This "post-partisan" president was going to "bring us all together," some may recall.
But at his news conference Wednesday, President Obama was as divisive as ever. Consider this doozy: "I've said to some of the Republican leaders, 'You go talk to your constituents -- the Republican constituents -- and ask them, are they willing to compromise their kids' safety so that some corporate jet owner continues to get a tax break?' And I'm pretty sure what the answer would be."
In fact, the president was so intent on fanning the flames of populism and class warfare that he mentioned "corporate jets" six times!
Of course, the notion that claiming a depreciation allowance for a private jet somehow prevents the rich from paying enough taxes to finance vital government programs that promote child safety is complete and utter poppycock.
Not to mention that the "tax break" the president repeatedly impugned Wednesday was included in his own stimulus package, reports Lachlan Markay at heritage.org.
When first proposed, Democratic proponents of the tax break lauded it as a means to spur economic activity by encouraging purchases of large manufactured goods (planes). "So the president's statement today -- and his call to repeal that tax break generally -- is either a tacit admission that the stimulus included projects that did not, in fact, stimulate the economy, or an attempt to 'soak the rich' without regard for the policy's effects on the economy," Mr. Markay writes.
"For many Americans, those effects could be dramatic. Cessna and Gulfstream have facilities in a combined 15 cities nationwide. ... A significant decline in consumption of private jets would undoubtedly have adverse effects on at least some of those local economies. Given the sizable bump in consumption that the initial tax break yielded, its repeal would likely have that economic domino effect."
The Associated Press noted the tax break's potential economic benefits in February 2009: "The aviation industry, which is cutting jobs as it suffers from declining shipments and canceled orders, hopes the tax break in the economic-stimulus bill just signed by President Barack Obama will persuade more companies to buy planes and snap a slump in general aviation that began last year."
The White House is now involved in debt ceiling negotiations, hoping to win approval for even more spending. In a situation where any president might be expected to sweet-talk the business owners he hopes will create the jobs he so desperately needs for re-election, he instead falls back on his deep-seated hostility to achievement and "the rich."
So the Obama administration embraces tax breaks for those who buy private jets ... and then blames the recipients for somehow causing injuries and deaths to children when they do precisely what the administration hoped they would do: buy more American planes. Would the president -- who flies for free in the world's largest personal jet -- prefer they order their private jets from France?