans do that, “it’s because of corporate evil and religious zealotry.”
“In the case of Biden, he is simply too much captured by the unions, which was not the case with Obama,” Musk said. The Tesla CEO defended Obama as “quite reasonable,” but insisted that Biden prioritizes the unions ahead of the public.
The Tesla CEO also weighed in on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos‘s claim that the White House has resorted to “misdirection” in order to “muddy the topic” of inflation.
“I mean, the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously,” Musk said, echoing Republican critics who claim that Biden’s American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief stimulus bill contributed to the near -40-year-high inflation the US experienced in April.
“So it’s like the government can’t just, you know, issue checks far in excess of revenue without there being inflation, you know, velocity of money held constant,” the Tesla CEO argued. “If the federal government writes checks, they never bounce. So that is effectively creation of more dollars. And if there are more dollars created, then the increase in the goods and services across the economy, then you have inflation, again, velocity of money held constant. “
Musk insisted that “this is just very basic” and “not like, you know, super complicated.”
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“If the government could just issue massive amounts of money and deficits didn’t matter, then, well, why don’t we just make the deficit 100 times bigger? The answer is, you can’t because it will basically turn the dollar into something that is worthless, “he noted.
“Various countries have tried this experiment multiple times,” Musk noted. “Have you seen Venezuela? Like the poor, poor people of Venezuela are, you know, have been just run roughshod by their government.”
Venezuela’s inflation reached a staggering 65,374.08% in 2018 amid an economic spiral beginning with government price controls and plummeting oil prices. The government started printing money to cope, and prices skyrocketed, unemployment increased, and GDP collapsed.
“So obviously you can’t simply create money,” Musk said. He emphasized “the true economy,” by which he meant “the output of goods and services,” as opposed to mere money.
US inflation rose 8.3% in April, slightly below the 8.5% jump in March but still near the 40-year-high.
Musk addressed his purchase of Twitter, restating his belief in the need for an unbiased “public town square.”
“I think there’s a need for a public town square, digital town square that where people can debate issues of all kinds, including the most substantive issues,” he said. In order for that to work, the platform needs to be “as broadly inclusive as possible” and it needs to feel “balanced from a political standpoint,” that is “not biased one way or the other.”
“The reality is that Twitter, at this point, has a very far left bias,” Musk said. “And I would trust myself as a moderate and neither Republican or Democrat.”
Musk also lamented the decline of the state of California. He said the Golden State was once “the land of opportunity” but it has become the land of “taxes, overregulation, and litigation.” He said, “There’s got to be like a serious cleaning out of the pipes in California.”
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He insisted that “there’s got to be an above zero percent chance of Republicans winning in California.”
Musk said last week that his acquisition of Twitter is in hold pending details about spam and fake accounts on the platform, yet he added that he is “still committed” to the purchase of the social media company.