Daily Archives: Feb. 24, 2013

Obama still wrong on general-aviation tax break

It was frustrating to hear how White House press secretary Jay Carney views the aviation job losses that could come with President Obama’s proposed elimination of a tax break for corporate and private jet owners: “I would say that making choices about budgets and deficit reduction always involves difficult choices,” Carney told reporters include KAKE News anchor Susan Peters last week, also characterizing the break as among “narrow special interest loopholes.” The president didn’t help his message much in Wichita when he earlier told Peters himself: “The reason people buy corporate jets is because it’s extremely convenient and they can afford it. And they don’t need an extra tax break, especially at a time when we’re trying to reduce the deficit. Something’s got to give.” That “something” should not be more of the aviation-manufacturing workforce in Wichita. The 27-year-old tax break allows general-aviation aircraft to be depreciated over five years rather than seven. Getting rid of it would generate $300 million a year – not enough to make a different in the deficit but enough to deter jet shopping.

Legal immigration needs to be easier

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (in photo), R-Wichita, identified one of the big problems that need to be fixed as part of federal immigration reform: The current legal immigration system is so backlogged and broken that it encourages illegal immigration. “Our immigration policy is completely backward,” Pompeo told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “Today, if you want to come here in a legal way, with proper paperwork, it is very difficult. If you want to come here unlawfully, it’s easier.”

Believe it or not, there is an election Tuesday

Though it hasn’t generated much attention, there is an election Tuesday. In Wichita, voters in the southeast, southwest and north-central areas of the city will choose which two candidates for City Council advance to the April 2 general election. Turnout likely will be low, so every vote could have a significant impact. And there are important issues in this election, including the role of government in economic development and the future of the city’s public bus system. For more information about the candidates, visit The Eagle’s online voter guide or The Eagle editorial board’s endorsements.