Objections keep coming on Obama’s criticism of GA

“Obama is trying to demoralize the private plane industry and engage in class warfare.” That statement by U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb) sums up the atmosphere after the attack on business jets by the president at a press conference last week.

Johanns is co-chair of the Senate Aviation Caucus. “It may be good politics at the White House to demoralize the general aviation industry, but it is unwise,” he added.

The Senator’s remarks came in after a flood of comments from other associations, private industry, and individuals.

The White House and friends are counter-attacking, but weakly.

One supporter criticized the Heritage Foundation, noting that the general tax break was signed into law by the President’s signature and called for an apology.

The Heritage Foundation’s response: “Obviously we could write it again and say “re-authorized” instead of “create.” To the writer over at Media Matters who said we should issue a ‘sweeping correction’ we say switch to decaf. President Obama did create the stimulus which did include a tax break for the purchase of private jets.”

Several groups sent to the White House more detailed reasons for astonishment in the President’s remarks, pointing out that the aviation industry provides for a myriad of jobs —such as avionics, tires, fuel, training, etc. — and is one of the few still ahead in the export market.

James Coyne, president and CEO of National Air Transportation Association, wrote: “President Obama has repeatedly degraded the value of general aviation to our nation’s economy. This time he does it a day after appearing at an American aircraft facility to promote job growth.” He called it “perplexing.”

The Helicopter Association International joined the fray and notified members to get active. The mayor of Wichita issued a scathing statement. Many television and radio programs had comments questioning the President’s action.

This issue apparently is not fading away quickly.


  1. Dennis Reiley says

    The tax break should never have been instituted originally. Business jets are needed by some companies, but that does not warrant a tax credit or tax break of any kind. The purpose of providing tax credits is to encourage the use of something, it is not supposed to provide a general reduction in cost.

    Business jets are neither fuel nor cost efficient in transporting executives, they are time efficient which may result in cost efficiency. The tax break was frequently used to increase the size of the business jet for even less efficiency. Any corporation that wants a high level of luxury in a business jet needs to treat the cost as an executive perk and needs to use that perk in hiring an executive.

    By not subsidizing executive aircraft; jets, turboprops or even twin piston engine; you provide an incentive to the manufacturer to reduce their costs. Tax breaks tend to reduce that incentive.

    Everyone wants a tax incentive, yet most of those incentives provide little value for the sale or use of the item. It is past time to eliminate most tax incentives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *