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.
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