By Keith Laing
President Obama went over the top in his criticism of tax breaks for corporate jet owners, a lobbying group said Thursday.
"We're disturbed by President Obama's remarks on business aviation," Aerospace Industries Association President Marion Blakey said in a statement.
"General aviation plays an important role in our economy and took a substantial hit in the recent recession," she continued. "We feel that disparaging comments from the president regarding business jet users are not conducive to promoting jobs, investment and economic growth."
"It seems odd that he would undermine the aviation industry one day after visiting Alcoa's factory and praising the workers who make parts and materials that are critical to producing business jets."
During the opening remarks of his press conference Wednesday, which was focused on the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, Obama cited the tax breaks for corporate jet owners as an example of the kind of tax measure Republicans were protecting. "The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners," Obama said.
"It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit.
"And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship," he continued. "That means we’ve got to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make."
Obama mentioned corporate jets six times in his remarks.