Nebraska senator, Mike Johanns, has come to the defense of the private jet and aviation industry, following its criticism from President Obama last week, stating that it is a valuable provider of thousands of jobs across the country.
The President said he was eyeing the favorable tax rules for private jet owners last week as an area of potential for budget cutbacks. The subsidy means that owners are allowed to deduct the value of the jets from their taxes on a five-year depreciation schedule, rather than the seven-year period applicable to commercial airline companies.
Sen. Johanns said that President Obama needed to be careful about demonizing a valuable industry sector too much.
“It may be good politics at the White House to demonize the general aviation industry, but it is unwise,” warned the Republican senator. “At a time when we should be doing everything possible to encourage job growth, the president is engaging in class warfare. Painting the picture of business executives on a corporate jet seems to present too easy a target for the president to score political points, but the reality is that good people lose jobs when we play politics with an entire industry.”
Johanns said 1.2 million people work in private aviation jobs nationally. In his own state, he pointed to Duncan Aviation, based in Lincoln, which provides engine and airframe maintenance, avionics and other support services for business aircraft, sustaining about 1,100 maintenance jobs in Lincoln.