I get a little tired of the Musk worship.
That's reasonable. Geeks are often excited about new innovative technologies, especially when they are disruptive to existing systems. People, not just geeks, are also susceptible to appealing narratives, which Musk has managed to develop.
Why does his company need a huge pile of tax breaks to succeed?
Companies who provide jobs are incentivized by tax breaks. It may or may not be a horrible, corrupt system, but is a very well-established one. This is not a Tesla issue, it's a capitalism/politics issue. As an aside, taking advantage of tax breaks is so expected that if a company doesn't find ways to use them, they could conceivably be liable for failing their fiduciary duty to shareholders. It's simply poor business practice to not seek tax incentives. As an aside, there was some chatter about loosening environmental strictures, but I believe those were rejected by Tesla as poor return on mission.
If I open a company tomorrow, how can I get away with not paying taxes?
Employ a bunch of people with a company that states and municipalities want to bring in.
Why are Tesla's debt bonds in Junk status but he continues to get freebies from states?
Because a young, narrowly focused, small company is pretty risky. The entire house of cards could fall apart if another company comes out with a battery that outcompetes anything they can make. That said, lots of auto-makers have "junk bond status": "Even though the traditional U.S. automakers have now been profitable for the last four years, GM and Fiat Chrysler both still have junk bond status on their debt from S&P. Ford was only upgraded to the lowest investment grade rating last August." ~From the CNN article on S&P's Tesla bond rating.
Why are Tesla's cars so rudely expensive?
They are luxury vehicles. Those are very expensive. Why did the company choose to start with luxury vehicles? To gain capital when they still have low production capacity, to establish a luxury brand name, and to offset the cost of fairly new production methods and expensive components.
Is there a plan for a 4 door sedan that a real family can afford in the 20K - 30K range like the Prius?
The third generation vehicle is predicted to have a starting price around 35K. It is likely that later models will follow the trend of lower prices, but a cheap 4-door sedan will be dependent on both the success of the model 3 and the success of gigafactory production as well as improvements in battery tech. Is there a plan? Probably. Is it something I'd expect in the near future? Nope. My bet would be a decade, if Tesla is still around making cars then.
Why is it that a guy with a big mouth and political friends on all sides gets so much tax subsidy, loans, breaks and deals?
Money. Corporations make it. Employees get it, and employed people are very happy to have it, which makes politicians happy to facilitate it. Then election campaigns get money from corporations and pols get votes from constituents. Also, the narrative of renewable energy, American products, and energy independence sells exceedingly well to people on all sides of the political spectrum.
Why are guys who run factories employing tons of US citizens in US based factories (like Toyota) who produce super reliable product with great mileage get slapped by the media when a bogus story about a gas pedal getting stuck?
I don't know. It could be that the 24 hour news cycle thrives on sensationalizing things like killer floor mats and batteries that catch fire when pierced at the right angle, and media have no interest in presenting informative, risk/benefit analyzed news. But maybe not. It's probably Musk's fault.
Not sure why people need a super-hero.
People like narratives. This has a lot of hallmarks of a really neat story and a pretty neat car. It is clearly not a story you dig. That's cool too. It'd be excellent if you didn't act like Tesla is an abnormally terrible company because you dislike the attention other people give to it.
3.8 million priuses have been sold and cab drivers will tell you they easily go into the 300K range and even if the battery runs out the car is still useable.
But instead we continue to give money to the cartoon guy.
We understand you love your Prius or Priuses in general. That's cool, they seem like solid cars. A lot of people who buy Model S Teslas are apparently coming from Toyota (about 15%, google for tesla conquest data). I would bet that the same people who love the efficiency of a Prius are attracted to the all-electric Tesla. Now, for many people, a Prius is still by far the better choice. However, there's plenty to be excited about regarding vehicles that reduce oil consumption. BMW and VW are also doing amazing things. Tesla is just one of many, but it's only one of a few in the all-electric market producing a product people seem to covet. So far, it's made very pretty vehicles that are apparently quite nice to drive (never been in one). And, as mentioned, people like a narrative. So Tesla gets a lot of press.