The President repeatedly bashed corporate jet owners as rich, selfish bastards who need to pay out the nose for the arrogance of owning a private plane and highlighted his plan to tax the hell out of them so that he can redistribute that money to people he feels are more deserving.
"If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars," Obama said this week, "then that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship, that means we've got to stop funding certain grants for medical research, that means that food safety may be compromised, that means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden."
The inaccuracies in his statement are so glaring one practically needs sunglasses to read them, but even if we choose for the moment to ignore that, it should still be blatantly obvious that his attitude towards aviation is an economic disaster waiting to happen.
Obama had front- row seats to the chaos and precipitous economic drop-off his Chicago buddy (ex)Mayor Richard Daley generated when he desecrated Meigs Field in 2003.
(In case you missed it, Daley sent bulldozers into the municipal airport without warning and under cover of night in March 2003 to gouge deep furrows through the runway, completely destroying it because he wanted to build a park named after his wife and refused to discuss compromise with the local aviation community.)
It was a fiscal catastrophe - just like Obama's plan will be. Apparently, politicians never take basic courses in economics.
The math here is so simple it's practically self-explanatory, but since there seems to be some confusion I'd like to clarify.
Aviation = jobs.
Corporate jets need to be: built, maintained, inspected, hangared, piloted, staffed and periodically refurbished. They also require an infrastructure that includes air traffic controllers, ground crews, FBO's, ground transportation services and often other hospitality services like hotels, meeting facilities and restaurants.
Those are all jobs! Jobs that put real people to work and pay them good wages. Wages that keep them off the welfare docket - and income on which they all pay taxes! And that's only the individuals directly impacted by the industry - when you take into account the goods and services those individuals consume, you quickly realize the extent of aviation's impact and the widespread crippling of the economy that will result from putting them all abruptly out of work.
So I ask you: is it not better to let aviation alone so it can keep paying people for honest work and allowing them to pay honest prices for legitimate goods and services? What could possibly stand to be gained by taxing aviation out of existence and letting the government pay welfare, medicare and prison costs for all those newly- unemployed people out of funding pulled from a shrinking tax base?
Yes, our country needs to take desperate fiscal measures if we're to dig ourselves out of our financial mess. But government - and Mr. Obama - would be wise to keep in mind we're trying to OUT of trouble - not ignorantly dig ourselves INTO a fresh grave with a stick of dynamite!