By JENNIFER EPSTEIN
President Obama on Wednesday defended his proposal to end tax breaks for corporate jets, telling a Kansas reporter that anyone who’s able to buy a plane will do so for convenience, regardless of whether there’s an extra tax incentive.
“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. And that’s not the reason they buy a corporate jet,” Obama told KAKE, the Wichita ABC affiliate.
“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,” he continued.
“And they don’t need an extra tax break, especially at a time when we’re trying to reduce the deficit. Something’s gotta give.”
The president was insistent in his interview that the administration is working to help the aviation industry, not harm it. “We want to give more tax breaks to all the aviation companies in Kansas, so that they are hiring here and producing here,” he said.
The reporter interviewing Obama also pressed White House press secretary Jay Carney on the issue during his daily briefing, prompting Carney to say that ending the tax break and potentially hurting the industry was one of the “difficult choices” that has to be made as part of efforts to reduce the deficit.