Posted BY: Zachary Halaschak, Economics Reporter
Following a speech about the state of the economy, Biden was asked about his thoughts on Musk reportedly wanting to slash 10% of his company’s workforce given the country’s economic uncertainty.
“You know, lots of luck on his trip to the moon,” Biden quipped.
Before taking a dig at Musk, Biden responded by pointing out that other companies are adding jobs as opposed to cutting payrolls.
Biden pointed out that Ford is increasing its investment in electric vehicle production and adding 6,000 new union employees in the Midwest, while Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, is also upping its investments in the electric vehicle space. He said Intel is adding 20,000 new jobs for making computer chips.
The comments came after Musk wrote an email to Tesla executives in which he expressed his desire to cut 10% of the workforce, according to Reuters. In the email, titled “Pause all hiring worldwide,” Musk described his trepidations about where the economy is headed.
Musk, who is the world’s wealthiest person, also founded SpaceX, which is working on a lunar lander that will return humans to the surface of the moon for the first time since 1972. There are hopes that astronauts will land on the moon by 2025 at the earliest.
Musk has been a critic of Biden and has targeted the president for focusing on other companies investing in electric vehicles despite Tesla being the world’s largest producer of eco-friendly cars.
The billionaire, who aspires to own Twitter, tweeted earlier this year that Biden is “treating the American public like fools.” He also branded Biden “a damp [sock] puppet in human form.”
Musk isn’t the only executive who is bracing for potential economic malaise. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned investors this week to be prepared for an economic “hurricane.”
Dimon said the Federal Reserve’s continued interest rate hikes, combined with uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine, is causing his firm to batten down the hatches.
“You know, I said there are storm clouds, but I’m going to change it … it’s a hurricane,” Dimon said at a Wednesday conference. The economic maelstrom could be “a minor one or Superstorm Sandy,” he added.
The stock market has also been in retreat since the start of the year, as investors fear the economic effects of the rate hikes. The markets have been hit by the war in Ukraine, which has sent commodity and energy prices through the roof, further fueling inflation and complicating the Fed’s job.