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Negative Public Reaction to Seeing the Car

WOW! I wasn't prepared driving in my Model S Sig today to get a negative taunt thrown at me... I was showing some friends of mine at their office in a heavily walked area. Some guy comes up and says "Oh, so that's what my tax money is paying for." Now, I'm not normally political, but I went off... For those just receiving your car, have some nice witty retorts just in case you get something like that... I have a few good ones now that I am prepared. Of course, that's been the 1 bad out of 100 good who keep stopping and looking or wanting to see it (and I've only had it on the street for less than an hour)...

prash.saka -

Not my real name, of course. I do drive something similar to the stair car these days, waiting patiently until I can make a deposit for the S or X.
Big AD fan. can't wait for the new series on netflix and the movie.

Yep, AD is awesome :)

I probably wouldn't say much so I don't get keyed.

"I'm taking a chance on a new technology. The next few years will be real-world research and testing to see if it's any good."

Perhaps you could simply remind the a-hole, who presumable was driving an SUV with a "Save Our Troups" sticker on it, that our tax dollars and kids' lives are subsidizing the oil for the gas that he is wasting, while poisoning the planet.

I woulda punched the idiot.

Ops. I case nobody got that, we are Iraq for the oil. One trillion dollars and counting. Now THAT is a subsidy.

@tomas: A lot of people would disagree with that.

Re GM & Chrysler to those of you of you who don't believe in bailing out failing companies, I'm with you but....

and this is a mighty important but.

When Lehman brothers failed, access to capital disappeared and so did demand for cars. If the government didn't step in, one domino after another would have fallen, taking down the innocent as much as the guilty. In a financial crisis it is the duty of the government to step in, precisely when, and because no one else could or would.

my (short) 2 cents worth.

I believe when they stepped in to bail it out they should have then regulated the hell out of them as apposed to a free lottery win in their favor (and tax free) as they are doomed to repeat that bull crap once again. Fool me once, shame on you but fool me twice??

True. Most Republicans would disagree.
Not many well informed persons would though.
Politics aside, the point is that the government subsidizes all sorts of things from agriculture to logging to oil and gas to mining, to nuclear power plants, to the highways and roads (partially paid for with the Federal gas tax.... and now, I buy no gas, so I pay no tax, so I'm a free loader! And I'm using the roads for free. Yeah me!).
I think investing in the private sector to help them develop new technologies, which may grow into new industries, like EV's, which may create jobs makes a lot of sense and we have been doing that for years.
Or, the government can sit back and do nothing and cede new industries to germany and china and we'll all be left running convenience store and dry cleaners.

But back to my point, does any one doubt that if Iraq didn't happen to be sitting on tons of oil that we would be there right now? There are way worse regimes and abusive dictators around the world that we totally ignore because they have no resource we want.

Tesla is the first small step to ending all the bull shit in the middle east. Get off oil and tell them all take a hike.
Hate to get all political again, but I see the lame response coming that we are in Iraq to foster freedom and fight the terrorist. There would be no terrorists, or at least terrorists that hate us, if we stopped propping up all the corrupt, repressive middle eastern despots that Exxon Mobil does business with.

The world needs to charge. Tesla, even if it fails, is a huge milestone in history. We will look back 50 years from now and say, duh..why didn't we start the EV revolution sooner.

FWIW... most folks who didn't want to bailout the automakers were pushing for a structured bankruptcy.

REASON: Unions, retirement health plans and pensions.

Now, we the tax payers are on the hook for the 25+ Billion floating out there...

So, as long you dont mind paying those taxes and bowing to the Chinese for buying our debt or the continued devaluing of the dollar by the Fed ... then all is good.

StevenR | OCTOBER 6, 2012
"FWIW... most folks who didn't want to bailout the automakers were pushing for a structured bankruptcy."

It was a structured bankruptcy!! The alternative was liquidation which would have killed hundreds of companies in the supply chain, so many, that it probably would've taken down Ford's supply chain and Ford too.

The auto bailout involved $80 billion of government funds. Chrysler has repaid in full. The US is still in the hole for $25 billion from GM but owns 500 million shares of GM stock, given a few more years, the taxpayers may yet come out whole.

In fact as I remember, Romney and others have said that a tax cut can pay for itself because the new jobholders pay taxes. Shouldn't you apply the same logic to the Auto Bailout? If so, then because of the million or so jobs and thousands of small companies in the supply chain that were saved, the taxpayers may be ahead already!!

it was either this or have more soldiers die in order for me to fill up with gas again. i support our troops.

You missed my point. I believe they were looking to get the automakers off the hook for union pensions and health care costs that GM said was making it uncompetitive vs what we got which was reconstituting the same problems.

Yes there were some fools out there who pushed for liquidation ... which was wrong.

"The loans aren't even the best part, can you believe all the roads and bridges the government built for me too!?"

I've been on the waiting list for 3.5 years, and I just had my first test drive today.
Best acceleration and handling of any car I've ever driven, and I love how quiet it is. Can't wait until mine gets here in a month or so.

Sometime, somewhere, Mr. Musk will emerge from his car to hear the same snide remark from a Joe Sixpack.
Suggested response: If you liked what you paid for my car, you'll love what you're about to pay for my rockets!

My retort will be "My tax dollars helped pay for the war to get your oil... now yours helped build my car. At least your tax dollars get paid back."

how about: "in 10 years since college I've paid over $100k in federal income tax. Plus a substantially larger amount in fica, state income, sales, and property taxes. So I don't feel bad about getting about 2-3% of that total discounted off of my tax bill this year."

Foolish comment. SpaceX's rockets are going to save the government (and every commercial launcher) a bucket of bundles of bucks. Even China has admitted it can't match SpaceX's prices. And Elon is working to reduce them by a factor of 1000, by making all stages re-usable, and able to do soft touchdowns on land.

100k in taxes in 10 years ? Wow, you do have low taxes...

@nwdiver93 like your response!

How about asking him if he said the same thing to all the other EV's getting the $7500 rebate? Ford Focus, Nissan Leaf, Toyota RAV4 and lots more? If it's the rebate he is complaining about. If he is complaining about the loan, Tesla only got $465M, Ford got $5.9 Billion, Nissan got $1.6 billion, and Fisker got $528Million, all more than Tesla, it's a loan.

Politics aside. If the US government hadn't made the commitment to put a man on the moon, our technology advances and quality of life would be significantly less.

petero -- If the US government hadn't made the commitment to put a man on the moon, our technology advances and quality of life would be significantly less.

Quite right. Most of us owe our jobs to the space program. Integrated circuits were not going to be produced because transistors were "good enough". However, NASA realized that ICs were much more durable and much lighter in weight so they had them manufactured. Without NASA the computer revolution might never have happened or would have happened years later.

Unfortunately, one of the U.S. political parties is anti-science, anti-education, and pro-superstition so that they can have cheap labour from an uneducated populace.

Before 1930 power companies refused to deliver electricity to farms and rural communities in Washington State.

Through a grassroots Democratic process, the Washington State Grange sponsored the very first initiative to the Washington State legislature. This was the Public Utility District initiative and there are 28 PUD’s in Washington State to this day.

Sometimes private companies need to be prodded to provide what the community needs or wants. Others just need an incentive. If that doesn't work then a public solution needs to be initiated.

Tesla is helping solve our society's issues on a number of levels.

+1 petero, on Don Quixote.

ICs made compact cheap circuitry possible. No one would have noticed unless the gubmint told them.


Brian H +1

I wouldn't even know how to sneeze if Kathleen Sebelius hadn't shown me how...

tesla.mrspaghet: I've driven a RAV4-EV for a decade. It's not super fun, but it's perfectly practical and a wonderful car. Please don't bad-mouth other EVs that certainly don't deserve it.

As for the OP: I would have been horribly tempted to say, "Dear God, somebody as dumb and ugly as you gets paid enough to pay taxes?!" But, that's probably not a good strategy for an uneventful day. I like the idea of just giving him a penny and telling him that was his share. No point in trying to foist more math on somebody like that.


I'm sure you think it's a wonderful car, but that's because you're willing to make sacrifices around it. Most people aren't willing to do that, which is why a car like that is never going to catch on outside the circle of true believers.

And I know you may not think of yourself as making sacrifices, but you are. You can't use that car for everything most people take for granted with an ICE vehicle, which is why no one else wants one.

It's also more expensive than a regular RAV4 and has none of the luxury features or sexy styling of the Model S, so there's really no reason to pay more for it - again, unless you're one of the faithful.

That's what I mean by 'not practical'.

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