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Trump greets Musk as Tesla CEO flays 2nd stimulus package

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Trump greets Musk as Tesla CEO flays 2nd stimulus package
United States President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference on Friday, January 3, 2020, at Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, about the killing of Iranian Major General Qassim Soleimani. (Photo: White House/IANS)

Soon after US President Donald Trump on Friday praised Elon Musk on his decision to build Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Texas, the SpaceX CEO said that a second stimulus package is just not enough to help Americans weather the Covid-19 crisis.

After he was done thanking Trump for his greetings over the new Tesla plant in the US, Musk tweeted: “Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo (in my opinion)”.

“As a reminder, I’m in favour of universal basic income,” he added.

President Trump has reiterated that he is willing to send more direct payments to the citizens in the election year. However, the White House has emphasised payroll tax cuts in order to get more money into the hands of the Americans.

Musk said: “The goal of the government should be to maximize the happiness of the people. Giving each person money allows them to decide what meets their needs, rather than the blunt tool of legislation, which creates self-serving special interests.”

“These are jammed to gills with special interests earmarks. If we do a stimulus at all, it should just be direct payments to consumers,” he continued.

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The first stimulus cheque under the Cares Act was up to $1,200 for each individual, $2,400 for married/joint filers and up to $500 for dependents.

There have been discussions on making the second stimulus check less than $1,200, reports CNBC.

Before Musk tweeted his political views, Trump congratulated him on the new Tesla plant.

“Great job by @elonmusk in agreeing to build, in TEXAS, what is expected to be the largest auto plant anywhere in the world. He kept his word to me. Texas & @Tesla are big winners. MADE IN THE USA!”

Musk replied: “Thank you on behalf of the Tesla team. We look forward to building Giga Texas!”

The new factory will produce the Cybertruck, along with the Tesla Semi, Model Y, and Model 3 for customers in the eastern US.

Tesla will invest $1.1 billion in the new factory within the first five years.

In exchange, Travis County will rebate 70 per cent of the property taxes the company will pay.

The new factory in Texas will be open to the public, and there will be a boardwalk and hiking and biking trails.

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