In an guest editorial at Philly.com, R. Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, says that President Obama may think he’s “clipping the wings of high-flying CEOs” with his continued attacks on corporate jets, “but the people who would really pay the price…are workers in the general aviation industry — the people who build private planes (including members of the union I represent), as well as those who fly them, maintain them, and service them.”
He says Obama needs a history lesson: “It’s not as if we haven’t been down this road. In 1990, Congress passed a 10% “luxury tax” on “yachts,” which it defined as boats that cost more than $100,000. That would show the fat cats down at the yacht club, right? Wrong. The primary impact of the bill was to cripple the boatbuilding industry. Congress’ target may have been J. Topsider Moneybags III, but Joe Boatbuilder ended up taking the hit. The damage to the industry was so severe that Congress had to tuck its tail between its legs and repeal the tax two years later.”
Dennis Reiley says
Your premise is correct, your headline is completely wrong. Attacks on “fat cats” does not by itself hurt workers. But how those attacks are made can, but if done properly with forethought they will not.
Taxing purchases or usage does. Taxing the “fat cat” independently of what they do will never hurt workers but will help them as the increased tax the “fat cat” pays will either decrease worker taxes or increase services.
Unfortunately government seems incapable of reaching rational conclusions.Â