During Wednesday’s debate, President Obama again felt the need to single out the owners of corporate jets as worthy of higher taxes – a contention that mischaracterizes the role of business jets in the economy and understandably pains planemakers and their employees in Wichita. The president asked: “Why wouldn’t we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets? My attitude is, if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it.” That’s a reference to the accelerated depreciation of business jets that was part of Obama’s own 2009 stimulus package. Increasing the depreciation life from five years to seven years would increase tax revenue by about $3 billion over 10 years, having little impact on the federal deficit. Obama’s comment drew this response Wednesday night from Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association: “At a time when both candidates claim to be putting job creation at the top of their agenda, it’s unfortunate that the president tonight denigrated the business aviation industry, which is responsible for 1.2 million American jobs and $150 billion in economic impact.”
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