Listening to the White House, you’d think the key to averting the across-the-board spending cuts (the dreaded “sequester”) set to in place on March 1 is closing the tax break for owners of private jets.
Here was White House Press Secretary Jay Carney last week:
“How do you explain to a senior that we’re doing this, asking you to sacrifice, but we’re not saying that corporate jet owners should lose their special tax incentive.”
On Wednesday, Carney summed up the Republican position this way: “We’d rather see our national security undermined than corporate jet owners, God forbid, give up their tax break.”
And President Obama in an interview Wednesday with KAKE-TV in Wichita: “What we don’t want to do is give somebody who’s buying a corporate jet an extra tax break.”
Carney has brought up the corporate jet tax break at every single briefing this week.
Listening to the White House, you might think that the “balanced” Democratic plan to avert the spending cuts would close that loophole for private jets.
But you would be wrong.
The Senate Democratic plan – which has been endorsed by the White House and is, in fact, the only Democratic plan actively under consideration right now – doesn’t touch corporate jets.
OK, let’s all run to the mirror and practice our shocked faces.
Naturally, this is yet another wearisome assault on very successful people that President Obama loves making but really means very little in terms of tax revenue, totaling around $300 million a year. But it makes a lovely class warfare line in his never ending campaign stump speech.