During his June 29 state address, President Barack Obama suggested a reversal of tax breaks for jet owners that would save taxpayers $3 billion over a decade. This did not sit well with pampered executives, jet owners, or those who build them.
Now an industry backlash is taking shape, reports DailyCaller.com. Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, tells the Caller that potential jet buyers are now reconsidering purchases.
“The industry has suffered terribly in the last two and a half years, and it has just started to recover,” says Fuller. “Most of the signs were starting to look good. We are so angry as an industry, and we have all come together to try to bring a more fair and balanced description to the debate.”
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) jointly fired off a letter to the president that described a similar government clampdown that resulted in 20,000 layoffs among the IAM.
“Words have consequences and, in this industry, a few misguided words can put at risk even the ever-so-modest recovery we have experienced,” said Tom Buffenbarger, president of IAM International. “What this industry and its workforce requires is more time to recover, a chance to book more orders and the opportunity to recall more workers.”
Obama’s assault on private jets is motivated purely by politics, say his critics.
“It may be good politics at the White House to demonize the general aviation industry, but it is unwise,” said Sen. Johanns, R-Neb., an ally of the industry.
Industry bigwig Fuller dismisses the proposal as an insignificant tax move:
“There are only 15,000 private jets in America. Even if they tax them all at $10 million apiece – of course his proposal does not come close – it wouldn’t make a dent in the deficit. But he is on a political rant, and we are just amazed by it all.”
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