Mention has been made about President Obama’s casting of corporate jet owners as villains in yesterday’s press conference. Clearly, he feels strongly about it, as he called them out specifically half a dozen times.
This vilification is especially rich, coming as it does from the man who regularly rides what is likely considered to be the most expensive “corporate jet” in the world. And of course we shouldn’t forget that the “tax breaks” for those dastardly corporate jet owners came right from his own Stimulus plan which failed so spectacularly…
But let’s take a look at the “corporate jet” part of the equation. Haven’t we seen something like this before? Why yes, we have. Back in 1990, Congress (controlled by the Democrats) was so outraged at the luxury yacht owners (see? Millionaires, billionaires, corporate jet owners, yacht owners: all bad!) that it passed a bill mandating a 10% tax on all yachts costing more than $100,000. And believe me, that pretty much means all yachts.
And what did this wonderful tax do? Two things: it discouraged those who could afford them from buying yachts, and it decimated the boat building industry. As the NY Post reports:
“The result was the virtual destruction of the domestic boat-building industry. Sales of luxury boats dropped 70 percent within a year. Several manufacturers went bankrupt. More than 25,000 workers lost their jobs. And
Will Obama’s vilification of corporate jets (and their owners) result in the crash of yet another industry and the loss of who knows how many thousands of jobs? That’s uncertain. What is certain is that if the President doesn’t stop disparaging American industry, he’ll never get that economic upswing that he’s hoping will slingshot him to victory in 2012.
On second thought…