Every federal program has its backers — and so does every tax break.
President Obama has long called for ending tax breaks on corporate jets, and found himself defending that position in an interview Wednesday with a television station from Wichita, Kansas — an area where private planes are built.
“What we don’t want to do is give somebody who’s buying a corporate jet an extra tax break that ordinary people can’t get because they don’t need it,” Obama told KAKE-TV of Wichita.
Officials and corporate leaders in Wichita, home of Cessna, said Obama’s plan amounts to higher taxes on jet owners, and will lead to fewer purchases of jets, fewer jets being built — and fewer airplane construction jobs.
Obama told the Kansas station that business people don’t buy jets for the tax breaks.
“I promise you — I haven’t gone through an airport in a long time and the reason people buy corporate jets is because it’s extremely convenient and they can afford it,” Obama said. “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.”
The president also said other aspects of his economic plan will benefit the aviation industry in Kansas.
“We want to give more tax breaks to all the aviation companies in Kansas, so that they are hiring here and producing here,” Obama said.